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Korean restaurants

j
j2brady Jul 17, 2006 06:03 PM

Does anyone know any good Korean restaurants in Toronto? Preferably not Korean barbeque. Thanks!

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  1. b
    berbere Jul 17, 2006 08:41 PM

    altho there are a plethora of places in old koreatown (christie/bloor) and new koreatown (yonge/sheppard/finch), I prefer one on weston rd & eglinton (or lawrence) -- i don't know the name but it's across the street from the First Class Delites (the caribbean place they re-made on the tv show). This is the best korean place hands down in the city, the most authentic, and the only place that my korean friends and family members cater/order from and eat at as the condiments are fresh, without msg i can't say enuf about this place....very reasonable prices for the portions and quality

    4 Replies
    1. re: berbere
      g
      ghetto_scarlem Jan 9, 2007 06:00 PM

      Shilla Dynasty - Family Restaurant

      1161 Weston Road
      Toronto Ontario M6M 4P5
      (416) 247-2007

      Weston Road & Eglinton (Between Jane & Keele)

      We cater from there too. Very good - but a little out of the way.

      1. re: ghetto_scarlem
        h
        hanc Jan 17, 2007 11:42 PM

        Worst Korean food I've ever had. We had my grandmother's 90th birthday party there. Most of the food was cold, lack of staff (we had to clear our own table)and serve our own dessert. I watched the show "I do, Let's eat", the same terrible food was served. I'd be embarrassed to have a wedding in that place. Needless to say, I'd never go back.

        1. re: hanc
          g
          ghetto_scarlem Jan 18, 2007 02:17 AM

          That's quite a harsh review. I guess you had a bad experience.

          I will stick with my opinion that it is a good restaurant, with authentic tasting food, especially the banchan (side dishes). The owners are from jeolla-do, SW part of Korea - where the people really take pride in their food preparation & presentation.

          Hopefully others will be willing to give Shilla Restaurant a try.

          1. re: ghetto_scarlem
            b
            berbere Jan 18, 2007 03:04 PM

            I too would stand by my opinion of Shilla. But as ghetto scarlem pointed out, and I should have noted earlier, Korean cuisine varies from region to region and being from the south myself, Shilla's food appeals to me. I have seen the Shilla owners really take pride in their food and have had many a great experience with their catered food -- it was always catered off premises. On the other hand, I have had experiences as hanc did at other places like Chung Ki Wah (now closed) which were great for restaurant dining but inconsistent at catered functions....

            anyways, just wanted to say for the benefit of the non-koreans out there that one's regional background is a pretty significant factor that influences people's preferences for certain korean restos over others... moreover, I find that I am more comforted by the traditional spreads presented by places like Shilla, Seoul House, Korea House, rather than many of the newer 'specialty' houses that specialize in a few dishes or 'street food' dishes like Owl, and Joons. ...then again, soon to fu always hits the spot...

    2. c
      Cinderella Jan 11, 2007 10:37 PM

      I think Shilla Dynasty was profiled on the show "I Do, Let's Eat", having catered the wedding on the show.

      Yonge and Finch area definitely has a few Korean restaurant gems. At Yonge and Sheppard (across from the Sheppard Centre), there's a great restaurant called Joon's (orange sign). Their popular dishes are the ones where they cook an assortment of chicken, seafood, vegetables (depending on the order you pick) in a big wok/grill at your table. It is so good and so cheap. Usually works out to about $12-15 a peson, taxes and tips included. Then if you go north to Yonge and Finch there's the Owl of Minerva which has a great pork neck bone soup for $6. Nothing better on a cold, winter day. And then at Yonge and Cummer, on the east side of Yonge, I don't know what it's called but it's next to Napoli Mediterranean Restaurant, there's a good Korean run restaurant with lots of menu options. And for really authentic to the point where no one there speaks English at all, on the west side of Yonge at Cummer there's a plaza with a Korean restaurant.

      Happy eating!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Cinderella
        Delish Jan 12, 2007 05:47 PM

        As far as I know, both the Owl of Minerva and Joon's original locations are in Koreatown on Bloor. Joon's is closer to Bloor, on the south side of the street somewhat underground. Owl of Minerva is on the north side of Bloor, closer to Clinton up some steps.

