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Restaurants

Kimchi Korea House

Posted by Liora Ipsum / Reviewed on October 9, 2012 / review policy

kimchi korea house torontoKimchi Korea House, on the south side of Dundas near Bay, is situated in a prime spot to take advantage of this bustling downtown neighbourhood. At only a couple weeks old, the new restaurant is already garnering plenty of foot traffic from the nearby Ryerson campus.

kimchi korea house torontoThe formerly vacant and dilapidated storefront has been given an extreme makeover and now sports casual, modern decor that appropriately draws from Asian influences. Designed by Koryo Interior, the new look incorporates dark woods, rice paper screens, and bright red, vinyl banquettes.

kimchi korea house torontoThis is a restaurant from a veteran of the service industry, and here, a convivial atmosphere takes precedence over trendy fare. Owner Michelle Lee tells me about her lifetime of experience working in hospitality and service for the Western Prince Hotel and Niagara Fall's Captain Murphy's Restaurant, and how she is proud to now have the opportunity to show off the Korean comfort foods that are close to her heart.

kimchi korea house torontoPrices are not especially cheap, but the portion sizes are generous. The Sweet & Spicy Chicken ($15.95) delivers exactly what it promises via chillies and pineapple slices, and is served with sides of traditional Korean garnishes like kimchi, bean sprouts, pickled radish, cucumber and eggplant.

The Hot Stonepot Bibimbap ($10.95) arrives sizzling in heavy stoneware. The pan-fried egg sits on top of colourful veggies, slow-cooked beef, and soft fluffy rice that is seared to the bottom of the dish--a positive in my mind.

kimchi korea house torontoThe Kalbi Ribs Soup ($10.95) is another hearty dish featuring slow-cooked beef ribs and tender cubes of carrot and radish in a rich, beefy broth.

kimchi korea house torontoTonight, I'm grateful for the unlimited green tea, but on the drinks menu, options include beers and wines, as well as Sake, plum wine and soju (a distilled, vodka-like beverage with 35% alcohol that is native to Korea).

kimchi korea house torontoCurrently, the restaurant is open from 11:30am until late, but there are plans to stay open until 4:30 am on the weekends. Lee insists that "Korean food is great hangover food," and is confident that she's found a prime location in which to dish it out.

kimchi korea house torontoPhotos by Morris Lum

Discussion

17 Comments

M / October 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm
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$16 for a Korean meal!!! FTW are you 'tard douches so loaded with disposable income from writing such intriguing (ahem) blogs that you would pay that? Perhaps your dollars would be better spent on beard shaves and ironic eye glasses.
PD / October 9, 2012 at 12:56 pm
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These prices are ridiculous, even by downtown standards....and the target clientele is students?? Perhaps Mrs. Lee should walk across the street and sit in on a few classes at the TR School of Management. I recommend Economics 101.
sean / October 9, 2012 at 01:10 pm
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I think that price is in line with other Korean restaurants, as long as the portion is large for sharing. pretty common pricing in other Korean restaurants. not everyone eats pork bone soup each time.
LJ / October 9, 2012 at 09:18 pm
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LOL @ everyone
will / October 9, 2012 at 09:23 pm
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I agree that it's too expensive. And I should know because I'm Korean ;)

That plate of Chicken doesn't look like a generous size. And if we start paying $15.95 for it, then there won't be anymore cheap restaurants in this city anymore...Or we'll have to stick with Chinese and Vietnamese being the ONLY options.
Lana / October 13, 2012 at 11:43 pm
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Wow guys, really?

Checked out the place last week and went again yesterday. Prices are definitely not as steep as other commenters are making them out to be-- actually, prices are in the same range as most Korean restaurants in Koreatown/Chinatown with the exception of a few items.

Ordered Pork Bone Soup ($8.95), Seafood Soft Tofu Stew ($8.95) and Dwen Jang Chigae/Soy Bean Stew ($8.95). These dishes are basics in every Korean restaurant, and as a Korean I've been to enough places downtown that it's easy to tell immediately if a Korean resto has got their stuff together. Really good flavour, good portions, attentive service (the lady running this place is absurdly friendly). The spicy sweet potato banchan was really addictive, I asked for thirds and my server happily complied.

I'd say this place is much better than most (key note, MOST) places in Koreatown and on par with joints like Seor Ak San. I'll be coming back, as it's definitely a solid option for good Korean nosh in that neighbourhood.
Malaysian / November 16, 2012 at 09:37 am
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elcheapos should not come here... EOS(end of story)
Jay / January 17, 2013 at 06:09 pm
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PORK BONE SOUP ALL THE WAY!

fast service, generous portions. 10/10 would return.
LEL / January 31, 2013 at 08:57 pm
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I SERIOUSLY HOPE YOU GUYS DONT BLOW YOUR OSAP MONEY ON THIS RESTAURANT.
Lina / February 17, 2013 at 04:30 pm
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I once tried here with my boyfriend and it was a terrible experience. Bad food, bad service and like other people said above, too expensive. Esp service was really really bad. I am not going back there anymore..
Kayla / March 22, 2013 at 06:38 pm
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lolz @ el cheapos.

I don't get the comments saying it's too expensive... These dishes are at standard prices, maybe a few items are 1-2$ more than some places in Koreatown. But the food is obviously better quality, at least the 5-6 times I've been there. AND it's consistent, which is more than I can say for most places in K-town.
Web Ranking / April 29, 2013 at 01:55 pm
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information you’ve gotten right here on this post. I might be coming back to your blog for
extra soon.
road map of seoul south korea / June 7, 2013 at 05:58 am
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Jasmine / August 22, 2013 at 02:13 pm
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I have been to this restaurant as I live just down the street. Ms Lee is so sweet and the food is great. I dont understand why people are complaining about the prices because it is fairly inexpensive and provides good value. Thumbs up for Kimchi Korea House!
norm / January 19, 2014 at 06:52 am
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went here while waiting for my greyhound last night. had the yuk gae jjang and got like 3 refills of those side dishes. those spicy sweet potato cubes are SOOO GOOD
Eug / March 29, 2014 at 11:11 pm
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Went there last summer and loved it. Ribs were absolutely delicious. The portions were good size, pricey but worth it. The interior is beautiful and the service was good. Going to go to Toronto tomorrow with my parents to show them the place. Hope they like it too!
Sameer / May 6, 2014 at 02:57 pm
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this place is always PACKED at lunch when i walk by. so i went with a friend last night - ordered the pancake to share as an app and then pork bone soup and the braised ribs for our mains

ooooh man, the pork bone soup was HUUUUGEEE. had to take half of it home and i could not possibly have stuffed myself anymore. we mentioned to our server it was our first time there, and she brought us a greater selection of those little side dishes (bonchan? .....like 8 different ones in total) so that we could try a wider range of korean food. for that area i really expected mediocre/average food, so it was a pleasant surprise to discover another restaurant i can hit up after work. after this place and sansotei opened up.. i can only hope this is a trend!!

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