yeon toronto

Ambitious new Toronto restaurant shuts down after only two months

Toronto recently got Korean royal court cuisine, but just a taste of it.

Yeon opened on December 20, serving highly studied tasting menus that strictly followed the culinary traditions of Korean city Jeonju and involved items like deconstructed bibimbap.

The restaurant has posted an announcement to social media that they are now permanently closed. 

We regret to inform everyone that Yeon Toronto is permanently closed. As with art and music, cuisine is largely reflective of a culture's history, values, and people. In 2018, two sisters embarked on a culinary journey back to Korea in pursuit of their passion for cooking. They studied and practiced countless hours under the tutelage of chef-mentors of the traditional JeonJu royal court cuisine. Historically, there was a great divide in wealth and resources between the royal court and common people. From this shared hardship developed a strong sense of community, which would often manifest itself in acts of cooking together and for one another. The humility of serving traditional royal court cuisine and the warmth of sharing food with the community became the foundations of what is Yeon today. Unfortunately, our head chefs had already invested their youthful years into their previous careers and raising their families, making it difficult to continue with operations due to health complications. As a result, we have decided to close the restaurant in order to maintain the integrity of the dishes and dining experience. Yeon (which we derived from YinYeon or 인연), means chance or predestined relationship, which accurately embodies our journey together, as we were given the chance to form such great relationships with the Toronto community through a mutual appreciation for Korean cuisine. It was truly an honor and we would like to send our deepest gratitude to everyone who has supported us along the way.

A post shared by Yeon Toronto (@yeontoronto) on

"Unfortunately, our head chefs had already invested their youthful years into their previous careers and raising their families, making it difficult to continue with operations due to health complications. As a result, we have decided to close the restaurant in order to maintain the integrity of the dishes and dining experience," reads the post.

Comments on the post wish the chefs well, and lament that there was too short a window to try this one-of-a-kind cuisine. The last day for the restaurant was March 1.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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