The ongoing Korean food festival at Soy Street in Vashi is worth a try say Sneha Shetty and Bhagyashri Pawar.

soy street

There are just about a handful of restaurants in Mumbai that serve authentic Chinese food. And so, to find the right kind of Korean cuisine does seem farfetched. Considering the typical Indian palate, people tend to associate Asian food with a variety of meat and experimenting with most of them, may not be an option.

So when we swung by to sample the Korean Food Festival at Soy Street, it came as a pleasant surprise. The restaurant at Inorbit Mall in Vashi, Navi Mumbai usually serves Pan Asian Cuisine. But visit it during the ongoing festival (till October 24) and you may just discover a new cuisine you like.

Baby Bok Choy Kimch Salad

Baby Bok Choy Kimchi Salad

Even though it is located inside a busy mall, Soy Street does a great job at turning off all the noise outside; its slow music calms you down. They also have an outdoor (non AC) seating that is just as pleasant especially during the evenings. Soy Street’s decor is predominantly Chinese with monochrome graffiti adorning the walls, completing the Oriental touch.

Koreans tend to have their vegetables stir fried, eggs poached and they *love* their kimchi. Kimchi is to the Koreans what fries are to the Americans. So expect lots and lots of Kimchi to go with your meal. If the names listed on the menu perplex you, Ronak, the chef-and-owner will be happy to help you pronounce the tongue-twisting dishes.

seafood soup

Seafood Noodle Soup

The service is usually prompt and the servers were trained well; they answer almost every question we threw at them. Though there are far more options for meat lovers, our server helped us with combinations we were comfortable with. Make sure, you’re precise while ordering (especially if you’re icky about eggs because if you’re ordering seafood, it’s presumed that you’ll enjoy a poached egg as well).

So, we started off with some appetizers, Kimchi Ssambap (steamed rice wrapped in fermented cabbage with a spicy sauce), Geotjeori (The Baby Bok Choy Kimchi salad served lends a distinct taste, almost redefining salads all together) and of course some Kimchi salad among the vegetarian ones.

kimchi fried rice

Kimchi Fried Rice

Dakgangjeong (thin strips of chicken fried in soy and teriyaki sauce, served with, yes, a side of Kimchi salad) and Nakhi Bokkepium (a spicy preparation of stir-fried octopus with chorizo sausages, cooked with peppers and garlic; served with yet another side of Kimchi salad) were the two of the lucrative non-vegetarian delicacies.

Next up were soups. The Haejanggui was a thick prawn hangover soup served with noodles, a scrumptious affair. You can opt for a bowl with vegetables, pork or chicken, instead. The Jjampong was a seafood soup that had squid, clams and shrimp along with egg noodles and a poached egg.

bibimbap

Mixed Rice with stir fried vegetables and minced chicken

By now, most of the flavors were well acquainted with our taste-buds.

Though we had our eye on the Korean BBQ, we were more than half way full to even think of a heavy main course. We didn’t want to compromise on the deserts (obviously). So a simple Kimchi Fried Rice and a fragrant Bibimbap (a bowl of steamed rice, carrots, sprouts, bok choy, eggs and minced chicken cooked in a garlicky sauce) were enough to fill us up completely.

Koreans believe in drinking audaciously! Somaek, the local beer and Socol, a cocktail with Soju (the local alcohol) and a mixer of your choice were some of the interesting options. If you’re not into alcohol, the berry and watermelon infused green tea is a good option.

rice balls

Sweet rice dumplings

The Sweet Rice Dumplings had a chocolate center and was covered with grated coconut. Its well-balanced sweetness helped us gobble four of them! Lastly, the Green Tea Ice-Cream, subtle and soothing in texture, worked well as a dessert and summed up a perfect meal.

If you don’t mind introducing your taste buds to new flavors, stop by at Soy Street for its Korean Food Festival (till October 24); you won’t regret it.

Where: Soy Street, Level 1, Inorbit Mall, Sector 30 A, Vashi, Navi Mumbai (022-278-12-335)

Meal for two: Rs 2500 (Without alcohol)