In a nutshell:
Interesting Korean Fast food place with outstanding service, some great food & some confused ones.
Address & Other Details: Tomato
Meal for 2: Rs. 800 onwards
Cuisine Type: Predominantly Nonvegetarian with some vegetarian options
Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:
Came to know of this place post shopping at Spencer’s Hypermart the other day. The Korean lady who is either the Owner or the Manager of the Tomato Restaurant was herself distributing pamplets outside the Spencer’s Retail shop. It being unusual, caught our attention & we decided to try out this new Korean Joint run by Korean Nationals.
The Restaurant turned out to be a standard Mall shop in this almost shop-less Mall. By shop-less I mean most shops are unsold / unoccupied. The Glass façade of the Restaurant was covered with a huge poster of the food available in the Restaurant with names of Dishes written both in English & Korean. One can read this standing on the mall walkway without even entering the Restaurant.
The interiors are nice but not overdone.They have a very simple touch & feel.
The Korean Lady herself came to welcome us with a traditional bow. We were shown a place to sit & soon after along with the menu card came a 1 litre bottle of Korean cold tea (on the house) & 2 empty glasses. The several interactions with the lady & her team-members were a mix of verbal exchange & sign language.
The Place was filled with superb aroma of koraean food. The foodie in me jumped out in joy at the prospect of some imaginary YUMM food. I soon realized that this cud b counter-productive as well for vegetarian guests / those not used to Far Eastern food smells.
The Menu card had pictures of some of the dishes. The corresponding no. of the item in the menu card was mentioned alongside the picture. The pics & text were same as in the huge menu on the outside glass wall of the restaurant.
Soon enough we noticed that except us every other diner were Korean & so were all members of the host team. This seemed to be quite exciting as it showed us a hope of authentic Korean food.
There are three kinds of food available in this restaurant – cutlets, spaghetti & Korean soups & noodles. I had no idea that Cutlets are part of Korean cuisine. A call to my Indian friend who happens to visit Korea frequently answered my question – Cutlet is not a Korean dish.
Cutlet section , Spaghetti section – seemed to be fusion kind & Korean food section
Detailed Description – In case u have the time to njoy reading:
As we waited for the meal, we were served two pickled add-on foods. Both were radish based. The orangish one was quite hot n spicy – named ‘kaktuki’. Good.
The second one was yellow in color & named kamochi – This was comparatively subtle & had unique flavors. I liked it.
We had ordered for a Tomato cutlet special – It had four cutlets – Pork cutlet, chicken cutlet, tenderloin cutlet & fish cutlet. Though the menu card promised 4 diff cutlets, two of them surprisingly tasted very similar – the pork & the chicken. That was a bit strange. Except for the tenderloin cutlet, initially the taste of the pork & chicken cutlets appeared quite flat – just a meaty taste. The tenderloin cutlet was quite good – it was made with minced meat. It had a intense taste & flavor that I liked. The fish cutlet was good but not great. The fish was not juicy – nor did it taste awesome. However, it was not bad at all.
The exterior cover was somewhere between a British cutlet with crumbs & a KFC kind of batter.
An Oriental flavored sauce was poured on top. For the first few minutes the sauce tastes good but then slowly starts making the cutlets soggy. The Sauce was good but had less salt by indian stansards. I sensed that quite early in the meal & sprinkled a generous amount of salt & that metamorphosed the taste of the cutlet-sauce combination.
KFC fans ( I am not one of them) might just like this cutlet as a Korean twist to a fry / cutlet.
An interesting thing to note was that we were served 2 scoops of sticky rice with the cutlets!!!
Post the cutlets we ordered Spicy seafood ramen. Since the kitchen is ‘see thru, we cud notice that the ramen was made from scratch after we ordered the same. It was served in a bowl & turned out to be a noodle soup. I had a real tough time to click a pic due to the constant ‘smoke’ emitting from the piping hot noodle soup.
I was pleasantly surprised to find lots & lots of seafood in terms of both quantity & variety – prawn, octpus, mussels, oysters, & more. This was unlike in most restaurants of Gurgaon who serve only prawns in a dish on which they write ‘seafood’.
The soup was very thin, flavorful, had a ‘fresh ingredients’ & ‘freshly made’ feel & was very tasty. It was not spicy by Indian standards but spicy by European standards. Ingredients of the soup were thinly sliced carrots, very very thinly sliced onions & chopped herbs. The dish was Piping hot till the end. Overall , the soup was mindblowing good.
The ramen used in the soup was normal – like say Maggi. I feel that with a specialized ramen, the taste cud have been much better.
If u compare the food here to Gung the Palace, the latter is way better. However,Tomato is at half the price & the taste of food here is surely more than 50% as good as Gung.
A bowl of sticky rice was also served with the ramen!!!!
For Desserts, there are two korean dishes available on the menu. However, we were happy with the complimentary dessert of fresh watermelon. Cud not try the ones on the menu – were too full for it.
Overall, Outstanding service & great behavior, some great food & some just OK OK. I guess worth a visit at least, if not many.