Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Soule Fusion

1714 E Washington St
Petersburg, VA 23803
(804) 733-7725
          Soule Fusion is a Korean Restaurant located in a rather seedy part of Petersburg but just a two minute drive from Fort Lee.  The only time I ever go to Soule Fussion is when I get the rare opportunity to meet Amanda for lunch and a few weeks ago I was able to. The sign for the restaurant is quite tacky, they recently added extra words and the name in Korean which makes it look jumbled and will probably keep more people away than it draws in.  Inside is not much better a bunch of tables with very little to know ambiance and a sever lack of decorative flare. The one interesting feature they had has recently been taken out. It was a wall of famous people who have lived in Petersburg, the most unusual of which was Dee Dee Ramon and Nancy Reagan.  The place is clean but it is very dark on the inside and roughly thrown together so it can appear dirty to some.
I’ve had a few Korean friends who have told me that Soule Fusion is more Japanese than it is Korean and they may be right but it still tastes good to me. This last time Amanda and I went here there were quite a few people there for lunch. They are almost always in the military with a few civilian workers thrown in.  Amanda and I started off with the Man Du, a sort of fried dumpling with ground beef and vegetables inside and served with soy sauce for dipping. They are rather expensive but they tasted good with a nice crunchy outside. We make these at home sometimes and they are quite labor intensive so in can understand the price. Amanda lived in Korea when she was younger so she can sometimes have the taste for real authentic Korean food and when she does she orders Japchae. It is a Korean dish made from sweet potato noodles (called dangmyeon), stir fried in sesame oil with various vegetables (typically thinly sliced carrots, onion, spinach, and mushrooms), sometimes served with beef, and flavored with soy sauce, and sweetened with sugar. It is usually served garnished with sesame seeds and slivers of chili. It may be served either hot or cold. But more often than not we both get the “Bento box”.
 The bento box is a really good deal, it comes with two pieces of sushi, usually just a California roll, tempura fried vegetables, a salad with house dressing, the most amazing rice in the world and your choice of meat and sauce.  We usually get teriyaki chicken but this time I sprung for the big bang chicken. Their teriyaki chicken is always good but I felt like trying something different. The big bang chicken was covered in a creamy orange sauce that was sweet but had a bite at the end. It was awesome; I think that I will stick with that from now on.  The tempura fried vegetables are usually slices of sweet potato and zucchini and it is always delicious, deep fried in very hot oil so that the outside is crispy but the inside in soft and sweet. Other than the meat the real standout of the bento box is the sticky rice. I really can’t explain why it is so great but it really is the best rice I’ve ever eaten.
Don’t be scared off by its outside appearance and actually it’s inside appearance either because Soule Fusion offers very good food and is one of the few Korean restaurants in the area. It may be more Japanese oriented than it is Korean but it does offer quite a few Korean dishes that are cooked well, taste good and are served at a reasonable price. I highly recommend checking out Soul Fusion even if it just for their Bento Box, I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed.

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