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all you can eat korean bbq (excluding korean grill)

Anyone know any AYCE korean bbq place that is run by koreans? There used to be one around Finch/Yonge, but i think the location must be cursed. I am not interested in Korean Grill nor Walker's Village up in Richmond Hill. The food at these places are always too sweet and lacking garlic and chilli. Please enlighten me, all you chowhounds out there! I BEG U!!!!

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  1. there's quite a few around yonge and finch (i think most are korean run). i personally like hanwoori (one block south of finch on the east side) and nakwon (on the south west corner). hanwoori has an ayce with mixed types of 'meats' (ie, pork, chicken, ribs, calamari etc...). Nakwon only has specific bbq dishes (ie: just ribs, or just pork or just chicken etc...) but i like the sides at nakwon better.

    i think most of the korean places along christie and bloor are also korean run.

    check them out and let us know your faves too. i'm always looking for new places to frequent.

    7 Replies
      1. re: Teep

        from my experience, most of these places all have an ayce option on the menu. it's more expensive than 'korean grill'-type places where ayce is the standard choice for 90% of the people going there, but i believe much tastier.
        first, they don't try to fill you up with rice and soup. the side dishes are more important (panchan sp?) and there's more variety of these than at korean grill. also, you get lettuce leaves to use to wrap your meat and eat with your sides.
        since trying these types of korean ayce, i have never gone back to korean grill or any of those types of ayce grills.

        1. re: T.O.chowfan

          My friend has been to Hanwoori but she said she had to order by portion. Is the AYCE option written on the menu? or do we have to ask the owner? How much more expensive is it usually?

          1. re: oohlala

            yes, there is definitely an ayce option (i think 17.99 per person?) i've taken all my friends who have tried the korean grill style ayce menus to show them the difference and everyone has agreed that its much better. in fact, i think we've got some newcomers looking to go this weekend.

            you can order by portion as well, but the ayce is definitely printed in the menu (in the back section).

            1. re: T.O.chowfan

              How is the grill set up? one thing good about Grill Time etc. is that there is ventilation inside the grill, so the fumes are sucked down and away and cooking smells are minimized. If it's just a portable grill plunked down at the table, with a vent in the ceiling, then I would have to think twice about going.

              1. re: Teep

                You'll definitely smell like a piece of kalbi end of the night at Hanwoori. Just pick something in your dirty laundry basket and if u're considering bringing your date there, DON'T!

                1. re: oohlala

                  My bf and i went as recent as last week (dec 7th) and Hanyoori did not have any AYCE korean BBQ so we ended up ordering BBQ for 2 for $34.99. The portion wasnt really that much and it was kinda expensive considering it was not AYCE. Do they only have AYCE on weekends?

    1. I find that Grill Time on Yonge and College has much better food than Korean Grill. The different ingredients are mirinated in different ways, not like in Korean grill where all the meats basically taste the same.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ctl98

        I agree that Grill Time is a step up from the Korean Grill House, which seems to be expanding at a Spring Rolls-type rate.

        However, Grill Time still lacks the authenticity that one would find in the Bloor & Christie area. Still, it's the best 'semi-authentic' AYCE option downtown.

      2. I have been to Seoul Garden, near Kennedy & Steeles (just outside Pacific Mall). It's run by Koreans, and they have AYCE. I haven't been for a few months, but each time that I have gone, it's been good. They have regular menu items, along with AYCE.

        I think dinner is around $17.99 M - R, and $19.99 Fri, Sat, Sun.

        Seoul Garden Korean Restaurant
        4350 Steeles Avenue East
        Markham, ON L3R 9V4
        (905) 305-0699

        1. 95% of Korean owned establishments will not serve ayce, that is purely a trend created by chinese businesses. I've heard a plethora of horror stories at these places, to be honest, I've been to a couple in my lifetime. However, oce you try proper bulgogi w/ lettuce wraps over a charcoal grill, it would be hard to step foot in another ayce joint. Quality over quantity, I suggest you give these a try....

          Sejong - 658 Bloor st (charcoal)

          Seoul House - 3220 Dufferin st (charcoal)

          Sariwon - 7388 Yonge st (gas, excellent banchan, probably the most date friendly of Korean restaurants)

          Stinking is honestly part of the yakiniku experience. Best to eat something else (chapchai, yook hwe) if you're trying to impress a SO.

          1. I totally agree with ASER: "95% of Korean owned establishments will not serve ayce, that is purely a trend created by chinese businesses."

            Another good place is:

            Seoul Kwan Korean Restaurant
            180 Steeles Ave. West (near Yonge)
            Thornhill ONT, M2M 3Y6
            (905) 709-1593

            Do not go to the Grill House on Queen West or Walker Hill in Richmond Hill if you want any decent Korean food. Go there if you want a lot of barely-acceptable tasting meat. Offering AYCE with good meat is just not economically viable.