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Restaurants

Buk Chang Dong Soon To Fu

Posted by Tim / Reviewed on March 12, 2007 / review policy

20070524_bukchangbowl.jpgOne of my favourite places in Toronto to dig into a big bowl of Dolsot Bibimbap is the basic but always busy Buk Chang Dong Soon To Fu in Koreatown.

Dolsot Bibimbap is one of the perfect antidotes for the winter blahs. While traditionally served with beef, I opt for the "veggie" which comes with mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, sprouts and other vegetables, as well as a fried egg all served on top of a bed of rice in a hot stone bowl. Unlike some other places in the city, the bowl is decidedly hot which means the rice will develop a tasty, crispy if not slightly oily crust.

Along with the Bibimbap comes an unlimited supply of free tea and an assortment of traditional Korean favourites such as pickled bean sprouts, kimchee, daikon and sweet dried soybeans.

20070524_bukchangapp.jpgFor the uninitiated, Buk Chang Dong Soon To Fu might seem like a bit of a hole in the wall with a limited menu, but I've been going here for years and still haven't found a more popular Korean joint in the city. The service is fast and friendly and the food is great value. My only, um, beef is that they don't serve a version of this dish with cooked tofu. They'll happily add un-cooked tofu but that's not an option I'd recommend.

20070524_bukchangmenu.jpgThat said, when I'm looking for a restaurant with a bit more mood lighting or decent wine I often opt for San or even Ninth Gate which also make this dish really well.

Buk Chang Dong Soon To Fu, 691 Bloor St. W. (at Clinton), 416-537-0972

Discussion

32 Comments

rotenblog / March 12, 2007 at 11:36 pm
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that looks delicious! thanks for the tip!
rek / March 13, 2007 at 05:52 am
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Eggs grow on trees in Korea, so it's vegan-friendly. No really!
Steve / March 13, 2007 at 09:16 am
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Man, there is just no shortage of people who are willing to jump on you just because you try to make a healthy or concious decision in what you eat or believe (or maybe you just like veggies). Because if everything you do is not clear-cut, black and white, then obviously you're a hypocrite. Ha, you opted for the veggie style, but you ate an egg, you're not a vegan , "Ha, I got ya' Commie!!! You chose veggies over beef, but you ate an egg...you must be some kind of freak-hypocrite." Please, from now on, would all vegetrians/vegans/diabetics please clear their food choices with rek first.
Andrea / March 13, 2007 at 09:26 am
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Hey, I go there all the time but I never knew the name of the place. Cheers!
Dan / March 13, 2007 at 10:28 am
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That's right in my neck of the woods... looks delish, thanks!

Lol @ rek...
jack / March 13, 2007 at 10:42 am
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there are a couple of good korean restaurants in uptown..
Ehwah(spelling?) on Yonge, near north york civic centre subway stop

Sorbaral(spelling), right at yonge and finch subway

there is also a fancy one at Yonge and Clark
Tanja / March 13, 2007 at 10:51 am
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A little definiteion of veganism for rek:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegan

And a link to the top of this post, in case you want to reread and note that tim never says it was a vegan bowl.

http://www.blogto.com/restaurant_reviews/2007/03/buk_chang_dong_soon_to_fu_does_mean_dolsot_bibimbap/

lol.

Some of us order veggie dishes because they're good for you, 'not 'cause we're vegans.
Jin / March 13, 2007 at 11:17 am
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Asking for "cooked tofu" with this dish is like asking for a hamburger patty with eggs benedict. This restaurant's specialty IS tofu soup. Instead, you opted for an alternative dish and suggested adding an ingredient that is never assoiated with said dish. Strange.
Jerrold / March 13, 2007 at 11:31 am
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<i>"hamburger patty with eggs"</i>

Which is common in some Asian countries (eg. Japan).
Jonathan / March 13, 2007 at 12:26 pm
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I'm an omnivore and "opportunitarian" (a.k.a. freegan), and this place is easily my fave for bibimbap. Places with only nine or so things on the menu rate well with me.

For those who like their bulgogi, I advise this restaurant's version of that hot-plate beef and onion dish (green and white/yellow/conventional) -- toss it right into the bibimbap and enjoy.

My only caveat with this place is the hard-to-handle flat metal chopsticks. Hey, maybe I'll bring my own next time. (I do it with plastic takeout containers & resuable chopstix when I remember, which I'm proud to say is much of the time.)
handfed / December 19, 2008 at 05:13 pm
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I went there and the food is great, but I've one question: If you order the beef BBQ dish, they bring a stone pot of purple-ish rice. They then scoop out the rice and put it in a bowl, and fill the stone pot with cold water and leave it on the table. I asked a server what the rice/water is for and he said it is "Korean desert." Explanation??
kay / December 23, 2008 at 05:07 pm
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For handfed, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nurungji
Nouj / January 1, 2009 at 07:41 pm
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I also didn't know the name of this restaurant. It's quite good! I'm glad that other people enjoy it as well.
Patty / January 27, 2009 at 08:36 pm
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Went last Saturday and it was PACKED so we got take out. Was not disappointed. Ordered the veggie with TWO eggs. :)
escubio / February 25, 2009 at 08:07 pm
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Yes, I was perplexed at the water in the stone bowl too my first time last week. My friend who introduced the place to me said it was like a korean congee (aka: rice broth, arroz-caldo, lugao...) It was great. For the uninitiated, it can be nothing to write home about, for others, comfort food!
escubio replying to a comment from Jonathan / February 25, 2009 at 08:10 pm
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Oh, aparently the metal chopsticks used at this place are aparently very unique in Korean cuisine in that it's used exclusively to pick up the side dishes into your bowl. The spoon provided is used for shoveling food into your mouth. I was told this, so I'm open to corrections....
Fiona / March 14, 2009 at 04:23 pm
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I have yet to try the dolsot bibimbap but I enjoyed both the broiled bulgolgi (most 'expensive' item on the menu) and the bulgolgi beef stew.
rice is quite 'special' - purple short grain rice served in a stone pot with a date and some peas.
service is attentive (given its massive clientele)
another 'eat and run' Korean eatery - don't expect to linger for over an hour after you finish your meal.
will definitely come back - try to make it on weekdays when there will be less people.
B / January 12, 2010 at 12:47 pm
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This is one of the decent Korean places around. There is always people here, it smells good when you walk in, and the menu is simple.

