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  • 10/18-10/20: Austin
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Dinner at Dok Suni

It had literally been months since I last saw Brette, and a dinner date was long overdue. “I really think we should go to Dok Suni. It’s a Korean restaurant located in my old neighborhood and the food is great.” After perusing Dok Suni’s menu online, I agreed to meet Brette for a bite after work.

The casual restaurant is located in the heart of the East Village. As I approached Dok Suni, a man who had clearly broken out of a mental institution asked me if I could spare some change. From head to toe, he was decked out in all-white scrubs, white gloves, white slippers and a white cap.

The restaurant’s space was nothing fancy, yet it evoked a warmth that made me feel at-ease and comfortable. ¼ of the tables were occupied with patrons and overhead, that Sinatra-wannabe, Michael Buble (who I loathe), was screaming from the speakers. Luckily, after alerting a waitress that the music was piercing, my ears got a bit of a break from the terrible re-mix of “Summer Wind.”

Since Brette had previously dined at Dok Suni, I let her take the reigns on ordering a shared appetizer. The D’uk-Bo-Ki, a traditional sticky rice-cake sautéed in a spicy red pepper and garlic sauce, was not at all what I had imagined. What resembled doughy “tubes” (with a texture similar to gnocchi), roughly the size and width of your thumb, arrived drowning in a thick, vegetable-laden sauce. I was pleased with the dish, but observed that the gravy was made with too much cornstarch, thus resulting in a large congealed glop. Simultaneously, a complimentary plate of sliced cucumber arrived with a delicious soy-based sauce that was topped with salad onions. As an entrée, I chose the monkfish, stewed in spicy chili pepper sauce with rock shrimp, bean sprouts and watercress. Served alongside was a bowl of white rice and mid-ban-chan (a variety of marinated vegetables). I immediately noticed that my entrée’s “spicy chili pepper sauce” looked vaguely familiar to the “spicy red pepper sauce” that came with the rice cakes. After one bite, it was confirmed: The sauces were the same, indeed. As my fork swam through the plate in search of protein, I was alarmed at the appearance of the fish. Gristly to the taste, and bruised to the eye, the monkfish was nearly inedible. If it weren’t for the complimentary vegetables and white rice that accompanied my meal, there’s no doubt that I would have walked away starving.
Perhaps I ordered wrong? In any event, I’m willing to give this restaurant one more chance.

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