Its been awhile since I’ve seen a really unique Korean restaurant. Typically you can get the general dishes I’ve been showcasing at most of the restaurants. In the search for some more useful info to dish out, we come to a place that combines the pig with the bean sprout. An unlikely combination in my eye, but a delicious one. I’ll tell you of a mistake that was made with the card machine, and how they rectified it.
The easiest way to get to Shabu and Congbul is by car. It’s located at 390 Steeles Ave West in a seemingly random plaza. Its really no wonder why this place ran under my radar for so long.
I really couldn’t tell you how long its been here, but it looks quite new. The specials are displayed on the wall with a comic type of detail. Walls have stripes of stone, the ones you’d find in the DIY section of Rona or Home Depot. That small detail gives the place a homey atmosphere. That and the counter which could have served as a bar in it’s past life.
Now to the good stuff. Its one thing to have the hot plate and sizzling meat, but to combine it with bean sprouts is almost genius. That, and the fact that when you’ve finished eating, whatever you don’t eat gets turned into fried rice immediately after. It’s really two meals in one. I was a little hesitant to order at first, knowing that a bag of bean sprouts at Galeria just down the street costs $2. I guess the value comes in when you add the pepper sauce they use, and the meat. In this case, we ordered pork. On a second visit we added octopus for $4 extra. In total it would be about $25-$30 for a 2 person meal. Not a bad date night!
Part of the reason I love this is place is because of the hospitality. The mix up that occurred was partly my fault, as well as the server’s. For simplicity lets blame it on the card machine. On my first visit I had decided to pay with my credit card, one without a chip. The machine they were using didn’t print a receipt or allow me to tip, so I had paid twice in the confusion.
Noticing I paid twice, I went back a week later showing them my receipt and bank statement. After a few back and forths, all friendly, they agreed to use my over-payment as payment for the food I was about to order. I was more than happy with that already, but they came back with egg soup and two cans of pop on the house! It may not be much, but its the thought that counts, especially since they could have simply disregarded all my statements as me trying to pull a fast one on them.
I felt welcome here, and it’s definitely a place you should visit for a good eat and relaxing time. Just make sure you don’t burn the paper placemat like I did.