I took a little V-Day break, but in keeping with the food week trend I wanna talk about Korean eats, because they are goooood.
Last Saturday Evan and I met his brother Michael (who will be called Brotherman from now on) and his fiance Kelly for dinner in Koreatown.
I have had authentic Korean a couple of times before, one time I talked about when some of my coworkers and I went to a Korean BBQ and I just ate meat for two hours, but I have never been to a restaurant quite like this.
We hit up Sunrise House on Bloor around Bathurst, and it was very cute, and very bright.
I really tried to take a sneaky pic, but our server looked over at the last second and caught me…
Kelly is Korean, and grew up in Korea, so I am going to assume she is fairly savvy on the Korean-food front, and she and Brotherman said this was the best-tasting Korean restaurant in that neighbourhood. I am just going to go ahead and believe them, because it was pretty amazing.
Sorry about the crappy pic, but I want to show you the menu. Everything was in Korean as well as English and I really like restaurants like this because it makes me feel like it’s the real-deal.
Evan had been raving on about the hot stone pot bibimbap, which I have never tried before, but after he described it I quickly got on board. I chose a beef bulgogi bibimbap, which also came with fried egg.
Oh my. I was a little bit worried about this because it is not very saucy and I really, really like sauce. But I just added some hot sauce to that pot and all was well. Better than well actually, it was ridiculously delicious. I am not sure where bibimbap has been all my life but I need to make more trips over to Koreatown for this. So good! And it was absolutely huge and only $8. I like this.
Evan ordered the same dish as me, but Kelly and Brotherman switched it up with a cold bibimbap bowl with tofu. I didn’t want to be a big picture taking freak, as I am new, but Kelly was very encouraging and pretty much made me snap a pic of her dish (and it was then I decided we are probably going to be good friends).
I didn’t try this, but it does look really good.
You also get little complimentary side dishes at your table.
From top left (and I am sorry, I do not know the proper name for most of these): some sort of amazing potato in some sort of amazing broth (my favourite), glass noodles, kimchi, bean sprouts, seaweed, more kimchi (but a different kind), with cucumber. All of it was good.
And that was insanely delicious. And saucy. I could not get enough of the sauce! I was very full after this, but we still had a dessert-related stop to make! Kelly and Brotherman said we had to, HAD TO go to Hodo Kwaja, a Korean bakery that specializes in little walnut cakes that I believe are also called hodo kwaja, coincidentally.
They are little pastries filled with either potato or red bean filling and walnuts, and apparently this is the only place in Toronto where you can get authentic ones, because they use this crazy machine:
Which I hear is from maybe the 1940s? It was having some maintenance done while we were there, but this is what it looks like in action:
To be honest, the walnut cakes were not all that impressive to me (though the machine sure was). I think because if I want dessert I want DESSERT, and red bean and potato are just not going to cut it. They were good, but I wanted sweet, delicious DESSERT.
Luckily Hodo Kwaja also has the most amazing pancakes of all time.
I am not kidding. Brown sugar is baked INTO the pancake and creates a syrup, and it was like unlike any pancake I have ever experienced. I can’t even tell you how much I loved it. So, so good.
And then Evan and I waddled ourselves over to a pub to meet my friend Hannah and her friends to see their friend’s band, and I drank a lot of beer. Good times. And that ends my Korean-eating experience, but it will not be my last!