Hanyang Jokbal is a Korean restaurant specializing in jokbal with a few different flavours of the rich and savoury meat dish including honey garlic, barbecued and spicy.
The restaurant off Silver Star Boulevard brings one of the traditional dishes of South Korea's capital city Seoul, previously called Hanyang, to Toronto.
The spot shares a parking lot with a number of Chinese restaurants and is just around the corner from Pacific Mall.
The owner Jisu Han and his wife Calsey Choi opened the first North York location in 2019 before opening here. When we visit, Choi is here along with the store manager Allen Choi (no relation), who whips up the dishes for us fresh (after hours of braising, of course).
The pig's feet used in the jokbal are braised for about four hours every morning and flame-grilled in the case of the spicy jokbal ($38).
The bowl that's meant to be shared comes with piles of the braised grilled pork trotters and tteokbokki (rice cakes) on top of a meaty pig ankle bone and covered in a sticky, spicy Korean sauce that's special to this restaurant.
Each jokbal on the menu comes with seven sides to complete the meal and balance the strong flavours like salted shrimp sauce, pickled white radish and kimchi. This also includes lettuce to further offset the flavour and slight greasiness of the dish.
A bean sprout soup with some minced garlic and scallions is another typical Korean side that accompanies the jokbal.
Another way of enjoying the trotters is by ordering the meat braised only. Instead of going under the direct heat of the flame, the meat is sliced right after stewing in a mix of seasonings.
The tender meat can come barbecued or in a sweet garlic sauce ($38). Skipping the grill is the only difference with this meal, which means you'll be getting the same array of sides.
DIY seasoned rice balls ($9) is one of the few dishes on the menu that isn't jokbal. The rice comes topped with mayo, seaweed and fish roe.
This side is also served with a pair of gloves as it'll be your job to mix in all of the toppings with the rice on the bottom and shape your own balls. Make sure to mix it in well to get the best-tasting, creamiest rice balls possible.
Hanyang Jokbal is one of the only dedicated jokbal restaurants in the city. And with its tender, fall-off-the-bone meat, this spot delivers.