The best of both worlds

On a romantic Valentine’s night out, LizzDrew decided to do what any ordinary couple would do – go out to dinner.

However, both writers forgot that every other couple would be doing the same and ignorantly decided to omit a call for reservations.

After checking out other establishments (including a trip to LizzDrew’s column alumni McCabe’s) and wondering what the next play was, we finally decided to check out Uptown Waterloo’s Daldongnae; a fabulous little spot on the corner of King and Princess Street East.

Photo by: Sadiya Teeple

For anyone like Lizzie, who absolutely adores Korean food, Daldongnae is a KBBQ joint that is fun for friends, family, or a night out with your co-writer.

Regardless of the busy night, we managed to secure a spot in line with a 20-30 minute wait time (we have to give props to the quick working staff).

As we sat down, the first thing we noticed was the unique and heavily detailed decor of the restaurant, perfectly imitating a coastal fish market.

Aesthetics aside, we jumped in with our drinks: Lizzie, the sophisticated one, got the tried-and-true Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon whereas Andrew chose the Blueberry Soju.

It’s important to note that our moderate alcohol consumption of one drink did warrant many staff check-ins – a testament to both the caring nature of the servers, but also a pushy demeanor that made us feel as though we were doing something wrong.

For the main course, we got to choose from a plethora of different high-quality pork and beef options. After conferencing with our server, we found that the beef boneless short rib and the beef chuck steak were the best choices. The meat tasted fresh and cooked well; even under novice supervision.

The complimentary fresh side dishes that came with the meal were in abundance, including pumpkin salad, corn cheese, and soybean paste stew. Lizzie ascended to heaven with each bite and Andrew appreciated many of the sides, specifically enjoying the stew.

Unfortunately, he found the pumpkin salad’s cold texture a little off-putting. Lizzie particularly enjoyed the acorn jelly with soy sauce and attempted many times to push Andrew to get past the jelly consistency; she was unsuccessful after the first bite.

In addition to the main sides, we were given a bed of lettuce to use as a vehicle for the meat which also served to increase our veggie intake. The generous inclusion of garlic and a big ring of cooked egg (Andrew’s sworn enemy) also aided in the flavor diversity of every bite. Overall, it was a great and hardy meal sure to send you home rolling out the door.

The true surprise of the meal was the cheap price point. Andrew was a little worried about the bill after the menagerie of food that had been consumed; however, the entire meal came out to be shy of $90, crazy given that the drinks themselves were upwards of $30.

The value that you’ll get for the cornucopia of food described above is quite admirable and we can’t recommend this place enough – especially if you’re going with a big group and looking for a relatively cheap meal to split the cost of.

Overall Ratings:

Ambiance: 10 out of 10

Drinks: 9 out of 10

Food: 10 out of 10

Affordability: 8.5 out of 10

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