Four Season Tofu House in Fremont
Four Season Tofu House is located near the southern edge of Irvington district of downtown Fremont. It is not easy to find if you don’t know where it is, as it sits behind the Carmens 3 BBQ joint on Blacow. From the outside, the dark, tinted windows give a mysterious appearance, but the inside is clean and bright.
When we arrived, there were only two othe tables occupied. After looking over the menu, which included not just tofu but other standard Korean fare such as the Kalbi and Bulgoki and various soup dishes, we ordered the Seafood Soondubu and a Dolsot Bibimbap.
First came an iceburg lettuce salad. The dressing was a sesame based, sweet and tangy sauce. Very good flavor and refreshing on the crisp lettuce. Then came the 7 panchan plates. The tempura (odeng) was very good and fresh. The gak-du-gi was good, as well as a seaweed with daikon slice dish.
Finally came the main dishes. The rice served with the Soontofu was not the regular white rice, but a “purple” colored rice, which seemed to be rice cooked with some sort of dark wild rice. The Soondubu was good and came with the obligatory miniature shrimp in shell. It also came with the egg to crack into the pot, which “Manna”, another Korean place in Fremont, doesn’t come standard with.
My dolsot bibimbop came in the regular hot stoneware. As soon as I started mixing together the slices of carrots, spinach, daikon, ginseng, bean sprouts with the beef and egg, I noticed that it was not very oily. I don’t like my bibimbop too oily. Some of the other places serve their doslot with lots of oil drizzled in to enhance the flavor and keep the rice from sticking to the bowl. But Four Season’s version uses the minimum possible so that the flavor is good without being too greasy – one of the reasons I usually go for the regular bibimbop.
The ginseng slice was also new for me inside the bibimbop, which added a new dimension of “health” to it, making this one of the better dolsot bibimbops that I’ve tried in the south bay.
The owner is very friendly and talks to guests at all the tables. This place seems like a good place for those not familiar with Korean food to get good recommendations from the owner directly, and in English.
The menu has lots of different types of soondubu and bibimbop, as well as some small eats such as the pot sticker, seafood pancake, and even Gan Pong chicken. Though situated in a out of the way spot, this place brings Santa Clara quality Korean a little closer Fremont.