Blink and You'll Miss It. Authentic Korean Tucked Away in the Market District
Article Written by: Chris Kim, Owner of West of Seoul Food Truck, Kimchi Producer and DTK Foodie Advocate
Do you ever hear a Fleetwood Mac song and think, they call it Classic Rock for a reason? That’s how I feel about Korean BBQ restaurant in Kitchener’s East Market district. It’s on the second level of the Hong Kong Fashion Plaza.
It’s the essentials album of Korean food. It’s not modern, pretentious or classy, but it’s good. It’s tasty and it makes you feel warm and fuzzy. It ticks all the boxes and makes the food Gods smile.
It’s a mom and pop place (the best kind), The Korean restaurant where you don’t really need a menu because they have most of their offerings pictured in posters all over the walls. I order Soon Toobu Jjigae (soft tofu stew) which is my go to order in a Korean restaurant to get a feel of the quality of the place. It’s usually a seafood broth started with dried anchovies, konbu, vegetables, seafood and/or pork, spices and soft tofu that resembles fresh ricotta. It’s served in a clay bowl and when it arrives it’s bubbling like a witches cauldron. And that’s the next reason why it’s my go to dish because it’s hot, spicy and instantly warms you up.
I also order Tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes). This preparation is not as spicy as I would like but the cylindrical rice cakes are braised with fish cakes, onions and a Gochugang sauce (Korean spicy bean paste). This is my favourite Korean street food and this offering is very well executed. Think of this as the poutine or fries supreme of Korean food. Young people and business men who are out drinking after work flock to food stalls in Seoul to get this satisfying offering because it’s packed with flavour and fulfils your guilty need for some serious starch.
I encourage you to seek out these kinds of establishments. They need you and more importantly our community needs them. It’s honest, delicious Korean home cooking and it will make you feel good. Mogo!