Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922
- Cost: $$
- Credit Cards: All Major
- Alcohol: BYO
- Parking: Private Lot
- Take Out: Yes
January 7, 2016
Hidden away in Berkeley Heights, NJ, Seoulite’s brings Korean comfort food to Union County.
According to Jeoung Park, it took three months before customers regularly filled Seoulite’s tables. She and her husband opened the restaurant in 2014 after losing their Japanese restaurant in Sea Bright to Hurricane Sandy. Now their Korean food outpost is thriving.
Every meal begins with a traditional banchan spread on small plates, including kimchi, tofu and pickled vegetables. An excellent appetizer from the specials menu is duk boki – tiny rectangular rice cakes floating in a spicy gochujang red chili sauce. The bubbling soft tofu stews (soondubu jjigae) are a perfect winter entree. I ordered my tofu stew, with kimchi and pork, “hot,” one level below “dangerous” according to the menu. Seoulite’s version is spicy, but not crazy spicy like the “very hot” version in Fort Lee at Soft Tofu Restaurant. Crack the raw egg into the stew and watch it cook before your eyes. Among the meat dishes we tried, the marinated beef bulgogi is on the sweet side. While there is no barbecuing at the tables, Seoulite’s “L.A. Galbi,” the marinated and grilled short ribs, are quite tasty from the kitchen. The menu includes Korean fried chicken, black soybean noodles (jajangmyeon)
Seoulite’s comfortable dining room has large tables, and a separate screened tatami room with an ingenious “low” table for a larger group.
Ms. Park is a warm and welcoming host who is more than happy to help newcomers navigate the menu. When we visited on a Sunday evening last month, the sushi bar was closed. Ms. Park noted that the sushi section of the menu is being phased out. That makes sense, since the Korean food here is doing just fine.