Address: 5374 Yonge St, North York, ON M2N 2N1
Phone: (416) 222-1170
North York Yonge Street is the concentrated Koreatown of North Toronto. Korean restaurants are lined on both sides of Yonge Street, from Finch Avenue to Sheppard Avenue. The district does not lack restaurant choices and has a lot of competition.
What attracted me into the bustling small restaurant was the cottage look with whole wood structure. Personally, I thought it has a quaint earthen touch but it made the restaurant look down-to-earth and more traditional in essence. After all, houses were originally made of wood or marble or stone in the ancient times. The family like restaurant decorations were very simple, just photos hanging on the wall. Due to the poor ventilation system, the room was quite stuffy and greasy from the table top cooking.
Service was slow. The owner was quite condescending because I wanted to order the traditional fermented homemade soy bean stew instead of the soup, but he right literally said “NO, you would not like it because it had a thick texture and acquired taste”. It was my first time seeing it, hence, I wanted to know the difference between a soup and stew, just for comparison. I was disappointed and was shocked to have the male owner reject a customer’s request because he thought someone would not appreciate it or not accustomed to it or how it would not match with the food we will order. Why would someone be so opinionated on a customer! I was truthfully upset. Then why would that stew be on the menu if people were not allowed to order it or if it would not match in flavour to the other foods on the menu. Quite lame.
In the end, I ordered the Traditional Fermented Homemade Soy Bean Soup ($9.99), which to my surprise, tasted different, extremely rich and flavourful that other restaurants never provided. The soup was not salty nor full of monosodium glutamate (msg). I do not know if the homemade fermented soy bean made a difference or not, but the soup was sweet and you can really taste the soy bean and you see bits and pieces of it floating in the bubbling soup. On top, some alcohol essence was tasted in the bubbling liquid too, which could be developed during the fermentation process. With the owner’s insistence, recommendation and rejection, the soup did taste pretty decent.
Spicy Stir Fry Pork Combo ($19.99) came with a soup of your choice, which we chose Pork Tofu Soup. The combo was a good deal because individually, the soup would have costed $8.99. Pork was fat, kind of like pork belly, therefore, each bite was really tender and soft, with oil oozing from your mouth. Pork was stir fried with onions, carrots, and peppers. Portion was big, which was also enough for a third person. Too bad it was not as spicy as I hopped. The dish was more like sweet and “weak” spicy. Cooking oil was really not needed because the natural fat from the pork was more than enough to fulfill the cooking purpose. Just unfortunate, they added too much oil to make the dish a bit too greasy. The soup that was included in the combo was just a typical kimchi based soup, so nothing special or worth noting.
The soy bean stew is still on my mind. I desperately want to try it still but I would not be surprised to be rejected by the owner again. Overall, I did find the food quality acceptable and typical of Korean cuisines. The menu was just too vast, too many options and kind of confusing in a way. Most of the menu was combo-related. A big group of friends is ideal to visit and try an assortment of the food.