It is unheard of that a restaurant gives me a reason to visit them two times (almost 3) within a month. But here we are, and this is “Damso”. My original visit was actually to “Mr. Osmad”. My guest and I were looking for for an after lunch dessert, and found ourselves here; only due to its proximity to our original destination. But it is during this snack did we find another reason to come back.

“Mr. Osmad” and “Damso” share the same space and the same letters in their names, “Osmad” is simply “Damso” spelled backwards. You enter the former through the right and the latter through the left. Though if you use the wrong entrance you can still get from one end to the other without going back outside.

“Mr. Osmad” offers two main desserts and a handful of drinks to accompany the two. The first is “Bri’Hottok”, a type traditional Korean street food. The restaurant describes it being similar to a “buttery French brioche”. I didn’t see it or taste it that way. Instead I would describe it more like a cinnamon and sugar doughy hot pocket served piping hot. Each is made to order from a raw lump of dough.

The whole show is done before yours eyes, at their counter. One staff member sets to the above, squeezing out a round of pre-made of dough over a hot buttered pan. They do this using a metal stamp with a flat bottom. A series of squishes and flips is done using this paddle until each side is a crispy golden brown. It may not look like much, but with the first bite you know this is something special. I have never had anything like this. It was chewy and squishy, like mocchi dough surrounding a lake of cinnamon and sugar goodness within. Though sadly I couldn’t finish one round in one seating, as it does get a little too sweet mid way.

But it is the “Soufflé cheesecake” that has everyone coming through the doors. These too are made to order, or rather made every 30 minutes. And if you are lucky, you walk in at the right time for a fresh batch. We saw ourselves waiting 7 minutes for the timer and getting ourselves a whole cake (you can only order them as a whole, not by the slice, so bring a friend to help you finish). It delivers on the menu’s description of it being “Super addictive”. It is a light cotton-like cheese cake with a mild savoury flavour with the notes of cheese coming trough. It has an airy texture that still retains the creaminess of a cheese cake; melting from a spongy cake texture to an eggy pudding one. A texture like no other and one I would order again just for the mouth feel. However, it was disappointing that it didn’t shake and wiggle like the Japanese cheesecakes do. But it does let out a large puff of steam when you first cut into it.

It was as we waited for our made to order desserts that we noticed a poster in the corner advertising their two all you can eat options. The first, an all you can eat pork belly happy hour special; and the second, all you can eat Korean style chicken wings during reserve happy hour (in the evening, later at night). We immediately made plans to visit both. But unfortunately, upon writing this post, I have only tried the former: $17.99 all you can eat pork belly, available Monday to Friday between 4-6pm.

But first, there are rules. Everyone at your table must order this AYCE (all you can eat) combo and you all have 1.5 hours to eat your fill then leave. There are no doggy bags and you are penalized for everything you don’t finish. Leave one slice of pork belly behind and you are fined $5. Forgo the soup (that is included in the set) and you are charged an additional $10 for wasting food. And don’t be surprised when you notice a 15% gratuity fee automatically tacked on, no matter the size of your party.

However, even if you didn’t eat more than the initial serving, the $17.99 price per person set is still a deal. Ordering this special is pretty much like ordering several dishes on their menu at a flat rate. The “barbecue pork belly lettuce wrap” set, the “Korean miso stew”, and a bowl of rice on the side.

So having made our intentions known, we hunkered down on their large wooden tables and began eating to our heart’s content. Our goal to truly eat as much as we can and see how much we save in doing so. To watch the vlog version of this, visit my YouTube channel: MaggiMei.

 

Not to ruin the conclusion of how much we manage to get through, what I will say is, on the first round, the pork belly is leaner and it does get a whole lot fattier the more you order. My belief is that, this is so that they can keep you eating less and their costs low. Let’s just say this is what got me in.

 

 

The “barbecue pork belly lettuce wrap” set includes ssamjang (sauce) and an onion salad, just like the AYCE combo does. And because it is all you can eat, you can order as much of the above as want. Also, as long as you eat 28oz of pork belly you are already ahead. The 14oz set will set you back $20 and the 28oz of pork belly, $30.

It was most refreshing to eat the slices of pork belly like this. The fattier cuts of meat do get dense and all the onions, jalapeños, spicy sauce, and lettuce help to brighten up the dish with some sourness and tang.

You also get unlimited servings of their “Korean miso stew” with beef, tofu, and potato in a dwenjang broth. It was a warming soup with heat from the cast iron pot it peculated in, and heat from the spices used. It was best used as a dip to soften up the tough and chewier pieces of pork belly. The meat was so tough that we joked that it was like we were having all you can eat pork chop instead. Luckily scissors were provided with our meal and the helped to cut down the thicker slabs down to bite sized morsels.

Overall, flavour wise this were impressively thick cut piece of pork. And the sides included, were well thought out and ideal in giving you many options in which to enjoy the fattier meat with. Tangy and sweet onion, crisp refreshing lettuce, spicy sour soup; and rice, the best base to carry it all.

 

Now calculating the value! At the end we figured we ate about 14oz worth of pork belly each, so are already saving already $2 each. This is because we got the entire set for only $17.99 for all you can eat, and it is regularly $19.99 each. Then you add in two servings of the miso soup at $15 each, and the 3 bowls of rice we shared at $2 a serving; and we saved $58 total. We saved $29 each going this route, having an happy hour dinner.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
A great two restaurants in one offering plenty of reasons to try them and return again after you do. Dessert or full meal they have options, and I like them enough to want to come back to try their all you can eat wings next, and then a few dishes off their regular menu after. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

DAMSO
770 Bute Street, Vancouver BC, V6G 2L9
604-806-0945

Damso Modern Korean Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato