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Showing posts with label Korean. Show all posts

K-Pocha

 I've mentioned this in an earlier post before, but there is a serious lack of options in Mississauga other than tons of chains. I was craving for some fried chicken one night, and my options were either Popeyes, or K-Pocha. Of course, I chose K-Pocha, as I wanted to try a new place. K-Pocha is a late night Korean restaurant & pub in Mississauga that specializes in Korean style chicken. I have been a fan of Korean fried chicken since I first had it at The Fry. The menu was of course heavily concentrated on fried chicken, but they do offer some standard Korean dishes like bulgogi, rice cakes, pork belly, etc ... In regards to the prices, I would say that their food was fairly priced, as it was definitely cheaper than both The Fry, and Home of Hot Taste.



 




In order to ensure the crispiness of the skin, Korean fried chicken are deep fried twice. This way of deep frying also creates a lot less grease all over the chicken. Looking through the menu, we decided to order the half spicy, half fried option ($21), and an order of crispy french fries ($5). The chicken took a bit of time to come out, but that was understandable as they are made fresh to order. In terms of presentation, both chicken were plated together with a few pieces of crispy fries. Nothing too special, but it was piping hot (just the way I like it). The fried chicken at K-Pocha had a nice crispy skin, and the meat itself was juicy. It wasn't heavy, or greasy at all, which was a great alternative to the greasiness of western chicken. I preferred the fried chicken over their spicy chicken, which I didn't think was spicy enough. I liked the taste of the sweet glaze, but I wished that it had provided a little more kick.

The overall atmosphere was good for large groups, and they also had a few private booths on the side for a more intimate dining experience. The one thing that surprised me most was that they don't refill the kimchi at all. I have never been to a Korean establishment where they don't refill the bachan, or this case ... just a tiny bowl of kimchi. I just thought that was super stingy of K-Pocha, cause it was something that was unheard of. However, this doesn't deter me from returning to K-Pocha, as I did liked their fried chicken, and they are one of the few options in Mississauga that offers it.


K-Pocha Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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The Fry

The Fry is one of the newest restaurants in the Yonge and Sheppard area. I am not sure why they would open up to two locations within walking distance from one another, but there's a second location on Yonge/Finch. The Fry specializes in Korean-style fried chicken, which is basically a fried chicken dish prepared in a Korean style.



After we ordered our food, our server brought us a plate of side dishes of green salad, white radish, and macaroni salad. We were also given a hot plate of seared corn. Just a note that the side dishes are refillable, but sadly the corn are not.



We ordered the special half & half chicken ($27.99) - fried chicken, and fried chicken in spicy sauce, as our main dish. I'd say that this dish was more than enough for two people, as we left with a few leftover pieces. 


The fried chicken in spicy sauce was true to its name, as it was rather spicy and flavorful. Additionally, I liked that the chicken pieces were evenly coated in the sauce.


The second chicken dish that came with the combo was the fried chicken, which was a generous portion of pieces. Korean Fried Chicken is fried twice, and this results in the skin being crispier. The chicken skin was indeed crispy and perfectly spiced, and the meat was juicy on the inside. This way of deep drying also creates a lot less grease all over the chicken. 


Lastly, as a side, we got the crispy French fries ($6.99. I loved these lightly battered fries, as they were very crispy, and not oily at all.


Overall, The Fry was a great introduction to Korean Fried Chicken for me, as I have never tried it before. I enjoyed our meal, and left pretty stuffed until the next morning.

Address: 4864 Yonge St North York, ON, M2N 5N2 

The Fry on Urbanspoon

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Chung Gi Wa Japanese & Korean Restaurant

 Chung Gi Wa is a hidden gem located in Mississauga at the corner of Haines Rd & Dundas St East. The restaurant itself is pretty tucked away, as we only found the restaurant randomly while driving to Popeyes one night. We walked in and was greeted by a very cheerful server, and quickly seated in one of the available booths. Chung Gi Wa serves both Japanese and Korean dishes.




Similarly to all Korean restaurants, we were served several dishes of complimentary bachan which were refillable. The bachan that were available were kimchi, bean sprouts, radish with carrots, and glass noodles. 


On my first visit, I opted for the Kam Ja Tang ($7.99) - pork bone soup with potato and vegetables in hot broth served with rice. First off, I'd have to say that the pork bone soup was priced well (at least according to Mississauga standards) for what you get. The order arrived in a hot bowl with three large pieces of pork bone and potatoes. The dish was flavorful, and perfectly spiced for my liking.


Soon Tofu ($8.99) - soft tofu soup (pork) served with rice.


The two of us enjoyed the Salmon Maki ($4.99) that we got another order after finishing up the first one. There was a generous portion of fish and the right amount of rice making it quite tasty.




Sashimi Tempura Bento - sashimi (9 pcs), shrimp (3 pcs) with vegetables tempura, California roll (6 pcs), rice, miso, and green salad ($17.99).


On my second visit, I decided to try out one of the Japanese dishes on the menu. I opted for the Teriyaki Dinner - broiled beef teriyaki, rice, miso, and green salad ($15.99). The price was relatively comparable to downtown pricing (maybe $1 more), but overall it wasn't too expensive. I enjoyed the thinly sliced and tender beef, and there was a generous portion of beef. 

On both occasions, we had the same cheerful server who was friendly, and attentive. She came into the booth from time to time to check up on us, without being super intrusive.

Chung Gi Wa Japanese & Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Lim Ga Ne

Lim Ga Ne is an unsuspecting Korean restaurant on the Bloor/Christie strip. The restaurant isn't open 24/7 but it does stay open pretty late, which is good for late night eaters. J and I walked into the restaurant randomly as the Owl a few doors down was pretty busy that night. During our first few visits, the 13% tax was included in all of the listed menu prices. However, we recently returned about 2 weeks ago, and that's no longer the case. They now add tax on top of the (previous) already taxed menu prices.


The menu was pretty standard offering various Korean dishes including do it yourself BBQ with your choice of meat(s).


In addition to the bachan dishes, they also provided complimentary Korean pancakes.


They have a wide selection of banchan (bean sprouts, mushrooms, potatoes, japchae, kimchi, and fish cakes), which were refillable on request.


I opted for the pork bone soup ($10) on my first visit. I have to say that the food portions here are pretty generous,and contained chunks of fall of the bone pork. However, I was slightly disappointed with the broth flavor as it wasn't very spicy. One thing that I did like that came with the meal was the bowl of purple rice, which is a slightly healthier alternative to white rice. 


The rice cakes with fish cakes ($10).


The bulgogi jungsik ($13.50) - sliced tender beef marinated in special sauce served with rice


The soon tofu soup ($10) - beef, pork or seafood, is J's favorite dish from Lim Ga Ne. He orders it everytime we eat here, so it's really up to me to taste-test other dishes.


On my last visit, I got the LA galbi jungsik ($15) - beef short ribs served with rice. I absolutely love kalbi, so I was excited to try this dish here. It was good with a slight sweet marinade flavor. 

Lim Ga Ne Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu is a very budget friendly Korean restaurant. Their menu is limited with only 10 dishes and 6 of them are variations of soon tofu which they specialize in. 


 We were greeted by a friendly waitress, and given the menu. We both knew what we wanted, so we got our order in pretty quickly. Before our meal arrived, we were given four small dishes of bachan (kimchi, bean sprout, radish kimchi and beans).


Instead of soon tofu, I opted for the broiled BBQ (beef) with hot stone pot rice ($10.62). The dish arrived on a sizzling hot plate, and accompanied with a bowl of freshly made purple rice. This was a solid dish as the portion was generous, and I really enjoyed the flavorful beef. 


John got the kimchi soon tofu (pork) with hot stone pot rice ($7.97). You get to choose the spice level for the soon tofu from the following selection: extra spicy, regular spicy, medium, mild and white.


Overall, this is good comfort food for the cold weather that we're currently experiencing.

Address: 3085 Hurontario St, Mississauga, ON, L5A 4K9

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu on Urbanspoon

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Han Ba Tang

Han Ba Tang opened up earlier this summer, and is one of the latest additions to the Yonge and Sheppard area. The name translates to meaning "one full round" in Korean and is like a Korean-styled izakaya (or pojangmacha). I was invited to their bloggers' media tasting to preview some of their menu items. The three of us were happily greeted by the owner and a few of the organizers and staff before being shown to our table. 

