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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Nak Won+Homemade Korean BBQ+ Pho St. Clair+Acquolina

Nak Won Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Hello everyone!
I finally captured some shots of one of my favourite Korean Restaurants at Yonge & Finch also as known as "Mini-Korea Town". This restaurant was designed to have a call bell for each table for service. It feels nice once in a while to have the tables turned and I am using the call bell for my needs. I just ended a shift where I client called me every 30 minutes to an hour. 

 Just observing the horizontally stacked store signs gives this place a Korean vibe.  
 Side Dishes aka Ban-Chan
 I love it how there is a random salad inserted as a side dish. 
 Potatoes and Kimchi
 Seaweed and soy beans
 Jap-chae (Korean Glass noodles made out of sweet potato starch) and pickled radish (the types that are in Vietnamese Subs).
 Fried Fish cakes with red pepper and marinated soy beans sprouts (I used to love this particular side dish. I think I have been over exposed to the bean sprouts ( Kkong nam moore) to an extent that it is no longer a thrill to me.)
 It tastes like chopped lettuce and tartar sauce. 
 Korean Cold Noodle Soup. I recall vividly it was a hot day when I visited Nak Won. I required something to return my body back to homoeostasis. It was quite delightful refreshingly as they would say in Korean, "Shun Hae". For your information "refreshing" in the Korean language is not limited to cool/cold beverages/foods. It can also be applied to hot concepts such as. A man takes a hot shower or a bath and he feels refreshed. Or... I finished consuming a hot and spicy Kimchi stew. I would probably say, "That Kimichi stew is refreshing."
 My friend likes the Korean BBQ Soup. Personally this soup is too sweet for my tongue. If you enjoy the essence of beef and sweetness, give this a try next time you visit a Korean restaurant. 
 I love it when the server hands you a pitcher of water.
A) It reduces call bells in the server's perspective as well as the customers'.
B) I think it shows great customer service that they know what your needs are... water! (I tend to drink large amounts of water.) 

For more information about Nak Won:

Apparently there are 4 locations....

Yonge Branch (Yonge & Finch)
5594 Yonge St. North York, On M2N 5S2
T.  416.590.1435 or  416.590.9286

Hwy 7 Branch (Hwy 7 & Woodbine)
3225 Hwy 7 E. Unit 3 Markham, On L3R 3P3
T.  905.604.2471 or  905.604.2472

Kennedy Branch (Kennedy & Hwy 7)
8362 Kennedy Rd. # A06 Markham, On L3R 9W5
T.  905.415.0077 or  905.604.9008

Dundas Branch (Dundas & Spadina)
473 Dundas St W Toronto, On M5T 1G8
T.   416.506.1666  or  647.352.1666

One day, I decided to cook what felt like 10 pounds of ribeye meat into Korean BBQ, Bulgoli. Wash the meat, chop the onions, juliette the carrots, mince the garlic or toss them in a food processor, slice the mushrooms and place the ingredients in a large metal bowl. Believe it or not, this is the largest metal bowl that I possess. Meat makes everything around it appear inferior in photos.  

Generously add in the garlic ...

Soy sauce and sesame oil...
And the marinating is just about to begin! :D

Mix everything together, place it in the fridge for the night, cook the meat the next day. 

I am approximately one-third complete cooking Korean BBQ. 
I toast the white and black sesame myself. Purchase them raw in a health food store and toast it yourself in a clean frying. Don't put oil in it. Toast the sesame over medium to low heat. Watch out, it can burn easily so use a wooden spoon to stir frequently.
 I like it how the steam from the freshly cooked meat created a cloudy effect. It reminds me of heaven. 

That is a lot of meat! 

Pho St. Clair on Urbanspoon

Ahh, my second favourite place to eat for Vietnamese Pho...

Pho... sometimes it leaves me with this nostalgia feeling and it takes on a flash back trip to when I was in Grade 9. I recall an old Chinese friend of mine, Kevin. The first time he took me out for Pho, I thought it was odd to see raw beef meat in a noodle soup dish. It was not within my Korean culture to see this. I am aware that Koreans eat odd live things such as live octopuses. Kevin assured me I do not have to consume it immediately and I have the option of waiting a few minutes allowing the hot broth to cook the thinly sliced beef. Kevin had his preference to consume the meat as raw as possible.

This place only takes cash as payment.
This was my second visit and I would definitely return again. Although customer service and their wash-rooms are horrible however their food tastes great!

I randomly went searching for a place to eat on St. Clair on one cloudy day.

Acquolina Ristorante on Urbanspoon

Somehow I ended up at Acquolina. I am unsure if it was a happy accident or fate. I was viewing the menu from outside and it just so happen a staff was taking his break. He said, "Everything here is good. We can even make you something that is not on the menu. I love the food here and I can assure that you will too. " The words came out of him with such confidence, like a professional business man, I was sold! 
The outdoor menu I was viewing. 
Atmosphere: Dimmed lights, paintings and mirrors... Perfect for a romantic date. 

Unlimited bread. I mainly consume whole wheat breads. It is a dessert to me if I eat white bread. 

My friend hated olives. More yummy olives in my tummy ;P
Every 3 months or so, I sit down to have some white wine, with olive oil, cheese and sliced bagette bread. :D :D :D 
There is another hidden room  at this perspective to the right, however I did not get a opportunity to take a shot of the other room.
I hated mussels until this dish changed my whole entire perspective of mussels. I am ashamed to say I only had mussels as a menu item that was often integrated into sushi buffet menus. I had horrible experiences as Kevin, my high school friend as I have mentioned above constantly ordered mussels whenever we had sushi buffet. I would detest it because:
A) The way the mussels are  and cooked (I often seen it in cooked in broth and it did not taste pleasant).
B) The mussels were gritty, rocky and tasted nasty due to the fact that they weren't cleaned properly.
C) Chances are, they weren't fresh.

It was noted fresh Basil was used. I love herbs! 
Oh yesssss! More Basil leaves on the pasta! 
These were the plumpest shrimps I have ever had. They were butterfly and split in that fashion. Devouring one piece of shrimp really felt like two pieces of shrimp. 

I love this place and I would definitely return. Bring at least $30 if you are planning to visit. 

1 comment:

joan marie tanly said...

Those are very delicious food and I love them all. I want to go to visit and eat those foods. Thanks for sharing this.

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