        1. re: Cinderella
          g
          ghetto_scarlem Jan 16, 2007 12:49 PM

          Chowon is the restaurant at Yonge & Cummer (on the west side, Cummer turns into Drewry Ave). They have the best Kkam Poong Gi in town (spicy chicken dish) - it's very good when it just comes out. Crispy and hot. A large plate is $12.99 (I think), and great for sharing with friends.

          Sometimes, service is slow - and Korean is their first language, so communication could be an issue for some servers. However, I still recommend giving Chowon a try.

          Chowon Korean Restaurant
          17 Drewry Ave.
          North York ON M2M 1C9
          (416) 250-7422

        2. e
          ersatz Jan 12, 2007 05:42 PM

          Bloor & Christie area is mostly for "fast food" type dishes like soon-tofu-chigae, gam-ja-tang (pork bone soup) or ddukbokgi. Ka-Chi is pretty good for gam-ja-tang. They have several locations, including one on Bloor near Clinton.

          Yonge & Finch and Yonge & Steeles has fast food joints as well as normal sit-down type restaurants.

          Seoul House on Steeles west of Yonge (at the Swiss Chalet plaza) is pretty good.

          1. l
            lovemyfood Jan 14, 2007 12:54 AM

            One of my favorite korean restaurants is Seoul Restaurant at 621 bloor st w, close to palmerston. If your looking for a hearty meal my favorite is #35 which is the chicken soup with wheat flakes. The mother cooks in the kitchen and her 2 sons are the servers. $6 tax included with korean pan chan, can't go wrong.

            1. c
              Cinderella Jan 14, 2007 03:32 PM

              Yes, Owl of Minerva and Joon's are definitely at Yonge and Sheppard/Finch, as both are within walking distance from where I live.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Cinderella
                j
                jamie Jan 16, 2007 12:51 AM

                How is the food at Owl of Minerva on Yonge? I tried their "fast food" stall at the Steeles/Middlefield T&T and was underwhelmed - the "meat" used for their bibimbab was close to sawdust.

                1. re: jamie
                  g
                  ghetto_scarlem Jan 16, 2007 12:44 PM

                  Owl at Yonge is good. You have to get the Pork Bone soup (Gamja Tang), and not the bibimbap. Pork Bone soup is their specialty.

              2. a
                Apple Jan 14, 2007 09:12 PM

                I am always a big fan of SAN on Queen St W - small menu but always quite good. Great music and atmosphere....

                I haven't been there in four months... but I am sure it is still around.

                1. c
                  Cinderella Jan 16, 2007 04:26 PM

                  I agree with ghetto scarlem. It's all about their pork neck bone soup and it's a really good deal for $6.

                  1. l
                    LovesToEat Jan 16, 2007 05:19 PM

                    For 'fast food' Korean, I like Yummy BBQ at Dundas West/Bloor. The food is quick and always satisfying.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: LovesToEat
                      orangewasabi Jan 16, 2007 10:34 PM

                      Are there multipe Yummy locations with the same owner? There's a Yummy BBQ on Yonge, between Wellesey & College too

                      I like the food there too

                    2. e
                      eco987 Jan 16, 2007 05:27 PM

                      I like Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu. They only have 8 items on their menu: soft tofu pots (soon tofu), rock pot mixed rice (dolsot bibimbap), and stir-fried beef. But, since it's such a specialty restaurant, the food is done really well. Also, it's the only place that I, as a non-Korean, ever got refills for my side dishes.

                      I've also been to Chowon Korean Restaurant a couple of times, the chicken dish is good, but the rock pot mixed rice and the black bean noodle (ja jurng mein) is terrible.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: eco987
                        h
                        hanc Jan 21, 2007 01:09 PM

                        I agree with eco987. The food at Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu is good. I think the best deal for the money. Aesthetically, not the nicest place but what do you expect for a meal that cost less than $10 including tip, per person. The dolsot bibim bap is well worth the trip. It actually has real meat. I find it perplexing that alot of Korean establishments substitute ground beef and lettuce for this dish. Shame on them.

                      2. g
                        ghetto_scarlem Jan 16, 2007 05:59 PM

                        Chowon Korean Restaurant: I wouldn't say that the Black Bean Noodle is terrible (JJa Jang Myun), but it is inconsistent. Some days are OK, some days not as good.

                        Can't say anything about the dolsot bibimbap, since I never get that....I can eat that at home (granted, it's not in a stone bowl, but I don't really care about the sizzling noises).

