There are 8 Korean restaurants in Columbia, six of them are on Decker Blvd., one on Two Notch Rd. and only one in downtown Columbia, specifically at 929 Gervais St. in the Vista. 929 Kitchen & Bar steps away from the “International Corridor” of Decker Blvd. and brings Korean food and drink to the trendy Vista district.
Korean culture is unique and offers a different approach to its cuisine from other Asian cultures. Korean cooking uses seasonings and flavorings like soy sauce, bean paste, garlic, ginger, sesame, green onion and red pepper blended for unique-tasting dishes like 929’s take on traditional Korean dishes such as Spicy Squid & Pork Belly Stir Fry (just the right amount of heat) and Korean Kimchi Pancakes (very close to the potato pancakes my German grandmother made!) “Kimchi” is the best known Korean food, a fermented cabbage that is made using the same process as in making sauerkraut and dill pickles. It’s an ingredient in many traditional Korean dishes. And in ones that are not traditional.
I tried the Kimchi Bulgogi Nachos, an exclusive creation of Sean Kim, proprietor at 929. Wow! If you are a nachos fan, you have to try these. Corn chips covered in kimchi, bulgogi, peppers, cheese – you’ll love ’em!
I love a good interesting salad, and I had one with 5 tempura fried shrimp and very fresh salad fixin’s. The best part was the dressing – a recipe freshly created in-houseat 929 Kitchen: Yuzu Dressing is made with lemon peels and citrus juice, oil, sugar and garlic… so good!
One thing that Sean told me is a very misunderstood aspect of Korean food is its spiciness. Many people are under the impression that Korean food is very spicy, and it is not. The Spicy Squid & Pork Belly Stir Fry is as spicy as it gets… and it isn’t even close to what I’d call “really spicy”. Don’t like spicy? No problem. You’ll be happy trying almost every item on the menu at 929 Kitchen & Bar. You’re going to love it!
929 Gervais Street | Columbia, SC 29201 | 803-764-3825 | website