I’m not really a make a reservation type of person. I tend to show up and hope that I’ll find myself a seat. Sometimes this works out well, and sometimes it means I have to go visit a restaurant a few times before I complete two visits. Still other times, it leads me to trying places I wasn’t expecting to try, One such reason place is Nou Eul Tor, a Korean Restaurant on Sargent Avenue.
I’ve actually walked past this restaurant on several occasions, but there has always been something about it that made me hesitate to enter. However, the other night, the Emerald Palace told me there would be a 45 minute to one hour wait before I would get a seat and my order taken, so I decided I would head a little farther west on Sargent. Nou Eul Tor was the first restaurant I came across. I saw from their posted hours that they would be open long enough to enjoy a meal so I headed on in.
The main body of the restaurant is long and narrow, with most of the tables against one wall, and a few on the kitchen side. There is also a room with a table for a larger group. The tables are dark wood and brown and white are the other dominant colours, giving the place a rather subdued feel.
As I came in a little towards the end of the day, the restaurant was basically empty. The first thing that stood out was the limited size of the menu. There aren’t much more than twenty items available. Fortunately there is a fair bit of variety in the available items.
There also aren’t any appetizers to speak of. So, I ordered two dishes. The first was Korean Sushi. This is a non -fish based sushi roll. When it arrived I was quite surprised at the size of it. It was easily as large as two rolls from any other restaurant. All the fillings were fresh, and the roll itself held together quite nicely.
For my main dish, I ordered the Bulgogi. This was served on a sizzling plate, with the rice in a bowl on the side. The beef was well seasoned and well cooked. I just wish there had been a little more liquid left to mix with the rice.
Back to Nou Eul Tor
My second visit to the restaurant was a little earlier in the evening. As a result there were more customers in the place. This time around I ordered the dumplings, and a dish of Jabchae(Japchae elsewhere).
With the place being busier and only the husband and wife owners working, the wait for the food was a little longer on the second visit. However, while I was waiting, a small bowl of soup arrived to take some of the edge of my hunger.
One thing about both my meals that I would prefer to be different is that all my food came at once. It would be nice if one dish arrived and then the second a little bit later. The dumplings were nicely filled and had a little crispiness on the outside.
The Jabchae was also quite enjoyable. There was a good mixture of meat, vegetables and noodles to make each mouthful interesting.
As with all Korean restaurants, meals came with a variety of side dishes. Although the photos below don’t quite capture it, one thing about the Nou Eul Tor side dishes is that the quantities of each are larger than typical. On the downside, I found that the Kimchi wasn’t particularly spicy.
Nou Eul Tor is a great place to stop if you are in the mood for a pleasant, leisurely meal. However, if it’s busy be prepared to wait a bit for your food. The only other drawback is that there is a very limited beverage selection, essentially just canned pop. However, the food is good enough that you should be able to overlook that and still enjoy yourself.