HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >

Discussion

Help! Best Korean resto at Yonge and Finch for lunch tomorrow?

I'm looking for suggestions for the best Korean restaurant up at yonge and finch. i'll be in the area on Tuesday for lunch.
thanks in advance!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I asked this question a couple of years ago, and at the time, I went with Sariwon for the combination of quality and atmosphere (nicer interior, slightly better service).

    -----
    Sariwon
    7388 Yonge St, Vaughan, ON L4J, CA

    1. I ate at a lot of restaurants at that intersection and I'll say Lim Ga Ne, my spelling might be a bit off but the sign is yellow and there's a face on it and it's next to a place called charcoal and salt.

      Anyways I won't suggest the table cooking because it's very expensive and I didn't think the quality matched the price.

      But I like their seafood (their only kind) soon dobu and prefer it to that place everyone creams themselves over. Their gamjatang is also nice and I really like their dumpling rice cake soup. Basically I find that a lot of Korean restaurants, their soups just taste like everyone else, like I can't even differentiate between the restaurants but for this place their soups actually taste different.

      Oh yea and they have those big hot pots too but that might be too much for lunch.

      1 Reply
      1. re: AngelSanctuary

        "The place that everyone creams themselves over" -- hahaha classic. They should put that slogan on their sign at the downtown location since there's not a word of english on it now.

      2. My fav place is Mot Na Son, a couple blocks south of Finch (just north of Churchill).

        It's a bit pricier than other places in the area, but you can see the love that goes into the food.

        -----
        Mot Na Son Restaurant
        5374 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M2N5R5, CA

        4 Replies
        1. re: trane

          What do you recommend the most at Mot Na Son, trane?

          -----
          Mot Na Son Restaurant
          5374 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M2N5R5, CA

          1. re: phoenikia

            The traditional fermented soybean soup is good. I sometimes get that in a combo with the spicy chicken, which is flattened chicken served on a sizzling skillet with sauce drizzled on top.

            1. re: trane

              Thanks trane!

              We tried Mot Na Son today...great place for lunch near Yonge & Churchill.

              We ordered fried dumplings to share, bi bim bap & a hot & spicy pollock and cod soup that the owner recommended. The banchan included some spicy sesame sprouts, fish cake strips, nappa kimchi and garlic zucchini.

              Hearty portions. Liked everything we ordered, and will be back, although I'll order less next time because I really needed a nap when I left! Service was very friendly.

              -----
              Mot Na Son Restaurant
              5374 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M2N5R5, CA

          2. re: trane

            Agreed, it's a favourite of my friend and though I've only been once myself the food was really good... the only place where I like their kim chi

          3. This is a little late for your lunch, but if you find yourself in the area again I have two recommendations to add to this list!

            Seoul House - this is actually a bit further up at a plaza along Steeles, west of Yonge. They have grills at every table for table-cooking but I didn't try that. Their dol soht bibimbap is really good. standard toppings but they put it on the 'purple' rice. I'm most picky about having a nice golden rice crust along the bowl and it was perfect here, came off easily from the bottom and wasn't drenched in oil. Service was good, banchan interesting and little complimentary cup of dessert tea was nice.

            Lim Ga Ne - I might have to check the name of this place again but it's just S of the gas station on finch and yonge. Look for the orange sign. Seems pretty traditional, sitting on the ground brought me back to my English teaching days in Korea. They have goat stew (yeomsotang) and blood sausage (soondae),'though if you order the soondae, it will come with some other piggy parts that include lung.

            -----
            Seoul House
            3220 Dufferin St., Toronto, ON , CA

            2 Replies
            1. re: sumashi

              Coincidentally I was in that area in early evening (around 6:00pm) so gave Lim Ga Ne a try after the recommendation above (by Angel Sanctuary and subsequently sumashi). Indeed that IS the correct name - it's not on the overhead sign, but is spelled out on the entrance door.

              Hard to find anything for a solo diner in the evening, as portions are huge (enough left over for a second meal), but the food is excellent and service friendly. By 7:00 the place was packed - mostly foursomes. Both regular and 'floor' tables exist. Obviously very popular, and I wasn't made to feel uncomfortable as the only Caucasian in the place. And I learned a whole deal about Korean Game Shows too!

              1. re: estufarian

                oops I didn't realize Angel Sanctuary had already recommended this place! at least we mentioned completely different dishes :) And yes the portions are filling with the banchan to back it up. I was also curious to try their haemul pajeon (seafood pancake) but after getting their banchan mini pancake I passed on it since it looked too doughy and not crispy enough. Still looking for the best pajeon in town.

            2. I think you should head to Yonge/Steeles and give the new Song Cook a try. It is a very large restaurant and a very nicely designed restaurant, unlike any other Korean restaurant in Toronto. Very different from all the small hole in the wall korean places littered throughout toronto. Their jajiangmyun is the best in the city.

