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Tâ Bom Korean Cuisine

Coming down from an afternoon of snowboarding, Dennis of @pangcouver and myself were hankering for some food to replenish energy spent and calories lost. We were at odds about where to go, so Dennis suggested something in the Coquitlam area, seeing as he was my ride home, and doesn’t frequent the city. My only criteria was that the food be warm.

After tossing ideas around, we eventually agreed to Tabom for some outlandish Korean hot pot. We have both been before, but it has been a while for us both; and sometimes you just want something that you know is good. A guarantee satisfying meal, and Tabom definitely dished it out for us on this night.

Trying to feed our hunger, we originally wanted to order 3 different hot pots, but based on our server’s suggestion were we dissuaded. She explained the portion size and in hindsight she was right. Not to mention, each table is only equipped with one electric heat source. And said heat source is what is needed to complete cooking your hot pot right before your eyes, and keep it warm thereafter. This is Korean style hot pot. And unlike Chinese style hot pot, the staff here tend to things, they check in often, and your in-house dining experience essentially has a guide.

Through some tough decision making, we eventually agreed on their Stir fired spicy small octopus and pork belly hot pot, as the most exotic and embellished order. And to it we added on a serving glass noodles and a side of steamed egg, corn, and cheese.

The physical pot of the hot pot is unique. Completely set in cast iron with a concave centre serving as the dish, this where the ingredients are fully cooked. Around it are curved troughs that allow diners to add on sides. This is where our egg, corn, and cheese would live. They too cooked and were kept warm by way of cast iron over heat. The egg would become fluffy, the corn crispy; and the cheese gooey to burnt, if you didn’t keep an eye on it. The trio were great additions, and an easier way to change the texture and taste of the main they surrounded.

Pre-seasoned, the octopus was marinated in the classic Korean sweet and fiery gochujang sauce; piled above two thick slices of raw pork belly. As the hot plate sizzled over the live heat, our server would interject herself now and again. She amazingly kept her time and stop by to stir our meal and to cut down the octopus tentacles to easy one bite portions, using tongs and scissors. All this while servicing other tables, similarly; and seating new patrons at the door.

Once our pork belly slabs turned from pink to grey, they too would get the scissor treatment. They were eventually incorporated into the mix of octopus and kimchi, getting a proper coating in all that excess neon orangey-red sauce. And here, our server did not cease to impress me. She cooked for us at our table, while keeping the serving presentation as stunning as it was, when it first arrived. And by the time octopus and pork were ready for eating, the cheese was oozing oils, the egg was bubbling, and the corn just starting to golden.

Once we began eating and clearing room on the hot plate, our server returned with our add-on of glass noodles. This was directly poured over our octopus and pork belly and well mixed in, in order to absorb the excess sauces. This gave our meal substance and increased its longevity.

It ate as good as it looked. A large portion offering a variety of textures and tastes all in a sweet heat. A good amount of food for two, but we were hungry so ordered more to compliment it.

Naturally, you are given the usual Korean sides of kimchi, marinated beansprouts, and sweet soften potatoes. Bottomless, they serve as great bites for in between more meaty morsels, and as appetizers. These were small nibbles to tide you over as your pan begins to sizzle.

We would also order a serving of their tofu soup. A seafood forward broth, so tasty that it comes with a side of steamed rice. The assembly includes a healthy of mix of shrimp, crab, and clams to pick from shell. This would have been better served as an appetizer to help warm up our stomachs, and usher the similar flavours in the hot pot above.

And naturally because it is Dennis and myself, we had to round out our Korean meal with a bottle of Grapefruit soju and beer for soju bombs!

In conclusion, if looking for a solid pick for Korean food, Tabom is it. All the Korean flavours you enjoy, presented dynamically. They have kept to disappoint.

Tâ Bom Korean Cuisine
1046 Austin Ave C, Coquitlam, BC V3K 3P3
(778) 355-1717

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