Seoul Garden - Closed

Craving some kalbi or bulgogi? Seoul Garden in Ft. Walton Beach is the place to go if you want the food that can be found in traditional Korean homes. I realize for some it's quite a bit of drive but well worth it. 

Kim Chi
My first visit was with a couple of regulars so they knew how things work.  There's only 3 people working the entire restaurant; one waitress and two kitchen staff.  Since everything is cooked to order, it could take quite a while to get your food out; especially if you are coming with a large party. My friends decided to call in our order about 15 minutes before reaching the restaurant.

As with most Korean restaurants, Seoul Garden serves a variety of kim chi along with the meal.  Kim Chi is fermented vegetables with a variety of seasoning.  The vegetables can range from carrot and daikon to onion pearls and jalepeno.  Apparently, the kim chi also varies from visit to visit.  I liked all the dishes except for the mung bean sprouts one.  It's not quite as tasty as the others. 
Beef Bulgogi
We ordered a total of four different dishes.  The bulgogi is marinated, thinly sliced beef stir-fried with vegetables. The sauce is really what makes this dish simply outstanding.  It's perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of saltiness and sweet.  The meat is literally melt in your mouth good.

Chicken Bulgogi
There's is also a chicken option with the bulgogi.  I'm usually prefer beef or pork but to be honest, the chicken was also darn good.  It's just as tender and flavorful as the beef option.

At some Korean restaurants, there are table top grills where you can grill your own bulgogi.  To be honest, I much prefer it cooked in the kitchen and then brought to the table.  The meat was consistely cooked throughout and was still piping hot.  Because we called in our order, all of the food came to our table about ten minutes after we sat down, which was a plus.

We had two orders of the Som Bulgogi.  It's the traditional bulgogi served with lettuce wrap, sliced peppers, fresh garlic and a soybean paste. 
Som Bulgogi
The meat on the Som Bulgogi is not as seasoned as the regular bulgogi.  But I figured out why, the soybean paste that comes with the meal adds another level of flavor and saltiness to the dish.  I take the lettuce, grab some daikon kim chi, garlic, meat and then soybean paste.. depending on the size of the lettuce I wrap it up or just pop the entire thing in my mouth.  It's super delicious.  The only thing is if you put too many garlic slices into your wrap be prepared for the big burst of garlic flavor.

Kal Bi Paek Ban
Kalbi seems to be a favorite for people bent on Korean food.  It's marinated short ribs.  Seoul Garden has this dish down pat.  There's just enough of a char on the ribs to bring out the sweetness in the sauce.  And being that it's short-ribs, it's still very tender.  The only thing that's from this dish is usually the bones.

I absolutely love Seoul Garden.  Now I know why my friends from Pensacola would drive the hour and a half to FWB to have dinner here.   The waitress was very attentive and nice.  We didn't have any trouble asking for more of our favorite kim chi dishes.  The prices for each dish was also very reasonable.  Nothing on the menu for a single person is over $15.  There are a couple of hot pots and soups that serves 2-4 for about $26.  Beware if you're going to make the drive to FWB to visit this place, it is closed every first and third Sunday of the month.  There was a couple of times where one of my friend made the drive to find the doors closed.  He was not a happy camper.

Seoul Garden has a great website for such a small restaurant.  It has operating hours and the full menu including pictures.  Click here if you want to visit the website.
Seoul Garden on Urbanspoon

Sidenote: I didn't take enough pictures for a separate blog but if you're already in the area, I suggest you drive another 10 miles to Destin for this great ice cream place called Shake's.  The ice cream is actually frozen custard and it's absolutely heavenly.  We ordered two of their classic sundaes; the banana dana split and the Shake's bopper.  The banana dana is, you guessed it, a banana split in a cup.  There bananas, pinapple, strawberries, salted pecans and a little caramel.  The Shake's bopper has caramel, fudge, salted pecans and cherries.  Both are good and big enough to share. 


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