Seoul Gomtang

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Seoul Gomtang is another example of why its a must to cross the bridge into Oakland for some good food.  Most people know Korean food as just grilled meats, but crossing the Bay (also venturing into the South Bay) will get you so much more.  Seoul Gomtang offers a couple dishes that I've never really been able to locate in the city, one being gomtang. 

The kimchee here is scarce, but all quality.  From the green onion and cucumber, pickled daikon, and traditional cabbage, each were soaked in spicy flavors and crunchy.

Seoul Gomtang has several types of gomtangs.  The suk uh gom tang is the mixed beef  version with thin noodles.  Almost like a pho dac biet (combination #1), this soup has beef tongue, tripe, brisket, essentially the works.  The broth is very, very plain and you will need to add something to do, whether it be kimchee, green onions, or salt.  The salt actually brings out the subtle beef flavor in the broth.

The gori gomtang is a milky broth with ox tail pieces.  Compared to the suk uh gom tang broth, this one is a little more flavorful, but no noodles.  Simple, but homey, I can see why this place is packed with people sipping this soup.  It's also a popular hangover soup, in the same category as pho.

Unlike most soups that I'm used to eating, these soups are meant to be flavored.  Usually with a sprinkle of green onions and ....

SALT!  I don't even know when the last time it was that I added salt to a finished food product, especially at a restaurant, but salt is a must for this soup.  I'd say anywhere from 1 to 2 spoonfuls is good enough, anything more makes the last couple drops too salty.

The pickled jalapenos in spicy soy sauce is used for dipping the pieces of meat.  Its the perfect sauce with just the right amount of spicy and saltiness.

No Korean meal is complete without a bowl of rice in a metal bowl.  I like to scoop the rice into the soup to soak up any last bits of flavor.

The mandu (dumplings) here are huge!  They are almost the size of fists.  Being Chinese, I'm used to small dumplings with delicate skins, these are quite opposite.  The wrappers are thick and chewy.  Each dumpling is stuffed with egg, chicken, and tofu.  They aren't super flavorful, but they do grow on you after the first one.

A peek inside the dumpling.

Address:                   Seoul Gomtang
                                  3801 Telegraph Ave.
                                  Oakland, CA
Type:                         Korean

Popular chomps:       hae mool pa jun (seafood pancake)
                                   gomtang (oxtail soup)
                                   jin man doo (dumplings)
                                   soon doo bu  (tofu soup)
                                   samgyetang (chicken ginseng soup)
Chomp worthy:         gomtang (oxtail soup)

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