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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Toronto :: Arisu & Chodang, I miss Korean food!

Arisu-2 Arisu
I’ve started to precursor my posts with the city, because it’s pretty unclear nowadays where I am writing from and/or about! I’ve been in serious Korean food withdrawal, so it was on my must-eat list for my last visit to YYZ.
Despite my plans to hit a new bibimbap joint on the north end of town (I’ve been anticipating that visit for awhile now!) the driver of our crew’s stomach rumbled too aggressively for him to patiently drive 20 minutes to our planned spot. Instead, he insisted we try a “really good new restaurant!” in Koreatown. Bah.

Arisu-1 Arisu
Meal: Lunch
Location: 584 Bloor Street West

I’ve already written about Chodang, but this picture is too delicious not to share:
It was very quiet when we entered the restaurant – there was nobody attending the front, so it took awhile to get seated. We ended up ordering 2 bibimbaps (one with pork belly), soon tofu soup, sashimi, and grilled mackerel.
The soup was weak – I’ve been utterly spoiled by Chodang and their fresh, delicious bowls. Compare the pictures - there's a clear winner!

Arisu-3The salmon sashimi was good – fresh, and neatly piled. We enjoyed the grilled fish – although one person found that it was too salty for their taste, I was fine with it. The amount of pork belly given on the bibimbap order was not really worth paying the extra bit, so I’d say skip it. I think they’d be better off substituting the beef in the bowl in favour of giving you more rather than just tossing a bit of extra pork belly on top.

Overall, the bowls were decent but not great. Head over to Etsu or Hana Korea for better valued bowls.

The banchan spread was pretty good – I particularly liked the jalapeno, mm.
Arisu-5 Arisu-7
Overall, while not a bad experience, the food wasn't great - there are much better options around the area that I'd encourage you to explore before settling here. Mediocre at best.

I’ve gone to Chodang so much that the owner swiftly pops a few plates of kkongnamul (soybean sprout side dish) – given the fact that I’m always on the go and it's not within the downtown core, this is a testament to my addiction. It was a super hot weekend, so on top of the usual mushroom soon tofu, we ordered a bowl of cold noodles in soy-based soup, kkong guksu:
Chodang-1…that went well with my usual treat:
While refreshing, I don’t think that I’ll be ordering the kkong guk su again – I am truly addicted to their soon tofu soup. The soy broth was very tasty, but the noodles weren’t that great. I think that, while not traditional, it would be better with buckwheat noodles like Naeng Myun. That just means that I owe Cho Sun Ok another visit!

Arisu  on UrbanspoonChodang Soon Tofu on Urbanspoon


Galine said...

Mmmm...I have to say that since discovering your blog, I have been browsing your entries, found out about a bunch of great places (My husband was/is so excited about the beef patty place in Toronto!) and am really, really hungry hahaha

I lived in Korea for 3 years and am desperately craving everything!!! You don't realize what you  have 'til it's gone, everything was so delicious & cheap there!

Thank you for this awesome blog!

Erin said...

hehe :-) I hope you enjoy the Queen's patties! Yum!! I really miss Korea's food - ridiculously delicious and cheap. My favourite memories include hiking up around old forts, then feasting at the bottom with delicious bowls of soup and rice wine, and the snacks! Thank you for visiting :)

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