                        Stick with the Kkam Poong Gi (spicy chicken) dish, and get other things if you like. Trust me. Try it out, and post your thoughts.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ghetto_scarlem
                          e
                          eco987 Jan 16, 2007 10:32 PM

                          I envy you people that can get bibimbap at home...

                        2. k
                          Kasia Jan 16, 2007 10:55 PM

                          for a higher end option, try seoul city on queen west. i believe their website is now operational, so you can get a sense of the food and prices. it's quite a lovely restaurant that serves very tasty food. i've been 3 times so far, and each time there has been some change to the menu - i thing it gets expanded as the chef gets comfortable with each dish. on my last visit, the deserts were house-made rather than brought in (all standards: we tried the creme brulee 3 ways and molten chocolate - all well executed, although out of the 3, i liked the traditional vanilla creme brulee the most).

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Kasia
                            j
                            j6p Jan 18, 2007 12:08 AM

                            i know where that is
                            I remember seeing a sign outside one night saying the special was miso black cod. is that korean? molten chocolate cake and vanilla creme brulee also? is this a fusion place?

                          2. c
                            cutehinano Jan 18, 2007 12:06 AM

                            When I went to Seoul City I don't think their rice bowls were served in hot stone bowls. Have they changed this? Are the bowls like the ones they use for dolsut bibimbaps? If so, I definitely want to try the paella. When I was there I had the black cod and it was very delicious. The crab cakes and dumplings were great too.

                            1. g
                              ghetto_scarlem Jan 18, 2007 03:23 AM

                              I checked out the Seoul City website today, and it looks like a nice restaurant. It appears to cater towards non-Koreans, sort of like Ninth Gate (on Front St.). I haven't been to either restaurant.

                              My reluctance to give these 2 places a try might have to do with the cost. I think that I'd rather go to a traditional Korean place at Bloor & Christie or Yonge & Finch for $6 including tax. But then again, I don't care that much about ambiance and great service. Quality/taste of food & value for your money are more important to me.

                              But I'd like to hear more reviews about Seoul City on this thread.

                              www.seoulcityrestaurant.com

                              Seoul City Restaurant
                              Korean, Fusion, Asian

                              785 Queen St. West
                              Toronto, ON, M6J 1G1
                              (416) 214-7725

                              http://www.dine.to/seoulcity

                              Cost: $$$ (3 dollar signs out of 4) = Pricy ($20-$35
                              )An average ENTREE not including gratuity and taxes.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: ghetto_scarlem
                                k
                                Kasia Jan 18, 2007 03:33 PM

                                I'm not sure that the restaurant caters entirely to non-Koreans but more so people who are looking for a new option for a nice evening dinner. I equate Seoul City to 93 Harbord in style of food (using traditional ingredients and some traditional dishes and making something new with them, Korean and Palestinian/Middle East respectively). While the prices are much higher than at most traditional restaurants, they are quite similar to other restaurants of this type (I spent more at nearby Coca and was much less satisfied both in terms of the amount of food and in terms of evenness of the quality of dishes).

                                In terms of prices in general, I often wonder why so many people are willing to pay $20-30 per entree in Frenchor Italian based restaurants (which are rarely called 'ethnic') but are not willing to pay the same at a similarly appointed so called 'ethnic' restaurants? In other words, why do so many of us assume that certain types of food by definition should be cheap? I ask because I do worry about the viability of Seoul City which is often less busy than the equivalent restos on the strip (I live in the area) even though arguably the food is equal or better.

                                1. re: Kasia
                                  g
                                  ghetto_scarlem Jan 18, 2007 04:12 PM

                                  That is a fair point. I guess I am just cheap, and not willing to spend money on any occasion. HAHA.

                                  I hope Seoul City does well, since it would be great to have a "nice" alternative to the regular "home-style" Korean restaurants. Seoul City looks really nice and it appears as if the chef wants to have unique dishes.

                                  People....go check it out. And convince me that I should go too.

                              2. superchick Jan 19, 2007 11:11 PM

                                Gumi @ lawrence and pharmacy - they have japn on the menu too but the korean stuff is what you go for.

                                Ka-chi in Dundas/Spadina town in probably my favourite quick eatery. The pork bone soup and dolsot bimbimbap are great quality. I'd rather work my way over here than go up the street to Yummy BBQ. However, the egg-fried beef @ Yummy is very tasty.

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