Spring Flowers and Bees

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Ultimate Comfort Food at Korean Town

Getting past through two days of fierce winter days is not easy. The weather has been unbelievably freezing these couple of days. But, that didn't hinder me from going out and absorb some sunshine. Yes, the windchill temperature reached minus 20, but the sun was shining brightly yesterday. So, stepping outside the house was worthwhile.

To sum it up, our trip before finally reaching to the
ultimate comfort food involved the quest for freshly-baked artisan bread, browsing through books at Indigo, sipping hot chocolate at Starbucks, and finally jumping on to the subway to Korean Town.

I have to tell you about the quest for bread first! I browsed through the internet the day before to locate a good artisan bakery. I found one on Kensington Market and realized that there is actually one bakery I have been to twice. It's called My Market Bakery. I'm not sure whether their breads were made in artisan way or merely in a mass-produce way. However, observing from the size of the store, it's almost unlikely that they produced their bread with huge machinery and some additional ingredients (if you know what I mean). This quest is the continuation of my budding love for artisan bread while reading Maggie Glezer's Artisan Baking. I have a herbed flatbread fermenting at home and would like to search for some professional breads as comparison. I landed my choise on a Portugese Corn Bread and a Multi-Grain Sourdough Bread. I'm happy now! ^^

Now, jumping right to the Korean Town restaurant called Ka Chi. Here, Mr. W and I ordered nothing else but Pork Bone Soup. Well, accompanied with a basket of fried dumplings as well. I should say that this is a semi-restaurant-review posting and I definitey recommend anyone to come and visit Ka Chi.

The usual set of compliment appetizers in small plates. This is what I love the most in Korean restaurant. They would serve you with house-made appetizers which mostly consist of pickled vegetables, i.e. Kimchi, pickled radish and carrots, and pickled Korean beansprouts. Other than that, we had some fried small fish (I don't know what they are called, but they resemble anchovies) and a green salad with refreshingly sour dressing. The best thing is, you can ask for more of these appetizers without getting any extra charge, as long as you know your limit.

Unlike usual, Mr. W ordered some fried beef dumplings and eaten with the dipping sauce shown below. They were deep fried into the perfect crips and the sesame-scented dipping sauce accentuated the taste. However, I would ask for something hot as the dipping sauce, like the ABC chili sauce. =p

Main Course
Let me introduce to whoever is not familiar with Korean dishes, Pork Bone Soup (or Gam Ja Tang in Korean, thanks to my sis!) I was hoping that the picture could describe itself to you. But now I'm just not too sure. I'm concerned because you can't smell the picture =p This soup is best eaten warm with long silver spoon and silver chopsticks as the gadgets. Stick to the silver eatingware to keep the originality =)
This mildly spicy soup is loaded with the non-fatty meat of the pork still intact with the bones, potatoes, nappa, bean sprouts and some slices of green onion. Add a squirt of lemon juice and the soup is ready to eat! How can this not be the ultimate comfort food in the chilly winter evening? This soup is very filing, you'll be satisfied by the end of the meal.

I noticed that the soup is not as spicy as it was when I first ate it a couple years back. Perhaps this is a good thing for those who are not so tolerant with heat.
There are many other good food in this restaurant. My other favorite are the Fried pork and Kimchi in special hot sauce (very high in HEAT) and Ka-Chi's special stew (it has sausages and rice and vegetables).

Is there a high price to pay for such good foods? In fact, there is not! The tab won't be shocking since each main dish is priced ranging from Cdn$6 to Cdn$8. The pork bone soup itself only costs Cdn$6! And finally, these prices (yes the prices on the menu) already include TAX! This fact just added to my list of reasons why dining out at Korean restaurant in Korean Town is really... fulfilling and satisfying!

If you still have a room for dessert, just walk one block to the west and you will find Kwada Hodo. The snack to die for here is the Brown Sugar Pancake (Hodo), it is a must try!

Ka Chi Restaurant
612 Bloor St. W

Nearest TTC subway(s): Danforth or Christie

Phone: 416-533-9306


Anonymous Aeons said...

korean food !

8:34 PM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

Hi Strawberry

Thanks for visiting my little site :)

I've had a quick tour of yours -- I love Korean food..yumyumyum...
Good pictures too!


10:14 PM  
Anonymous Ivonne said...

Hi Ceendy!

That food looks incredible! I wish I could get to Kensington Market more often!

By the way, I too have Maggie Glezer's "Artisan Baking". Isn't it wonderful!

11:25 PM  
Blogger strawberry said...

I rarely go to Kensington Market too. Maybe because it's winter :)

I wish I could make more breads out of her book. The flatbread was my first one and I'm gonna post about it soon. Her slow way of fermenting and making the bread is very intriguing! However, I'm afraid I don't have the right equipments.

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Tania said...

I've never been to Ka Chi, but I'm quite familiar with Kwada Hodo. I haven't tried the Brown Sugar Pancake, but those lovely little walnut cakes are to die for! Next time I'm there, I'll definitely have to give the pancake a try.w

1:04 PM  
Blogger Typical INgredients said...

Hi Strawberry,

Believe it or not my Mother in-law is from Seoul Korea and I never get the chance to talk about her culture and food but thanks for giving me such idea and maybe I could ask her to make some of those korean food you've just shared!

Take care!


3:28 PM  
Blogger strawberry said...

Tania - Believe me, those brown sugar pancakes are even more to die for! You can buy several and re-fry them at home at your own convenience! However, less is more, just try one first ^^ Thanks to my sister's Korean friend who introduced me to this delecious snack.
Tin - I'm so glad to be your little helper ^^

6:45 PM  

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