The retro tribute that adorns Parkdale continues with the introduction of Oddseoul, the newish street food joint serving Asian inspired snacks. Only identified by a red, white and blue barber’s pole, I entered a long, narrow room only lit by a glowing red “prescription” sign and two white signs that looked like they were stolen from an 80s drive-in theatre which display the modest sized food and drink menu. I was seated against the wall and had a clear view of the kitchen where 3 or 4 cooks were busily buzzing around. It was steady for late on a Monday night, but the service was like trying to get a haircut the week before school.
In addition to the signs which likely once announced the arrival of “ET” back in 1982, a printed menu was handed to me on a crinkled sheet that looked like a few dozen people had spilled something on it earlier in the night….or week.
The squash poutine ($7) was such a refreshing change from for others which grace most menus. The cubed squash was the perfect base in both size and texture to complement the salty, sour and tangy toppings. The subtle sweetness offered a foundation that rounded off the dish. The curry gravy added spicy dimensions that just worked. Lastly, it was served mouth-burning hot, a refreshing change from most poutine which arrive at the table in a semi-congealed state before you take the first bite.
Bourbon drinks are the fad right now and I equate a good one to the experience of jumping in a cold pool. It should hurt a bit at first (I find a first sip of bourbon like a slap in the face) but once you get used to it, you don’t wanna get out. The Bulleit Smash fell a bit short on both fronts and was more like jumping in a luke warm pool. It lacked shock value. In other words, I didn’t bond with the drink in a love/hate relationship…it was more like an amicable friendship.
The “loosey” ($5) was a saucy, small burger in sandwich form topped with kimchi. It was a tasty and messy few bites. I was hoping for more of a punch with the kimchi but it tasted more like a a Wendy’s quarter pounder in the sense that it had some predominant ketchup and mayo type flavours so I was left buzzing with a fast foodish high.
I’m becoming increasingly suspicious of pork buns. It’s a dish where the bun is as important as the filling. The Oddseoul’s offering was anemic and sticky. Inside was a whole lot of filling. It was almost impossible to eat. The barbeque sauce was perfectly spiced but overwhelmingly tangy which took over the rest of the dish. Throw that sauce on a chicken wing and now we’re talking.
What’s with Steigl? It’s popping up quicker than a Han brothers restaurant itself. I missed the memo announcing it was the new foodie beer of 2013 much to the dismay of past foodie bandwagon favorites including Heineken, Stella, Dos Equis and of course, Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Oddseoul is another invention by the Han brothers. It’s prescription is for aggressively flavoured asian inspired street food and modern cocktails in a vibrant setting. The ambiance features loud hip-hop music and equally old school decor in the form of bear heads and drive-in movie signs. Although the food was tasty, most of the dishes had a monotonous yet “polar” and unbalanced flavour profile (that’s my witty reference to the barber’s pole). On that note, I’m not sure whether I’ll be coming back for a trim every eight weeks or so.