Cheongnyun is a Korean restaurant offering street food like skewered corn dogs and gooey plates of tteokbokki.
Introducing the concept of "newtro" to the city, Cheongnyun brings the rising Korean trend of modern-meets-retro design to the forefront with an adorably decorated interior complete with lacy curtains, a bright jade colour scheme, and relaxing jazzy tunes.
It's a super cozy spot to pig out on a lunchtime menu of really decadent Korean street food.
The main focus here is definitely the tteokbokki, or rice cakes, doused in some kind of sauce and, ideally, covered in stretchy mozzarella. Rice cakes are delivered fresh daily from Jongro Foods, a bakery that makes mochi eats like injeolmi and tteok jip fresh in-house.
Cheongnyun's are perfectly chewy and feel slightly more substantial than your usual tteokbokki because they're actually slightly longer than the norm.
Unique to this place is the sweet potato cheese tteokbokki ($12), a generous portion of rice cakes which is oven-baked for seven minutes for the meltiest mozzarella cheese.
It's topped with a house-made sweet potato mousse made nightly. You can get this item during lunch or dinner.
Available only during the day is the cream tteokbokki ($10): a melange of bacon, mushrooms, rice cakes, cheddar cheese, and a yolky egg.
While the trend of Korean corn dogs on skewers ($4.99 each) has seen a surge in Toronto, Cheongnyun actually suggests you eat it as a supplementary dish to your tteokbokki.
You can have the option of these eating these sticky rice dogs covered in sugar right off the stick, or cutting them into pieces with provided scissors to dip into your saucy rice cake dish.
There's a simple sausage option, one filled with mozzarella, and a potato covered corn dog.
The texture of the corn dogs is soft, fluffy, and almost doughnut-like. They're doused in ketchup and mustard, and honestly taste delicious whichever way you want to eat them.
You can also do the same with the seaweed-wrapped fried glass noodles ($3 apiece).
Fish cake skewers ($3.50 for two pieces) are soupy, massive entrail-looking things that are quite tasty.
Off the dinnertime menu, which is available anytime after 6 p.m., is a super gooey chicken in a bed of cheese.
A tuna sushi with pickled radishes and a drizzle of mayo is a Korean classic.
With all this melty madness, you'll have to wash it down, so maybe go for a bottle of Lucky Sprite: a super rare Korean soda with a light, gum-like taste that was discontinued for 20 years—basically the essence of Korean newtro in a drink.