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Apr 8, 2007 04:59 PM

Hana Korea

I met friends for lunch yesterday around the AGO. We ended up at a little Korean restaurant in the middle of Baldwin on the south side (down a few steps, look for the orange sign).
It was my first Korean food experience (although I had a good idea of what to expect), so I cannot speak to the authenticity. However, we thoroughly enjoyed our lunch, and for the money, I think you'd be hard pressed to find better value.
For $5.99 (normally, $6.99, but it was on special), I ordered Bi Bim Bip. I was served an appetizer of two mini scallion pancakes and two small pieces of tofu with a drizzle of hot sauce. The main part was a large bowl, with nicely arranged julienned vegetables (carrots, radishes, etc), kimchi, beef in the middle with a soft boiled egg atop the beef. Plus, a side of steamed rice. We were also given a small bowl of extra kimchi and we were served green tea. Both my friends meals were $6.99. One had a fried noodle dish and the other had a large "stone bowl" soup. We all rec'd the same appetizer. The tea seemed to be complimentary.
We all enjoyed the flavours of our meal. It was fresh and the couple that run the place were very friendly. I'd say it's a good chowfind at a price hard to beat.

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  1. Usually Bibimbap is served with the rice under the toppings. But not a big deal, I'll have to try there sometime.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Teep

      Yes, that's how I've had it as well ... all the times I've eaten Korean food. This could be a different version of it.

    2. if you enjoyed your bibimbap served this way, which is different from the ways i've had in the past, you really should get yourself out to a place that will offer the bibimbap in a hot stone bowl. it might cost you an extra dollar or two but it's the best thing ever.

      the stone bowl is retains high heat quite easily and keeps the meal warm, but it also crisps up the edges of the rice and will give a quick sear to your egg yolk on the julienned items and beef. it's just a whole new level.

      you will very easily find this in the korea town area on bloor just around christie.

      3 Replies
      1. re: pinstripeprincess

        I like the dolsot (hot stone) bibimbop at that Korean resto at Queen W. and John (kitty corner to CITY TV), not too far from Baldwin.

        1. re: Teep


          i've had varying results there... but would suggest the korean over the sushi there anyday.

          1. re: pinstripeprincess

            Right, I was thinking Hoshim but that's a different one altogether. I regard it as a Korean resto, and I never have sushi at such places.

      2. just fyi, a truly traditional bibimbap would never have carrots, one reason why my elder relatives never order it in a restaurant...traditionally, ferns, fiddleheads, root vegetables comprise the toppings, along with meat and hot sauce ....i still order it in restos however, the carrots add nice colour and texture imho

        2 Replies
        1. re: berbere

          Ferns and fiddleheads? Ooh, I would love to try that. Have you ever come across a place in Toronto that has the traditional toppings?

          1. re: mickeyj

            I don't know of any restos in t.o. that serve the traditional bibimbap -- I see that some of the korean grocery stores sell bibimbap ingredients (wrapped & ready to go, you supply the rice) near the cash register: these packages sometimes have the ferns (you'll recognize them by the brown or green colour of the ferns which are often dried before rehydrating then sauteeing w/ garlic)

            for photos of the famous Jeonju Bibimbap, see below:



        2. I too enjoy Hana Korea. I haven't been in nearly a year though, thanks for reminding me about this place.