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Restaurants

12 O' Lunch

Posted by Gadjo Sevilla / Listed on July 29, 2010 / review policy

12 O' Lunch12 O' Lunch is a recently re-branded family-owned Korean restaurant near Dundas and University that used to be called Lunch Market. Inside, there are hanging trellises with plastic plants and faux windows and white picket fences. It's very kitschy French-provincial. If not for the colourful photos of the food plus the scents and sounds of a busy kitchen, I would have thought I stumbled into a crêperie.

12 O' LunchI soon learn that 12 O' Lunch is so named because their menu is limited to 14 lunch sets which they serve until the evening hour. Give or take a few appetizers like dumplings and noodles, the main attractions are highlighted in a two page menu - and all promise to be filling and quickly prepared meals.

12 O' LunchKalbi (Korean Barbecue - $9.73) is basically barbecued beef ribs and comes with rice, house salad and Japchae (cellophane noodles). The ribs are tender and barbecued just right, sprinkled with sesame seeds to add another dimension to the taste and texture.

Meals come as-is, meaning don't expect the free soup, bean sprouts, kimchi and other appetizers common at most other Korean places.

12 O' LunchMy friend goes for the pork bone soup ($7.52) and reports that it doesn't compare to his favourites around town. The broth (which is the core component of this type of soup) is bland and boring. At least the meat is tender.

12 O' LunchFried Dumplings ($4.99) are crispy, deep fried vegetarian dumplings that are nice and crusty on the outside but moist and tender on the inside. I can't decipher what vegetables are used, but they're quite good and are an appetizer worthy of sharing.

12 O' Lunch12 O' LunchBibimbap ($7.96) is apparently 12 O' Lunch's specialty and it comes with a hot miso and nametake mushrooms. The miso is light, comforting and not too salty as is the tendency of many miso-based soups.

12 O' LunchThe Bibimbap, which is a big bowl of rice topped with a variety of vegetables, ground beef, chilies and a perfectly fried egg is a feast for the eyes. I usually get this dish served dolsut style (in a still-smoking hot bowl that cooks the ingredients as you mix them together with chili paste in a glorious and savoury mess). This option isn't available here.

12 O' LunchThe bowl is cold as are most of the ingredients except for the rice and the fried egg. Once mixed, however, the Bibimbap is quite good and filling and something I'd definitely go back for.

Other 12 O' Lunch dishes include Bulgogi ($8.41), Spicy Sour Chicken ($7.96) and Fish Katsu ($8.41) which all come with salad, rice and japchae.

12 O' Lunch12 O' LunchOpen Monday to Friday 11:00 am to 8:00 pm

Discussion

16 Comments

Carlos / July 30, 2010 at 01:38 pm
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You said "The Bibimbap, which is a big bowl of rice topped with a variety of vegetables, ground beef, chilies and a perfectly fried egg is a feast for the eyes. I usually get this dish served dolsut style (in a still-smoking hot bowl that cooks the ingredients as you mix them together with chili paste in a glorious and savoury mess). This option isn't available here."

SO WHERE IS IT AVAILABLE?? IT SOUNDS DELISH!
Gloria / July 30, 2010 at 02:16 pm
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Oh weird. I work near here and have walked by a gajillion times. I would have never guessed the interior looked like that. I'm so there.
Tim replying to a comment from Carlos / July 30, 2010 at 06:25 pm
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Here are some places to check out for dolsut bibimbap

http://www.blogto.com/toronto/the_best_bibimbap_in_toronto/
Rachel / July 31, 2010 at 09:28 pm
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Is it possible to get an vegetarian entrees? Like bibimbap with another vegetarian or soy meat or something? It'd be really lovely if BlogTO just made a note of whether a place was fairly veggie friendly or not.
mrs leny / August 1, 2010 at 05:23 pm
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This looks like a great place. I also hope they have vegetarian options.
Gadjo replying to a comment from Rachel / August 1, 2010 at 05:27 pm
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The fried dumplings were vegetarian. I am sure you can request they omit the ground beef from the Bibimbap which would make it a vegetarian dish. You can also order the Japchae noodles and specify that you want them without meat. Salad is also available.
Jenny / August 4, 2010 at 04:17 pm
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They now open on Saturday too! And I believe they open until 9:00 PM during summer because I usually go there at night with friends. =] Nice place to have Korean foods!
Jenny replying to a comment from Rachel / August 4, 2010 at 04:22 pm
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you can get veggie Bibimbap, just ask them to take out beef and put more veggie.
Y / August 4, 2010 at 05:52 pm
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OMG!! The interior design is amazing!! Everything would be delicious just by eating in this beautiful restaurant =] Bibimbap is such a healthy food especially if you are on a diet!! I so wanna go this place >_<
Katie / August 9, 2010 at 10:00 am
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Best kim chi friend rice and bimbap in the city!!!
Melissa Yu replying to a comment from Carlos / August 31, 2010 at 10:45 am
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Buk Chang Dong Soon To Fu on Bloor West in Little Korea does Bibimbap right in a stone bowl. http://www.blogto.com/restaurants/bukchangdongsoontofu

SAN on Queen West as well...
Pam / May 12, 2011 at 10:48 am
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You can ask for a vegan option and they make things vegan for you, especially Bibimbop. Tell them no meat and no eggs.
They don't serve their bibimbop in dol-sot(stone bowl), but their bibimbop is the best in the city for sure.
Dina / July 9, 2011 at 10:19 pm
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Love this place! Their spicy chicken hits the spot and the service is excellent :)
Sean / December 18, 2012 at 08:30 am
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Inspected on: December 11, 2012
Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional Pass)
Number of infractions: 7 (Minor: 3, Significant: 3, Crucial: 1)
Crucial infractions include: Failure to protect food from contamination
Christy / February 17, 2013 at 04:17 pm
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They now have stone bowl bibimbap, it's so good and almost best in the city for sure!
I always get stone bowl bibibmbap with beef or veggie with tofu. I go there almost everyday for my lunch cause it's close to where I work and I checked their condition regularly and its PASS, and I have had no problem with their food.
L / April 26, 2014 at 11:48 pm
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This restaurant is closed. Now it is a Japanese curry place.

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