The Owl of Minerva is a fairly popular Korean restaurant chain in Toronto and the GTA. Overall, I find that this restaurant chain's good qualities include its quick service, clean locations, and consistent quality control. Korean food is very diverse, exciting, and unique. Having said that, the main problem with the Owl of Minerva's is the foods' dull, one-dimensional flavour.
Bibimbap. Bibimbap is rice cooked in a stone bowl with beef, carrots, spinach, zucchini, bean sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, topped with an egg. Given the list of ingredients, it is pretty clear that this dish is not inherently flavourful unless it is thoroughly seasoned. With that in mind, this dish seemed to be bland, dry, and mediocre due to a lack of seasoning.
Shrimp Fried Rice. Compared to the Bibimbap, it was much more eye-catching, moist, and exciting. Even so, it could still have been seasoned more generously. Normally, I usually complain about oversalted dishes; they're gross. However, this dish needed a little more salt to reach its full flavour potential.
Duk Bae Gi Bulgogi, more commonly known as Bulgogi soup. This dish should be sweet and salty: sweetened by onions and Asian pears, and salted by the marinated beef. However, this dish was not adequately sweet or salty. Just like the rest of the dishes, this one lacked flavour.
Kam Ja Tang, more commonly known as Pork Bone Soup. Of all the dishes, this was the only that was well seasoned. The broth was spicy and salted well. The pork itself was absolutely tender and flavourful. I've noticed that many Korean restaurants I have been to have had amazingly well seasoned and flavoured dishes, with the exception of the pork bone soup, which would be devastatingly underseasoned. However, despite being disappointed with the other dishes, I was mildly impressed by the pork bone soup.
Gyeran Malyi. This is an egg dish with ham, tuna, red pepper, and onion. It was very colourful, but quite bland.
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