              It is hard to find, just go to the moores on the North West corner of Yonge/Steeles and go behind it. Its close to the new Galleria at yonge/steeles.

              I got the tip from redflagdeals forum, by a poster named Ipoon who is very knowledgeable about korean food, gave a lot of tips about korean food that I was unaware of. I would recommend to all chowhounders.

              1. Out of the restaurants mentioned in this thread:
                Sariwon
                Lim Na Ge
                Mot Na Son
                Seoul House
                or
                Song Cook,
                would you recommend any of them for a better than average hwe dup bap?

                In another thread, Seoul House is mentioned for its hwe dup bap- is the food quality pretty much the same at the Dufferin St and Steeles Ave locations?

                -----
                Sariwon
                7388 Yonge St, Vaughan, ON L4J, CA

                Mot Na Son Restaurant
                5374 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M2N5R5, CA

                7 Replies
                1. re: phoenikia

                  I am pretty sure Lim Ga Ne doesn't have hwe dup bap so you can scratch that off your list :)

                    1. re: phoenikia

                      Phoenikia, it is my understanding that only Korean restaurants that have sushi bars will be equipped to make hwe dup bap. So, Seoul House will definitely have one. I also enjoy Samjung's version (Leslie and York Mills), for the interesting vegetable variety. Of the other restaurants you listed, I'm only personally familiar with Sariwon, which definitely did not have it on the menu.

                      -----
                      Sariwon
                      7388 Yonge St, Vaughan, ON L4J, CA

                  1. re: phoenikia

                    I like the Hae Dup Bap at Sushi Bong. And I sometimes get it at the Ichiban at empress walk.

                    To be honest, I've never really found much of a difference from one place to the next. Although at Sushi Bong they have sesame seeds in their Hae Dup Bap sauce and I appreciate that.

                    1. re: trane

                      Oh I do think they differ from one place to the next. Some places only give the equivalent to an iceberg lettuce-based salad as the vegetable component. Others offer thin shreds of raw daikon, beet, carrot, nori, even hot korean green peppers (Il Bun Ji used to include them). The hwe dup bap sauce can be quite different according to the house recipe, from spicy-sweet to sweet-salty, to heavy on the sesame seeds. I've seen unusual items, such as Japanese pear slices, shredded cabbage (green and purple), masago (smelt roe) and/or tobiko, tamago, kani, oshinko, squid, even kampyo. All these items can really affect flavour and texture. Most places use standard fish: tuna, salmon, snapper or fluke. I've had at least one that added scallop, a few that had chewy pieces of squid which I didn't love, but I understand is a texture Koreans seem to enjoy. I love a good hwe dup bap, but I've had plenty of lame and substandard ones, as well as some wacky ones that didn't quite do it for me.

                      I would love to hear of Korean restaurants that offer attractive bowls of colourful veg, topped with the standard 3 types of fish, the ubiquitous tamago and kani, some nori shreds, plus a sauce with a good kick of heat to go with the sweetness and sesame. What would knock it out of the ballpark for me would be a whole grain rice, but nicely cooked short grain white is perfectly fine too, as long as there's some chew to it. Oh, and big points if the miso soup isn't from a packet, lukewarm and watery. Bigger points for yummy banchan and spicy kimchi.

                      I'd love to have more options to add to my current roster, which includes: Samjung, Seoul House and Il Bun Ji. The one at the tiny Ichiban at Church and Wellington is small and pretty tame. Believe it or not, there is a sushi place in Windsor called California Sushi that is Korean owned and has a handful of Korean items on the menu. While not the very best version I've ever had, it's pretty darn tasty. I won't bother describing the worst one I ever had, also in Windsor, except to say that the only fish in it was salmon, which was delivered atop the hwe dup bap in a solid frozen block. I kid you not.

                      1. re: 1sweetpea

                        Thanks trane & 1sweetpea.

                        For Korean-owned sushi bars in the area, I like the sushi at Ichiban Fish House on Spring Garden more than the sushi at Ichiban in Empress Walk. I'm wondering what Ichiban Fish House's hwe dup bap might be like, so I might give it a try and report back. Haven't tried anything at Sushi Bong. By the way, 1sweetpea, Ichiban Fish House's menu mentions they will use brown rice in their dishes for $1 extra. http://ichibanspringgarden.com/3.html

                        -----
                        Ichiban Fish House
                        15 Spring Garden Ave, Toronto, ON M2N3G1, CA

                        1. re: phoenikia

                          The Ichiban at Empress Walk has brown rice now too. Might be $2 or something like that.

                          -----
                          Ichiban Restaurant
                          668 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G1L2, CA