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Phantom Gourmet: Seoul Kitchen In Westford

WESTFORD – Marinated meats served sizzling; sushi that tastes as good as it looks; and incredible dumplings, made with a mother’s love. Simply put, Seoul Kitchen in Westford serves some of the best Asian cuisine you will ever eat.

Ever since Seoul Kitchen opened a couple years ago, it has been the go-to spot in Metrowest for authentic Korean cuisine. According to owner Jay Chung, the deliciously bold flavors blow customers away.

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“It takes the best out of what we know as Chinese food and Japanese food. So it takes some of the spicy Szechuan flavors of Chinese cuisine, as well as some of the delicacies of fish and other dishes that are traditionally from Japan. This is the food that I grew up with. It’s something that I’m proud of.”

It’s served in a stylish 130 seat restaurant offering two distinct atmospheres.

“We have a huge bar, and then we also have a very nice family dining atmosphere as well,” Jay explained. “When you come in, you’ll feel like you entered a luxury restaurant. It’s not. The food is priced very, very casually, and we just keep it fun.”

To start your meal at Seoul Kitchen, there are plenty of great appetizers, but none is better than the housemade Korean Dumplings. The perfectly pan fried pockets are not just made from a family recipe, they are literally made by family.

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Korean Dumplings at Seoul Kitchen (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

“My mom makes all the dumplings here, by hand, each one individually,” Jay said. “I might be a little biased, but I think it’s the love that goes in it that makes it really, really good.”

There is a whole lot of love to go around, because Jay’s mom makes more than 2,000 dumplings each week!

“We take a dumpling skin, and then we fill it with ground pork and then some vegetables as well. Then we pan sear it, so the outside texture is crispy, the inside has a ton a flavor in it.”

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Bibimbap at Seoul Kitchen (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

When it comes to entrees, the best-known Korean dish is probably Bibimbap. It’s a colorful, flavorful, mix of grilled meat, a fried egg, sautéed vegetables and steamed rice, all served together in a piping hot stone pot.

“Everything is cooked in that stone bowl. So we take that stone bowl, put a layer of rice on it, put those cooked veggies on top of it, and then we make that whole bowl sizzle for about fifteen minutes, and you kind of mix the whole dish together,” Jay explained.

Another signature dish at Seoul Kitchen is their Korean barbecue, featuring meats that are marinated for 24 hours, then chargrilled and served on a sizzling platter. Options include tender Beef Short Ribs with soy and sesame, or Spicy Pork with vegetables in a Korean chili sauce.

“It’s got some spice. It’s got some sweet, and definitely has some of that savory as well,” Jay described.

For some of that great grilled meat in a deliciously nontraditional dish, check out the Korean Tacos, topped with sour cream, chili aioli, and Asian slaw.

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Korean tacos at Seoul Kitchen (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

“Traditional or not, it’s just deliciousness. It’s got the crunch. It’s got the savory. It’s got the spice. It’s got the sweet. It’s got everything.”

In addition to Korean cuisine, Seoul Kitchen also serves some world-class sushi.

“We know a lot about fish. We know the freshness that it takes. We do the fusion stuff as well with awesome sauces, awesome textures, but we can do the traditional if you’re in here for just really, really good sushi,” Jay said.

Many customers choose to sit at the restaurant’s long sushi bar, to watch the master chefs at work creating edible art like the Avocado Ball.

“We take some spicy tuna, and then we peel a whole avocado, and then we open it up like a flower, put the spicy tuna in there, close it back up, and now it turns into a ball,” described Jay.

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Avocado Ball at Seoul Kitchen (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

For a real showstopper, order the Firecracker roll, made with crispy shrimp and spicy tuna, then wrapped in foil, doused with rum, and set on fire. It’s a cool presentation, but Jay explained it also has a purpose.

“It makes the sauce kind of sizzle, and it gives it an extra flavor, extra depth. Then when you open it up, smoke kind of comes out and gives it that awesome presentation as well.”

Finish your meal with a Fried Banana Spring Roll Sundae, and you will leave Seoul Kitchen with a smile on your face, and that makes Jay smile too.

“Genuinely I love making people happy. So I think the best way to make someone happy is through food, and through genuine hospitality, and genuine good service.”

You can find Seoul Kitchen at 142 Littleton Road in Westford, and online at eatseoulkitchen.com.

Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.

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