Sunday, February 3, 2008

16. Korea: Booungee

Booungee or Owl of Minerva
700 Bloor St West
(Between Christie and Bathurst)
416 538 3030

This restaurant is located in Koreatown which is one of Toronto's newer ethnic neighbourhoods. Don't be put off by this special sign at each table, "Small intestine of cattle with vegetables in a hot plate. $11.99." We met with a kind reception, had we eaten Korean food before and did we appreciate it was quite spicy? enquired our lady server. Free appetizers, shown here, were warm, mashed potato salad; seaweed with spicy sauce; cabbage with sesame seeds; tofu with spicy sauce and a welcome water jug. A small touch often neglected elsewhere.
We tried: Kimchi - cabbage and radish soaked in salt water, then seasoned with different spices before being fermented. Nakji Bokkeum, stir fried octopus with carrots and onions. Japchae - noodles made from potato and sweet potato, with mixed vegetables, soy sauce and sesame oil.
Open 24 hours a day most patrons are Korean youngsters and Korean television is playing constantly. Total cost: $29.69 plus tip for three generous lunches - enough food left over for a takeaway. A truly exotic experience at an everyday price. We picked up some nice produce from a local fruit & veg shop before hopping back on the subway.

Rating: Ambiance (3)
Service (3)
Food Presentation (3)
Food Quality (3)
Value for Money (4)

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