Address: 4862 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M2N 5N2
Phone: (416) 546 – 8218
The restaurant front can be easily missed, without any signage or anything in general. The good old GPS played its reliable role this time. AND, second time customers – my friends guided and led us to the restaurant for a double date dinner.
Han Ba Tang is conveniently located on Yonge Street, very near the Sheppard subway station and a lot of Green P parking nearby. Hence, their clientele is very diverse, in age and nationalities.
The interior decor is very rustic, like an old barn or cabin, completely lined by wood or mock wood porcelain tiles on the floor. The restaurant is simple and clean with a contemporary touch to it. I find it cute to have the restaurant’s name glowing in light bulb silhouette hanging inside out at the front window; only their customers can see it from inside, felt very exclusive. It can act as an amazing backdrop for in-house band performances on weekday evenings or weekends, an amazing idea.
The decor makes the restaurant look like an underground English or Irish pub. We are in Canada but for some European Asian fusion, grab a beer with a great companion to spend a night here. But, it will not be as loud or crazy a pib or bar can get sometimes.
Service was good, very prompt and reacts to attention. They are also good looking Caucasians too.
The entire menu is a Fusion between Korean and American culinary styles. It is quite extensive and has a good variety. The portions are quite small, like tapas style or pub like food. My recommendation is to eat with a group of friends to try the options on the menu for a good representation of the food. The small portions are great munchies and great for social activities.
Mac & Gouchujang with Baby Octopus ($10.00) is made of macaroni, baby octopus, onion, and green bell pepper baked with cheddar and mozzarella cheese mixture, topped with house made extra spicy sauce. The mac and cheese was very creamy and stringy with the assistance of the cheese mixture. The dish was very rich in flavour, and heavy or filling. The baby octopus was finely chopped and could barely feel its texture but I think it was mainly used to add dimension to the macaroni. Personally, I am not a fan of cheese, so overall, this dish did not appeal to me. BUT, I am biased. I still encourage everyone to try it.
Triple Kalbi Taco ($13.00) is grilled kalbi or beef short ribs, topped with onion, red bell pepper, green onion, and deep fried onion, wrapped in taco shell. Were the portions ever small. This dish reminds me of Peking Duck, except made of beef. The kalbi was cut into fine strips and very soft to the bite. Overall flavour was sweet, with the help of the sauteed vegetables and marinade made of soy sauce, brown sugar. My only complaint is how the taco shell is soft and thin. When something hot and wet was put on it, it tends to moisten the shell, causing it to break easily.
Tofu Kimchi with Braised Pork Belly ($10.00) is sauteed kimchi, braised pork belly, and tomato rested on fresh tofu. I find this refteshing because of the soft, fresh and bland tofu helped to offset the salty pork belly. It also had a fiery kick to it with the kimchi. I could not get enough of it. Why were the portions so small?! I would love to have triple portions. This was a very enjoyable appetizer.
Kimchi Fries ($10.00) with added Bulgogi ($3.00) is pan fried kimchi with potato fries, topped with bulgogi or grilled marinated beef, herb mayo, chopped scallion and house made gravy. This was my favourite dish of the evening. It is a stapled item and heartwarming food choice in a Korean fusion style. It had a strong spicy kick, but also sweet at the same time. It gives a new perspective to the original fries. The fries just tasted amazing.
Black Calamari ($11.00) is calamari in roasted seaweed sauce, topped with cucumber, thai chilli, and fried baby shrimp. The seaweed sauce was thick and wrapped the calimari fully, but the flavour was sort of bland, as seaweed itself had no flavours. The cucumber, chilli and shrimp were just a side character to the calamari, giving it additional texture, making every bite more crunchy. They, also, added freshness to the overall flavour, but it was nothing too particularly special about this dish.
Spoon Pizza ($10.00) is mashed Korean sweet yam and potato, baked with mozzarella cheese and mushroom. The dish was like a mashed potato texture, therefore, I enjoyed how soft and creamy it was. The mushroom was extremely finely chopped, can barely find its existent or texture in the pizza. But overall, I liked the strong, creamy texture.
The dinner was enjoyable. I liked the insipration and the fusion aspect. It is different from the traditional Korean cuisine. The enviornment is great, good gathering place with friends. I definitely recommend groups of friends to try it.