what's that?!!! kimbap?! what kimbap?
My only experience with kimbap comes from visiting my korean friend's family (or my coworker's lunch box). Every korean mom I know makes her own killer version of kimbap (korean maki roll). Since it is so common and easy to make, restaurants never seem to provide such delicacy in their menu. But don't be afraid, kimbap lovers, I have just found the perfect place for kimbap indulgence. The Party Restaurant (no party @ the restaurant when we went though), located around yonge/finch area (5460 Yonge Street), offers several selections of the delicious kimbap. The restaurant seats about 30 to 40 people. Decor is minimal and wall is plastered with random posters from the early 00's (the cheesier the restaurant is, the better the food is). The menu is mainly Korean and a lot of corrections have been made on it. Try to grab more menus and compare as not all the menus have the most updated items in it.
The restaurant serves about 8 to 9 types of kimbap (regular, tuna, spicy tuna, beef, spicy beef, don katsu, kimchi, etc) and focus a lot more on cold noodles instead of rice. I was there both nights for the past weekend and had tuna kimbap, spicy tuna kimbap (much better than the regular tuna version), kimchi kimbap (can just order regular one and ask for free kimchi instead), omelette fried rice drizzled with ketchup based sauce, baby octopus with spicy sauce, and conch in spicy sauce with cold noodle (the owner had to bring the can of conch over to show us cause we had no idea what "gastropod" is). Spicy tuna kimbap is definitely the highlight of the night.
Service can be a bit slow since there is only 1 waitress. The waitress is super friendly but communication can be quite difficult if you want clarify what's in the food (eg. took us 10 mins to understand what "gastropod" is). Price is very reasonable, $2.99 to $5.99 for kimbap and $6.99 to 13.99 for mains. The menu even has animated kimbap falling off the edge of a table, worth the trip!
I didn't realize it had a name, I went to San on Queen west and found these sort of rolls and really enjoyed them there, I thought they made them up...I'll have to try TPR next time I'm up there...
Not too sure if The Party Restaurant is the one with the Orange sign that I have been to.....but that one was good.
Royal Mandu (647 Bloor Street West: 416-530-6974) also has really great kim bap. We ordered some for a party the other night. The price per roll is: $3.50 for fish cake, (fake) crab, veggie, and $4.00 for bulgogi, chicken, tuna, cheese, ham. Each roll has about 10 or 11 pieces.
The lady there is so nice and friendly - makes the kim bap so fast too!
Great post! I was never much a fan of Kimbap but after reading your review, I have no idea that there were so many varieties. I'll be sure to deviate from our usual choice of Nakwon to try out TPR. BTW, do they carry other traditional Korean dishes besides the Kimbap and cold noodles? (ie: Gamjatang, table cooking, soondobu and the likes?)
Good to know, thanks!
"Kimbap is similar to Japanese Futomaki (lit. large rolls) style maki-zushi sushi rolls, but differs in the way the rice is seasoned and in the fillings. In sushi, relatively large amounts of sweetened rice vinegar is added to the rice and sesame oil is traditionally not used, as it is in Kimbap. Korean kimbap generally does not contain raw fish and is prepared with sauteed beef, sausage, ham, fish cake or crab stick. Unlike Japanese maki, kimbap is usually not served with wasabi soy sauce or sushi ginger, but is sometimes dipped in kimchi brine."