About a week ago I was running late for my Pool League and did not have time to eat before I left home and so about mid way through the evening I discovered that I was starving but the only thing the pool hall has to eat, besides potato chips and the like, is deep fried “bar food”. You know the stuff……. Mozzarella sticks, battered mushrooms, french fries and the ever popular Chicken Fingers! Now seeing as how I work in a fast food joint that sells chicken wings, chicken fingers etc and it’s all deep fried what are the odds that I would order deep fried fare from a pool hall? My search for dinner was on and since the pool hall allows its patrons to bring in their own food it was just a matter of deciding on what I wanted.
I’m not a picky eater per say but there are some things I don’t particularly like but will have it when there is nothing else on the menu. Things such as Shwarma, Wraps and Pizza (yeah yeah I can here the howls now “how can you not like pizza?”—– I will eat it but it’s not my go to food) and there are a ton of these places within a short walk of the pool hall but none of these appealed to me so I decided to do a Guy Fieri and keep my eye out for a funky little joint with something different on the menu. Well this little jaunt led me to Shinla Garden which is a tiny hole in the wall Korean place and when I say tiny I mean if it seats 15 I’ll eat your hat and the great thing is it’s only a 6 minute walk from the pool hall.
Upon entering the restaurant one is made aware of just how unpretentious the place is with its plain decor, minimal wall art and simple hostess desk but that’s fine with me because I am there for the food not the ambiance and with the aromas that hit me smack in the face when I enter I know already that I have made the right choice. I was greeted warmly by the owner who handed me a take out menu and a small cup of green tea which is not something I have experienced in any other take out establishment and helped to endear me to this place even more. The menu is small in comparison to most other places I’ve been, 28 items in total, and besides having the usual suspects, Fried Rice, Korean BBQ Beef Ribs, Stir Fries , they also had some more exotic style Korean dishes. Things like, Traditional Korean Rice cakes in Hot Sauce, Traditional Korean Seafood Soft Tofu Soup, and the one I settled for Korean Style handmade Noodles in Black Bean Sauce with Shrimp and Vegetables…….. Can you say Jackpot?
Saying this dish was to die for would be an understatement. The shrimp was cooked perfectly, the noodles were a little clumpy but it was the end of the night so I can forgive that one. The Kimchi was crunchy with just enough heat to announce its presence and the Black Bean sauce was the perfect foil to tie it all together.
When I got back to the pool hall with a truck load of food, all at a cost of $17.00, the aroma had everyone drooling and asking where I got it from. Looks like this place will be getting more business in the future. I know I will be going back and if you are ever in Waterloo Region in Southern Ontario I strongly suggest you drop into this funky little place and treat yourself to some simply awesome Korean food…. you won’t be disappointed.
That’s it for now but remember to keep those peepers open for those hidden gems because you never know where your next culinary adventure will begin.
Until next time…………