Good comfort food at the right price. It's totally worth checking out.
Eric / March 17, 2010 at 09:45 am
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This is a fantastic restaurant. I had two cousins who lived in Seoul for over 5 years and said this place serves some of the most authentic Korean food you could possibly hope for (without actually going to South Korea, hahaha).
Sarah / August 7, 2010 at 05:06 pm
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I tried their North York location and I fell in love with their bibimbap and their grilled marinated meat! Mmm, I am craving their food soooo bad! Lunch time is the best time to go as it gets super busy during dinner time. Korean food rocks!
SAE replying to a comment from handfed / August 12, 2010 at 01:24 am
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rice+water is called soong nyoong... it's kind of like desert but more like refreshing your mouth with some neutral flavour. Koreans use many kinds of spices especially garlic and onion in bbq beef nd also in soon tofu nd many other dishes. It'll minimize those kind of smell when you eat soong nyoong. also purple rice is more nutricious thn white rice : )
Grace / September 5, 2010 at 01:03 am
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I come here all the time and I love it! It's healthy and they give you these delicious banchan. 5 stars.
Julie / September 7, 2010 at 03:51 pm
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The flat stainless chopsticks are the usual in korea, at least in the south where i lived. takes a little practice, but now i look very cool being able to use them easily whilst others drop gochujang on their laps :)
also, you are supposed to lay them flat over your bowl when not eating (or so i've been told). apparently having them tip down in your bown symbolizes incense burning which means death. or something... definately open to correction!
Sabrina / February 16, 2011 at 01:32 pm
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This place is a victim of it's own success now. We used to go every few weeks for years, but now the rice is mushy, the bibimbap isn't crispy and the bulgogi is sauceless and bland :(
Julie / March 17, 2011 at 09:08 pm
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You can just ask for wooden chopsticks.

I go all the time and all items on the menu are great. My favorite spot for comfort food. I recommend #4, #8, #9 and the bibimbap.

pd replying to a comment from kay / June 30, 2011 at 07:11 pm
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Thanks for the link, educating.
pd replying to a comment from kay / June 30, 2011 at 07:12 pm
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Thanks for the link, educating.
helen / October 12, 2011 at 09:08 am
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the tofu is definitely not supposed to be "cooked" in this dish (and the "uncooked" soft tofu is delicious!). a better analogy is like ordering an eggs benedict and asking for the poached egg to be replaced with scrambled egg on top.

A / November 8, 2011 at 12:00 am
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As a Korean, THIS is the ONLY place I will spend my money on for Korean food. Hands down the best, mom's cooking Korean food.
itchyone / November 16, 2011 at 04:11 pm
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I got sick of eating soon tofu for a long time ....... then I came here. Lets just say I'm willing to order soon tofu again .... really good. Gets a bit busy, and they only have a couple servers so asking for extra little things can take a while. But in terms of getting what you ordered, no problem. Definitely recommend this place.
Connie / February 13, 2012 at 01:14 pm
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Yonge / Finch one: ★☆☆☆☆
Bloor street west one: ★★★★☆

I went to the one on Yonge / Finch on Feb 11, 2012 (Sat) about 6:10 pm:
◎ Why I choice Yonge / Finch one?
It’s convenient to my friend to go that area. And I tried the one on the Bloor Street West quite a few times, it’s really good, so I THOUGHT the Yonge / Finch one will be good too.
◎ Why I feel disappointed after meal?
1. Side dish KimChi’s color and the taste are not as fresh as the other place.
2. The lady from the counter really rude and bad attitude (waiters are fine): she tried to push us finished it as soon as possible by the dirty look and even approaching us and asked “are you guys finished?” while my friend still eating as she can see. My friend answered; “no!”. But we don’t have the mood to finish the meal anymore, so we just gave up the meal and left. We only spent about 40 minutes from we sit in to leave that restaurant. You really better eat FAST and get out, especially during the busy hours.
Probably the lady from the counter doesn’t care since she has long line up.
◎ Suggestion
1. Go to the Bloor street west one in the Korean town.
2. If you really have to go Yonge/Finch one and they also treat you like that. NO tips and post it on the web.
nippleholic / September 21, 2012 at 01:41 pm
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Some of the saltiest food you'll ever eat apparently: http://www.thestar.com/living/article/1260058--the-dish-the-saltiest-meal-we-ve-ever-tested

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