I’m always on the hunt for great Asian restaurants, perhaps because it’s a cuisine I don’t often dabble in with my own cooking. A Korean eatery, Providence’s Mokban had been on my radar for a short while, as it seemed relatively high-quality and casual-chic (two things that appeal to me). While it didn’t knock my socks off, the meal was still quite tasty and offered great value for the price.
As an appetizer, we opted for a 1/2 order each of steamed shrimp and vegetable dumplings. Having been spoiled by righteous dumplings in Boston’s Chinatown, these ones didn’t quite impress me as much. Nevertheless, the freshness of the veggies and shrimp was evident, as was the case with likely-homemade dough. While very good, they just needed a little more oomph.
I was pleasantly surprised by how good my main dish was. Named crabby soybean stew, this dish was exactly that – a milky seafood and soy broth loaded with fresh fish. The crab was definitely the star of the show here; ultra tender and remnant of the ocean. The clams and mussels enhanced the sea-salty bite of this soup.
The fermented soybean paste used in the broth added a distinct silky mouthfeel and brought out the flavor of the fish rather than competing with it. My only complaint about this soup was that it lacked some sort of spice or zing that would’ve taken it over the edge.
I also would have swapped the purple rice for another carb, as it was too starchy/earthy for the delicate broth. The best of the four included side dishes was by far the corkscrew pasta sautéed in soybean paste, which created a finished product comparable to mac & cheese (NOM).
- Diverse array of asian dishes to choose from
- Fresh ingredients and generous portions for fair prices
- Food is tasty, but not all that memorable