Posted by on Jan 1, 2007 in Downtown, Korean, Reviews
621 E. 7th St.
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 275-0852
Mon-Thu: 11am-10pm
Fri-Sat: 11am-3am

I love Korean Food. The aromas, the textures, the traditions, the flavors and yes, the abundance. So it was not without a bit of trepidation that I first ventured into Koriente on 7th St. The emphasis is on lighter fare, and food that you’d more likely encounter if you had lunch at someone’s home in Seoul. Well I’ll tell you what, it works for me.

The thing I like about Koriente is that the dishes are not only flavorful but they have an engaging taste and an intriguing look to them. And they are not all about your standard Kimchi, barbecue, mandau, the things you expect from Korean restaurants. The restaurant is family owned: the son Jae is a recent UT graduate, the Mom has planted the amazing floral display that graces the outside of the restaurant. And this is food that you have to try.

There are some really nice dishes to rev up your appetite at Koriente. And the good news, you can try them all with out even denting the old waistline.

I love the Bulgogi Noodles. These are potato noodles tossed with strips of bulgogi and julienned vegetables. Light and tasty. Also enjoy the Veggie Tacos. Now, there are no crispy tortilla chips with this dish; just red bell peppers, cabbage, mushrooms and avocadoes wrapped in a very thin Korean radish shell. And how about the Cucumber Salad? These are local cucumbers tossed with red onions in a light soy and wasabi burgundy dressing. This is a great little salad that you will enjoy.

I had never associated Korean restaurants with pot-roast. So imagine my surprise when their signature dish turned out to be the Kalbi Potroast, a dish that takes 24 hours to prepare. This dish is flat out delicious. And also good for you. Beef, carrots, Korean radish, simmered in wine produce the flavor along with fresh squeezed apple and vegetable juices. Another treat is the Ka-Re. This is a vegan dish featuring tomatoes, mushrooms, peas, potatoes, carrots, onions, and jalapenos and a light curry sauce over brown rice. I love the flavor here. It’s very tasty and not over the top with curry. You can get it with meat, but I don’t think its necessary. Also try the more traditional Bulgogi. This is the classic marinated beef served lightly charred with carrots and broccoli. It has one of the more intriguing flavors in all of Korean cuisine and it is well represented at Koriente.

There are a variety of rolls to choose from as well at Koriente. My favorites include the Smoked Salmon Roll with sticky rice, avocadoes, smoked salmon, and cucumbers. Also quite good is the Veggie Roll, the Koriente version of the California Roll. Marinated daikon, carrots, and cucumbers are the main ingredients.

Koriente is at 621 E 7th St. across from the Municipal Court. It is healthy, tasty, reasonably priced and the kind of place that one could get used to going to. A lot. And those flowers are just flat out gorgeous.

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