The stretch of Bloor from Christie to Bathurst is generally know as Korea-town. As you walk down the street there seem like an endless number of choices for food – some of them don’t even have names. Over the years I have tried several different places but last night we decided to check out the Korean Village Restaurant because it seemed to pop on several of the top lists of Korean food in the city.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Korean food generally comes with a bunch of starter veggie dishes, officially known as Ban Chan. At Korean Village these dishes are excellent. All of the veggies are very fresh and flavourful – a great accompaniment to the meat of the main course. My favourites were the kim chee and the sprouts, but also really enjoyed the zucchini dish. If you’re a kim chee fan, i’d suggest trying it on the grill to … so yummy!
Our waiter was the owners son and he was funny and helpful and always around to refresh our drinks, refill our ban chan dishes and help us cook up all the meat. Service here was definitely better than most places I have been. My guess is likely that this place caters to more non-Koreans than some of the other places in the neighbourhood.
We decided to order a variety of meats for the grill. We chose 2 beef dishes, the Bul Go Ki ($18.99) and the La Kal Bi ($20.99) along with the chicken ($18.99) and pork belly ($18.99). All the meat arrives on a platter along with a table-top grill so you can cook the food right on the spot. The quality of the meat was excellent and the marinades were tasty – just sweet and salty enough, but not overpowering. As a small aside – if you are a fan of Korean BBQ it’s not too difficult to make at home, and www.maangchi.com has some great recipes. We make Kalbi (beef short ribs) all the time in the summer. And if you’re looking for ingredients P.A.T. grocery store has everything you need.
As soon as the meat arrived we got started with the cooking. It’s so easy that even our boys could handle it. The food is served with lettuce and rice so that you can make up your own wraps, or eat the meat on its own. The four dishes we ordered were the perfect amount of food. I think there is a 2 dish minimum for the BBQ so going with friends is a great idea if you want to taste a bit of everything.
Overall we all really enjoyed our meal. The restaurant is a good size, so even on a Friday night we didn’t need reservations. The service was great and the food fresh and delicious. My only word of warning is that the BBQ smell is strong, and while it smells great as you are cooking, it will stick with you well after you leave the restaurant.
Korean Village Restaurant, 628 Bloor St W. (416) 536-0290
Food 5/5 Service 5/5 Value 4/5 Overall Rating 5/5