Rising from the ashes of Bagel Boy has eventually sprung Dangun, the second spot for team Tuk Tuck, the popular Korean style restaurant on the edge of central Bristol. Dagun is taking a spin at a fuller spectrum of East Asian food, with influences from Korea, Thailand and Malaysia as well as plenty of interesting “fusion food”.
Sadly the gorgeous mural by Long Fox that was the main feature in Bagel Boy has been scrubbed away and replaced with a painting of their own, but otherwise not much has changed in this old city eatery. The place still lacks a certain amount of atmosphere and could do with some plants, more pictures and homely touches to make it feel a little less unfinished. It wasn’t helped that it was quiet when we came in, but I was interested to see at least 3 people in their own coming in, eating and leaving. Perhaps this is a market that restaurants should be targeting more (another post for another day I think!).
The menu is split into sections, Banchan – or small dishes, Korean tacos, Mains and Sides. With the weather being hot as balls we decided a steaming bowl of noodles or rice would be an awful idea so opted instead for a sort of mix and match with the sides. We opted for three of the tacos, fried chicken, bulgogi beef, a selection of pickles, edamame and kimchi, toppoki (a fat, cylindrical rice cake in a sweet, spicy sauce) and veggie dumplings.
The tacos (chicken, beef shin and squash) I am sorry to say didn’t hit the spot for me. They arrived beautifully presented in a taco holder and were generously filled and sauced with chipotle mayo but the soft taco wrap had gone soggy and therefore not very nice to eat. I didn’t really grasp the Korean part of the tacos at all and the whole thing just fell apart in my hand. A nice idea but not greatly executed.
However, the rest of the meal was far better. The Korean fried chicken had a crispy, crunchy outside and a moist, juicy middle, helped by the fact they use dark meat. Dunked in plenty of that homemade gochujang sauce and a generous smattering of sweet and salty peanuts made it really moreish. The toppoki was a new concept to me and came out looking nothing like I expected. It’s essentially a soup made with the aforementioned gochujang sauce with a few chopped veggie and lumps of glutinous rice cakes. They have a similar texture to gnocchi and I absolutely fell in love with these slippery, chewy morsels, chasing them around with chopsticks then giving up and using a spoon.
The dumplings were incredibly tasty, especially seasoned with the soy sauce on the table and the mouthfuls of bulgogi beef I sneaked from my companions bowl, sat on a pile of the punchy homemade kimchi made for delicious eating.
If you’re looking for a central place to eat a decent affordable meal, Dangun should be on your hitlist. The atmosphere is lacking, the tacos really didn’t work for me but despite that, I will keep going back for fried chicken, dumplings and toppoki until I pop.
Please note this meal was offered free of charge through Socialightapp but it did not affect my opinion.