694 Bloor St. West
It is nice to have friends who are willing to try different cuisine. Too many people are unwilling to put their palettes to the test and are content eating the same bland food they have for years. While that may work for them, I think it is vital to one’s personal growth to try new things including attempting foreign cuisines that may at first appear daunting. With that audacious and perhaps slightly judgemental declaration, let’s discuss Paldo Kangsan, a Korean restaurant on Bloor just east of Christie.
Having only had tried a little of someone’s Korean dish at the fabulous Japanese/Korean restaurant San, I was excited for my first real experience. The restaurant’s ambience leaves a little to be desired with uncomfortable benches in what appears to be the traditional Korean high wall encasing. To me, this resembles more of a jail cell though it does provide a degree of privacy from the blathering masses. Radio commecials blaring from the speakers don’t help matters.
Putting aside my reservations about the ambience for a second let’s get to the important stuff. With some help from our very friendly waiter we ordered several dishes to share including the popular “Bi Bim Bop”, fried beef ribs and pork dumplings. Bi Bim Bop is served sizzling in a large stone bowl, on a bed of rice cooking on the bottom, with variety of vegetables and shredded beef and a sunny side egg as a garnish. I can’t recall what the pre-dishes consisted of, nor did I really know what they were at the time of consumption, but I do know that there was some Kim Chi in a spicy sauce which supposedly is cabbage that is stored under ground. Another dish appeared to be a very sticky and sweet entaglement of sorts but turned out to be a very fishy and fairly disgusting inclusion.
All of this may seem like a normal size order for three people but including the several pre-dishes that I believe come with every meal, I can say this restaurant has amazing value. We were not nearly able to finish off all this mostly tasty food and we each paid less than $10. So despite the less than desireable ambience, it pays, or should I say it doesn’t pay, to go off the beaten trendy track sometimes.