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Suggestions for a korean testaurant to try for first timers

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Looking for a Korean restaurant to try ... we are first timers and the place should be TTC accessible (don't have a car). Also it would be nice if you can tell us about the things to try there. We ( me and my husband) don't eat beef and pork, chicken and seafod is ok.

Thanks in advance

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  1. I like Korean Village on Bloor and Euclid. Take the subway to Christie station, turn left out of the station so you are walking south on Christie. Turn left again at the first left (Bloor) so you are walking east and walk about three blocks.

    Korean food has a lot of beef, pork and seafood, but not a lot of chicken. Try the pajeon (pancake) appetizer; it comes with vegetables and seafood. You will also get free "appetizer" side dishes with your meal, such as kimchi (fermented cabbage), bean sprouts, seaweed salad, and potatoes.

    For your mains, I'd recommend the Chicken Bulgogi (the chicken version of the Korean beef barbecue dish), Jjang Pong (spelling may not be the same as the menu, this is a so-called Chinese dish--but it's really Korean--a spicy stew made with noodles and seafood, usually made in a seafood broth), Soon Tofu Jigae (spicy hot pot stew of soft tofu, vegetables and seafood, usually made in a seafood broth, you may want to ask), or Dolsot Bibimbap (hot pot rice dish with vegetables; you can ask for them to omit the beef). The Chicken Bulgogi and Soon Tofu Jigae will come with a bowl of rice as well.

    Try searching for threads regarding Korean food on this board and you'll find a lot more recommendations.

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    Korean Village
    628 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G1K7, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: looosia

      I second Korean Village. We went to this restaurant for a friend's birthday and were treated by the owners' son with generous hospitality and warmth. None of us were very experienced with Korean food, and our host was more than willing to answer questions and make recommendations. Most of us had hot stone bowl bibimbap, and a few had noodles, that were were told were house-made by mom and grandma. We were also brought a warm noodle salad and icecream dumplings (left over from what mom had made to impress some TIFF execs) -- on the house. The beef was tender and flavourful and portions were large. Perhaps Korean Village is more expensive than other restaurants in the area, but I don't doubt that you get what you pay for!

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      Korean Village
      628 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G1K7, CA

    2. There are two good basic Korean joints on the same block of Bloor St. W., just a block east of the Christie subway stop. The simplest is Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu, on a corner at 69l Bloor St. W., with maybe a half dozen items on the menu, all priced at $8 (tax included), and also including tea and several banchan, which are small cold dishes that supplement your main dish order. Most of the mains are the substantial soups/stews featured on many Korean menus, and one - my favorite - is the vegetable soon tofu. Mighty tasty. Alert staff, English spoken. Be sure to mention what level of spice you're comfortable with. And just a few doors east of that place is the relatively new Tofu Village, on the same side of the street, with a somewhat more extensive menu, but also priced modestly. I've been giving Tofu Village more of a workout lately - it also does a good vegetable soon tofu, and has a number of other non-meat items - but for quality there's little to choose between the two. You'll get out of either one for $20-$25 a couple, all in. There may be some better restos on that strip of Koreatown, but both these places are manageable spots for rookies to start their Korean nosh adventures. Don't be shy about asking for advice from either staff or, even better, the mainly Korean student clientele at the next table, who know good value when they encounter it.

      1. My favourite place on the Koreatown strip is Tofu Village - House of Soon Tofu. You can get soon tofu with chicken or seafood. It comes with rice in a clay bowl and a raw egg to drop into your sizzling dish! The side dishes are better quality than on the rest of the strip, too.

        1. You can also try Ka Chi at Bloor and Bathurst. Is it the best Korean restaurant, no, but it is decent, the menu is fairly varied, and it is very accessible to English speakers. I'd recommend getting the seafood pancake and the fried squid w/ kimchi.

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          Ka Chi
          612 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G1K7, CA

          4 Replies
          1. re: pravit

            Err, there's been some reports of really bad service at Ka Chi: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/671243

            I've never experienced horrible service at the two locations (Korea Town and China Town), but thought I'd just let first-time Korean food purveyors know so that bad service doesn't put off anyone from Korean food.

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            Ka Chi
            8 St Andrews St, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

            1. re: looosia

              I've never noticed horrible service at Ka Chi. Abrupt, yes, but not particularly rude or imcompetent.

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              Ka Chi
              8 St Andrews St, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

              1. re: piccola

                If you read the thread on the horrible service that the OP experienced at Ka Chi (as well as others on the thread), it's quite unbelievable. Regardless, as I've wrote before I've never had horrible service there but I find Ka Chi just OK. My favourite in Korea Town and central Toronto is still Korean Village.

                1. re: looosia

                  I've read the thread and it does sound horrendous. But I'd rather judge a restaurant on my own experience, which has been fine so far.

                  I agree, though, that Ka Chi isn't the top spot -- I like Tofu Village better.

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                  Ka Chi
                  8 St Andrews St, Toronto, ON M5T, CA