The restaurant may be unsuspecting from the outside as there is no signage. However, there is a large bright sign inside the restaurant and it kind of illuminates from the outside. The reason for the no signage is that the owner, Chae, wanted to preserve a rare Vitrolite tiling which was uncovered during the removal of the previous establishment's sign in the construction period. There's an industrial feel to the place with its unfinished wood floors, chalkboard menu, communal tables, and wooden decor which lends a welcoming atmosphere to the space. Rather than being a traditional Korean restaurant; Han Ba Tang strides to bring Korean-Asian fusion influences to their everyday menu while still providing affordable prices.


The cocktails are brightly written on the blackboard located at the front bar; each are priced between $8 to $12.


Kandy Crush ($8) - strawberry soju, triple sec, raspberry sour (left) and Ocean Popsicle ($9) - blue curacao, raspeberry sour and southern comfort (middle).
 We started the night off with the chilli shrimp ($8) - lightly battered shrimp dipped in sweet chilli sauce, which arrived in four small dishes with 3-4 pieces each. It was dipped in a chilli sauce that tasted both sweet and spicy at the same time. I'd say that it had a very similar texture of sweet and sour pork as the shrimps weren't super crispy.


The lobster - steamed lobster with a house salad, is one of their new items that is on their winter menu. For an appetizer dish, there was a generous amount of lobster meat that peels right off the shell.


I am a huge fan of Korean kalbi, so I was thrilled to see kalbi tacos and spicy pork tacos - grilled kalbi or spicy pork on a bed of shredded cabbage with red onions and a light house aioli, on the menu.


My favorite dish of the night had to be their kimchi fries ($8) with bulgogi (+ $3) - extra crispy fries topped with kimchi, aioli gravy, sizzling bulgogi and green onions. The small portion is $10 while the larger portion is $15. If you'd like to add bulgogi to your kimchi fries then it's an additional $3. The one that we got was the small and it was more than enough for the three of us to share. I loved how the fries managed to retain its crispiness even though it was topped with hot gravy and bulgogi. Additionally, there was a generous amount of fries and bulgogi, and in my opinion, worth the price. 



A fusion dish that we got to tried was the black squid ink pasta - squid ink pasta, mussels, with a house made gochujang cream sauce topped with Korean beef cake. The briny flavor of the ink pasta pairs rather well with the mussels, and the gochujang cream sauce added the Korean flavor to the dish


The spicy chicken with fondue ($9 + $3 for fondue) - grilled chicken in a sizzling plate with a mix of rice cakes, onions, and carrots with a side of creamy cheese fondue, was not the most innovative dishes of the night. However, it was still good as the chicken went really well with the hot cheese when mixed together.


Personally, I have never heard or tried spoon pizza ($8) - mashed sweet potato crust with vegetables, tomato sauce topped with cheese and bacon or kimchi, before and I am glad that I did. Instead of a hard crust; mashed sweet potato is used as an alternative and works as the base for the pizza. You'd need a spoon to scoop up the sweet potato crust that is layered with cheese and vegetables. It was an interesting dish!


The spicy seafood soup ($10 for small) - a spicy seafood soup with shrimp mussels and crab with Korean ramyun, kind of reminds me of a fusion styled bouillabaisse (one of my favorite classic French soup). The soup base was rich in flavor, and the spiciness added a lot of kick. The portion contained a fair amount of seafood, and it's a perfect soup dish for this cold weather. The chef forgo the Korean ramyun (as it would be super filling) for the tasting, so I am not sure how it'd taste with the soup.


Lastly, we were served a decorative slice of dried persimmon cake with whipped cream for dessert. 


In addition to having various cocktails on their drink menu; they also offer in-house made infused soju. The jars of soju are beautifully displayed at the front, and the flavors rotate weekly. You can order a Soju Flight ($15) which comes with four shots, and you can choose the four flavors. 

 

Soju Flight - cinnamon apple, pineapple, and strawberry soju.

The upper Yonge area is one of the quintessential haven for traditional Korean food. However, Han Ba Tang is a welcome addition to the area as they offer a more modern take on Korean food, and is sure to please the younger crowds looking for late night eats and drinks. Thank you to both Acorn Communication and Han Ba Tang for the wonderful media tasting.

Address: 4862 Yonge St Toronto, ON, M2N 5N2
Website: http://instagram.com/hanbatang
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hanbatangON
Instagram: http://instagram.com/hanbatang

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Han Ba Tang on Urbanspoon

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