After finding out I had been accepted into the Bahrom International Program at Seoul Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea, I set about trying to learn about Korean culture as much as I possibly could, including its cuisine. I discovered there was a pretty well known Korean restaurant in Pittsburgh’s downtown, Sushi Kim. (Don’t be fooled by the name; while Japanese dishes including sushi are offered, the owners are Korean.) When my parents came to visit for Easter that year, trying out Sushi Kim was on the “to do” list. Ten years later Sushi Kim is a restaurant I’ve been to countless times and a restaurant that is still one of my all time favorites. Earlier this winter I returned to dine there after a long hiatus (I’m not sure why about the hiatus part) and came armed with my camera.
I’ve been to Sushi Kim on different days and at different times over the years and never did I have to wait. This fact alone is always a major plus for me when dining out. The menu is very extensive between the countless array of Korean and Japanese dishes (I’ve had dishes from both cuisines over the years). I’ve never tried their sushi so I can’t speak for that, although I’m not a sushi fan at all either.
While they do offer appetizers, all entrees come with a selection of side dishes that can be shared amongst the table. These have changed over the years but on my most recent visit they included kimchi (well, kimchi is always there), a macaroni salad with crab meat, bean sprouts (I love these), and lightly marinated cold vegetables. Miso soup is also served after you’re seated. For the first time ever we did try edamamae (soy beans) as we’ve gotten slightly addicted to them. I wasn’t the biggest fan as they didn’t taste fully cooked and if you’ve eaten edamamae, you know that you use your teeth to break into the pod, so tougher pods, well, it was difficult to get the beans out. But for only $3.50 it wasn’t the biggest deal.
The menu offers the opportunity to do a “2 person” dish meaning there is enough food for two diners. This visit D and I opted for the Beef Bulgogi ($28.95). Bulgogi is one of Korea’s most famous dishes and usually consists of grilled, marinated meats. Also available was chicken and pork bulgogi. The neat thing about ordering the “2 person” dish is that they cook the food right there at your table. And since the traditional way to eat bulgogi involves putting some rice then bulgogi into a lettuce sheet, this all was provided too. Bulgogi is definitely a dish you want to try if you’ve never done so.
Dining at Sushi Kim has always been a pleasant and quick (seriously, you never have to wait on anything ) experience, not to mention one complete with plenty of good food. Korean cuisine is generally not as well known in the United States as Japanese or Chinese, is but it’s a food you should definitely explore. So if you’re in the Pittsburgh area, go ahead and give Sushi Kim a try and if you’re not, well, search out the Sushi Kim equivalent.