First look at Sobban, Korean/Southern

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Sobban is located on Clairmont in Decatur. Photo courtesy of SpatialDrift.com
Sobban is located on Clairmont in Decatur. Photo courtesy of SpatialDrift.com

I’ve driven by this place once a week for a month and each time I thought, “How can this place be both Korean AND Southern?”

Sobban opened in October in a former pizza place near the Veteran’s Hospital and North Druid Hills.  I’d already committed to meeting a friend there Friday night before I saw the AJC blog post about it, which was favorable. According to the website, the name means “A Small Ornate Wooden Table Used for Humble Meals During the Lee Dynasty.” -The Korean Version of the Everyday Southern Family Table or TV Dinner Tray.” It is a causal setting, done iwith high quality woods. It’s also descriptive to call it a diner. The place is small. About half of the indoor seating is communal, including a central table and a “bar” across the front. Outside is a nice patio, but that wasn’t really an option on this rainy, November evening.

My friend and I showed up shortly before 6pm and snagged the last two open seats at the center table. We joined a friendly, congenial group and I got numerous hints of what to order next time. The Chef de Cuisine and Co-owner Jiyeon Lee must have been back in the kitchen, but we were waited on personally by Co-owner Cody Taylor. They also own Heirloom Market BBQ.

We started with the Kim Chi deviled eggs. Excellent, not too strong in flavor. The garnish of black sesame seeds and popped rice added flair. Over all, presentation was excellent.
We started with the Kim Chi Deviled Eggs. Excellent, not too strong in flavor. The garnish of black sesame seeds and popped rice added flair. Presentation was excellent on all dishes.
My friend ordered the Bibimbop, a traditional Korean mixed ingredients over rice. To appeal to American tastes it is served in a simple bowl (as opposed to a heated stone bowl) and the egg on top was lightly hardboiled instead of raw.
My friend ordered the Bibimbop, a traditional Korean dish with mixed ingredients served over rice. To appeal to American tastes it is served in a simple bowl (as opposed to a heated stone bowl) and the egg on top was lightly hardboiled instead of raw. There’s additional sauce and a side of kim chi.
I chose the chef's favorite, braised cod. It was a delicate, light item and while it was good, I would have preferred something more spicy.
I chose the chef’s favorite, Braised Cod. It was a delicate, light entrée and perfectly cooked. While it was good, I was in the mood for something more spicy and should have ordered accordingly.

Overall, I’d say we were impressed with the place and pleased with the prices. I’m excited to try additional items on the menu, especially the KFC (Korean Fried Chicken Wings) and the Barbeque Spare Ribs. I also need to leave room for the Bingsu Korean Shaved Ice Desserts! Word of warning, the place fills up fast. Come early.

Sobban Southern/Korean Diner

1788 Clairmont Rd.
Decatur, GA 30033
(678) 705-4233

Hours:

Tue-Sat 11:30 am – 2:30 pm

Tue-Thu 5 pm – 9:30 pm

Fri-Sat 5 pm – 10:30 pm

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Beth

I'm a professional vagabond. I quit my cubical job in January 2014. Since then, I've hiked the Appalachian Trail, The Camino, and taught English in Vietnam, Turkey, Russia, Spain and Mexico. I'm exploring the world.

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