A Meal To Remember

Statesman Staffers dive into elevated Korean street food dishes from new restaurant

Ttobokki, Long Grove’s first restaurant serving authentic and elevated Korean street food cuisine, opened recently in the Sunset Grove shopping center. To put its nearly five star average review to the test, we took an in-depth look into four popular street food dishes they serve: vegetable kimbop, fried Korean rice roll, japchae and house tteokbokki.

The first food we tasted was vegetable kimbop, which consists of seaweed-wrapped rice rolls with cucumber, carrots, radish, tofu and egg inside. To make it extra fancy, we tried this yummy dish with a housemade mayo sauce drizzled on top. After taking a bite, our taste buds were instantly met with the tangy, spicy flavors of the sauce, which complemented the fresh flavors of the cucumber and radish. Though the tofu and egg were blander in comparison to the other ingredients, they added more texture to the roll, contributing to the overall experience of eating it. Not to mention, you can get 10 delicious pieces for the low price of $5.95!


The next food we tried was the fried Korean roll, a deep fried rice roll filled with glass noodles and crab. We thought this extravagant dish had a nice texture, as the glass noodles gave it a good bite. The roll was warm and crunchy, and the crab gave a nice sweet aftertaste. Similar to the kimbop, we thought this dish resembled a fried sushi roll and was absolutely delicious.

The third food we tested out was japchae, which consists of a base of sweet potato noodles, with the inclusion of kale, carrot, onion, mushroom and marinated beef. One of the most prominent flavors in this dish was that of the sesame oil, which added a nice nutty taste to the noodles. At the same time, the various vegetables included throughout helped to break up the density of the sesame flavor, allowing for a fresher element in the dish as a whole. The noodles were much lighter in density than your average noodle and more springy, which overall paired well with the other flavors. Like many of the other foods listed on their website, this dish is both delicious and affordable; you can try japchae at Ttobokki for $6.95!

The last dish we tried was their specialty House Tteokbokki. This dish is made of stir-fried rice cakes and cabbage stewed together in a spicy Korean sauce. This dish was very spicy and extremely flavorful—all the different elements created a complex flavor profile. We thought the texture of the rice cakes resembled that of an Italian gnocchi as it was springy, chewy and slightly dense in texture. The cabbage gave the dish a nice crunch and helped balance the thick and tangy texture of the sauce. Typically, the main ingredients found in the stew, such as the rice cake and cabbage, are bland flavors alone, yet the combination of all three flavors made the dish complex and extremely delicious.

Fun fact: the delicacy was created in 1953 when the Korean War was ending. It was considered a royal dish and is now considered the most popular Korean street food.

With great prices and even better flavors, we highly recommend giving Ttobokki a try! This experience is sure to provide a comforting meal for those who love Korean food as well as those who want to try it for the first time.