Wednesday, 30 January 2013


NOV 2012

This was one interesting adventure. It starts over a year ago, maybe even two. I had heard about a Korean joint that did Korean style chicken wings. My understanding of Korean wings are that they are very crispy. Sounds good. Where to get them? Ajuker was the place what I kept hearing as the place to go. 3 times I went to Korea town and could not find this place. Three times over that maybe 2 years. But one November night, I got there.

I don't know why I didn't find the place. Well maybe its because the English is tiny on the sign. Anyway, I found the place, and even though I was dining solo and would normally feel a little uncomfortable in a place I couldn't even see inside, I sucked it up and went in.

Inside the place was simple and felt kind of thrown together. Throughout the place were tv's playing a Korean . . . game show? variety show? I didn't know. There were a few times that the screen looked a little odd, and then I realized the show was being played off of a laptop and I think being watched more by staff. The crowd inside was Korean and young and lots of people seemed to be enjoying varieties of fried chicken.

photo from JH on yelp
The above photo is not mine (I took one but it didn't turn out). I knew by the pictures there was chicken wings, but I could not read the menu. What confused me was the pictures at the top that showed wings and Large-Small, but what was that? And then at the bottom had the title WINGS. An older woman (owner maybe?) came to take my order. She did not really speak English and I don't speak Korean. I tried to ask about the wings . . . and it was a very challenging conversation for us both.

First I wanted the 'Bul-dak' or hot spicy chicken sauce, but was told no. I asked what kind of wings the others were, and in broken English I basically got 'plain' 'soy sauce' 'honey garlic' and the last I couldn't understand but it seemed special and had green onions. So I ordered that one, and I was told it was $2. Sure, I just wanted wings.

A plastic bottle of water was brought to my table, as well as the Coke I ordered. I also got a side dish of sweet radishes, which are great with spicy dishes. I didn't have to wait long and my wings had arrived.

I had no clue as to what was coming to my table. I mean, I had my idea of what the wings would be like, but I did not expect the following:

Some sort of weird bird nest of onion on chicken wings with sauce mixed over and some sesame seeds. I was lost as to how I was supposed to eat this; I mean, do you bite the onion with the wings? Separately  Was the onion just garnish? What do I do??!?!?!  Under that onion forest were about 12 wings in there.

The wings were irregular in shape. Some of the wings were large, others small. Some wingettes had the tip, others not. Some were cut in half.

The chicken was perfectly cooked. The skin was very crispy and had a nice crunchy (the last wings not so much). The meat was tender. Did I mention the perfectly crispy skin? It was a crispy coating like a perfect chicken McNugget coating.

The sauce was . . . interesting. I wouldn't call it tasty. It was a seemingly mix of soy sauce and ginger and, well I don't know. It was kind of sweet, kind of sour, kind of bitter too. The green onion gave it a kind of fresh kick. I have never had anything like it. It was an experience, but not one I would go through again. 

FINAL SCORE: Ajuker was quite the experience for me. As a non-Korean, it was a little strange atmosphere and talking with staff was difficult. My chicken was perfectly cooked: crispy and tender chicken. The sauce was, just strange and I don't recommend it. I would love to try the honey garlicky one, or even plain. I would LOVE to have the spicy sauce, but they don't do that. 6/10

680 Bloor Street West (and other locations)

PS: if you can translate anything, please let me know what I was eating, or what I could have eaten!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Make sure we go together next time and I'll order for you bud!
Dave Kim