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Statesman Critic Finds Watered-Down Korean Food at East Austin Restaurant Oseyo

Matthew Odam called the bulgogi “a meaty version of Cinnamon Toast Crunch”

Kalbi (marinated beef short rib) at Oseyo
Kalbi (marinated beef short rib) at Oseyo
Courtney Pierce/EATX
Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

Statesman critic Matthew Odam reviewed East Austin Korean restaurant Oseyo this week, and ultimately found it stylish but disappointing. He notes that, like Thai restaurant Sway and Vietnamese Elizabeth Street Cafe, Oseyo is trendy but, unlike those two, was founded by “someone with roots in the culture and cuisine celebrated by the restaurant.”

Odam called the Korean menu straightforward, but noted that “most of the dishes at Oseyo lack the verve, depth and deeply memorized execution” of smaller restaurants. He had no success with appetizers, as an eggy pajeon was served blackened and “acrid” rather than crispy, the pan-fried gun mandu (dumplings) were “trapped inside a gummy shell,” and the jin mandu (steamed dumplings) had “an oily slick.”

Oseyo’s entrees did not fare better; Odam described the bulgogi as “a meaty version of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.” He was most disappointed by the kimchi jjigae:

It tasted like watered down Campbell’s tomato soup ($13). There was none of the dish’s trademark heat from chili flakes; the kimchi (fermented cabbage) was muted; the pork belly insinuated none of its fat into the broth; and there wasn’t the layer of flavor from perilla leaves that you sometimes find in the stew.

Odam did find success with the grilled mushrooms and the dolsot bibimbap, which he saw as a “solid introduction to Korean food.” Overall, he rated the restaurant a six out of ten.


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