by MEGAN BETZ
As its name suggests, Do Asian Fusion Cuisine brings together several cuisines, including Korean, Japanese, and Chinese.
My group, which included our 4-year-old daughter and another couple, kicked off our meal with comfort foods, and we were heavy-handed. For maximum comfort, I suggest trying both the Korean-style fried chicken and korokke (croquette). The combinations of salt and fat, creamy and crunchy textures, and meat and potatoes called to mind meals from my childhood that still feel like a warm hug. The croquettes (with their silky potato interiors speckled with vegetables)and the saucy chicken wings offered familiar flavors with a new twist, priming my preschooler’s American palate to take a chance on a new cuisine.
The most flavorful appetizer was the seafood pancake—a large, shareable fritter of shrimp, squid, and scallions. Rather than a fluffy, American-style pancake where the batter dominates and is sprinkled with a sweet add-in, here the focus is on savory flavors and the seafood is front and center with just enough batter to hold things together.
When sides of kimchi arrived, I ate mine with dolsot bibimbap, a name that signals both the serving style and the dish. The dolsot is the hot stone pot in which the bibimbap, a rice dish with an assortment of stir-fried and fermented vegetables, is served. The stone’s heat gives the rice a bit of a crust, giving the dish its crunch. There are a variety of proteins to select from for your bibimbap. I went with bulgogi. Commonly referred to in the U.S. as Korean barbequed beef, it’s a great choice for those who worry about the spiciness of unfamiliar cuisines.
The winning dish for me, though, was the spicy pork and squid. Of all the dishes we tried, it had the most distinct sauce—rich without being creamy, and a brightness in its heat that I couldn’t get enough of. We also tried the spicy chicken stew. Stews are a traditional component of Korean meals. If you don’t want stew but do love a meal that gives lots of flavorful sauce, try the tantanmen, a pork and noodle dish with a peanut broth.
Do Asian Fusion, 404 E. 4th St., features affordable cuisine that offers a bit of home to international students and residents alike, with a comfortable atmosphere appropriate for office lunches and family dinners, as well as outdoor seating.
Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; and noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday.