I reviewed the Natural Tofu Korean restaurant (Queens blvd south at 40th st) over a year ago, but decided to document it again last night, when I was there with seven other people for dinner. The outing was particularly exciting because our friend, an esteemed professor from Duke and affiliate of the vegetarian durhamite food blog, came to visit.
After everyone ordered their entrees, an assortment of cold appetizers appeared on the table. While most were meant to be shared, everyone got this individual cold soup, with a thin broth and a few vegetables. It was mostly tasteless, but somehow went along well with the other items.
Here are some of the small appetizers, which included kimchi, some sort of pasta-like dish, and jello-like fish cubes (which I didn’t actually try because they looked a little uncomfortably squishy).
Here are some more closeups of the appetizers. They brought two of each dish, which was plenty for the eight people at the table.
Even though the restaurant is called “Natural Tofu”, most dishes deceptively contain meet (typically beef or pork). There are only a couple truly vegetarian dishes, such as this boiled soft tofu pot, which has mushrooms, soybeans , snow beans, and a few other ingredients in the miso soup broth. It truly does come boiling, and you’re provided with a raw egg on the side, which is always fun to crack open and dump inside.
Four of us got this traditional $10 bibimbop. It ordinarily comes with beef, but we substituted additional tofu instead. Here it is in it’s original, unmixed state, so you can clearly see all the ingredients. It was good, and with the addition of hot sauce (which is provided on the table), it gets even better, and you can customize the spiciness to your liking.
When this arrived at the table, someone asked if this is pizza. No, this isn’t pizza. It’s a seafood pancake, which is kind of like a potato pancake, except with various sea creatures (and a few vegetables) inside. It is cut into slices like a pizza though, and comes with a special sauce to dip them in (which you can barely see on the right in the picture above). Overall pretty good, but i think they have better one at Yeti of Heizan.
As you may have guessed, this cake is not actually from Natural Tofu (I don’t think they have any desserts actually – I didn’t see any on the many, and the waiters didn’t offer any). This was actually a cake form our visiting friend, intended to congratulate us on our recent engagement. It’s particularly humorous due to the missing “s” , and the wrong initials (should be an E instead of an A). But it was quite delicious!