Let’s be honest — winter has absolutely sucked so far, and it’s not even officially winter, yet. We wake up to cold-weather warnings and temperatures under -20 Celsius. As the Tragically Hip once wrote, you get the truly Canadian feeling that comes with “a cold wind blowing over your private parts.”
So, where to warm up? In south Edmonton, I stopped at Dookbaeki, located just north of the big-box wasteland off of Calgary Trail. This is a mini chain, with two locations in Edmonton and one in British Columbia. The restaurant serves up broths in thick, traditional stone bowls. This felt like a spot to get a person out of the cold.
I ordered the Gopchang-Soontubu. I asked the server how spicy it was going to be, as the broth, pictured on the menu, had a fire red colour.
“How are you for spice?” he asked.
“OK. I like spice.”
“Then it’s OK.”
The soup arrived, still bubbling. Kimchi, sprouts and a bowl of rice come on the side. There’s beef, tofu and eggs swimming in this broth. I placed some rice into the soup and took my first bite. It took me a second to adjust to the level of spice. An “OK” level of spice might have been an understatement. But it quickly set off a fire in my belly, though the portion was so large it would be a real feat for one person to finish it in a sitting. There were pepper rings bobbing up and down in the soup, and the peppery punch was impactful, to say the least. Really, the kimchi on the side felt like overkill.
It was substantial, and I left the restaurant feeling a whole lot better than when I got there.
Dookbaeki Calgary Trail South | 2872 Calgary Trail NW, Edmonton | 587.524.4336 West Edmonton Mall Chinatown | 8882 170 St NW, Edmonton | 780.244.1906 dookbaeki.ca
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