Sunday, 17 December 2006


Well over a week ago, Jane, Julianna, Ryan and myself decided we needed to get away from the Caf and get some other kind grub. Our hunger levels were high, and there are only a few real options to fufill such needs. Buffets generally can do the trick: but Mandarin isn't close, we weren't in an Indian mood, and other buffets tend to be really pricey. So where can a bunch of students eat really well on a small budget? The Korean Grill House.

Korean Grill House is a chain of Korean BBQ restaurants in downtown Toronto. They have existed far North of the Bloor line for a long time, but the phenomenon has exploded in the downtown in the last few years. What is it?

ESSENTIALLY, its trays of meat, poultry and seafood that you grill yourself on bbq that are right inside your table. That's right, your cooking on an open flame.

The standard all-you-can-eat (AYCE) menu is beef, pork, pork ribs, chicken, ox tail, ox tongue, salmon and squid. There are side dishes that include kimchi, radishes, bean sprouts, spicy bean sprouts, potato and tofu. It also comes with a bowl of soup and a bowl of rice. Everything is unlimited, it is AYCE after all. See wikipedia for more information on the more traditional preparation.

In the circles I run in, we tend to to only order the beef, pork, ribs, and chicken (for some reason ox tongue doesn't appeal to our Western palette).

The fun is really in cooking together and having a good time. And how many people in the downtown have the opportunity to use a bbq?

Korean BBQ has its good nights and bad nights. There are times the meat is sliced thin and in perfect sheets, other times it is stringy and clumped together. This particular night the meat was hit and miss - some good, some bad. The various meats are also marinated that give them extra flavour even after coming off the grill.

On this particular evening, we were eating at the newly opened branch on Yonge street, just South of Gerard street. It was quite empty, (unlike the flagship restaurant on Queen street that is perpetually packed) which afforded us two grills for 4 people and our choice of seating. This location is decorated in warmer tones, giving it a more comfortable atmosphere. Unfortunately, because there were less people, the service was less frequent: at the flagship location I can barely take a sip of water without it being refilled right after.

The price is right too: the general AYCE is $12.99. The best deal is the lunch/late-night-owl special (noon and after 10pm) that is AYCE for $8.99, however you get fewer meat choices. Either way, its a ton of food for a little bit of money. And pop is free refills!

Korean Grill House is a carnivore's delight. Sure there are vegetarian dishes as well as other more traditional Korean fare, but you come for the AYCE. Sooo good and sooo filling. This is sure to become a donning tradition in the near future. If your not going to have wings, have Korean BBQ.

Korean Grill House
Yonge and Gerrard Street (and other locations)
Korean Grill


Julianna said...

Great review- yummmm meat! Although you forgot to mention I got the salmon and it was the best thing I had! Ah well I will ESSENTIALLY forgive you this time! :P

jeremy said...

remember the time we went to a korean bbq place and were asked to leave after having our 2 hour orgy of meat? heh heh...I guess they were afraid we'd put them out of business...