Toronto is abundant with good Korean restaurants, and many of them offer variety of Korean dishes, but if you crave quality good-old Korean home cooking in the west end of Toronto, come to Chodang Soon Tofu in Etobicoke.
Their menu is quite simple, yet covers all the essentials - spicy tofu soup (sundubu) $8, mixed rice with cooked meat and vegetable (bibimpap - plain and hot stone bowl) $10, bento box sets $9-10, hand-made dumpling (mandu) $9, and some ala carte dishes such as breaded pork/chicken cutlet (pork/chicken katsu). If your experience with Korean restaurants so far has been limited to Korean BBQ, you will be pleasantly surprised with more typical Korean home cooking style dishes served at this restaurant. As is always the case with most of Korean restaurants, you will be served with some small side dishes, mainly spicy pickled vegetable. Their signature item, fresh handmade tofu, tastes very mild and creamy. Tofu fan should definitely enjoy a side order of a tofu dish. If you're lucky, they may offer a small sample dish of fresh tofu on the side. They may also serve you with a small deep-fried fish as well (despite its simple look, the fish is moist and tastes really savory and good). Another signature item here is rice cooked in a special stone pot (dolsot pap) which comes with your main dish. The rice is very fragrant. The server will pour hot water in the pot after she serves you with the rice so you could enjoy the broth and softened rice as well.
Everything they serve here tastes very fresh and yummy, and by the time you finish your main dish, you will be very well fed and satisfied. Food is plentiful, so you only need to order 1 main dish, and 1 or 2 side dishes to share if you are with someone.
Service is very personable - again as is often the case with many Korean restaurants, the server speaks only limited English, but the menu is all in English and she (wife of the owner/chef) is eager to help you if you have any questions.
This small restaurant is located in a non-descriptive strip mall on Dundas Street West in Etobicoke (western part of Toronto) between Kipling and Islington Avenues. If you don't drive, you could walk from Kipling Station for about 10 min. If you see the Lambton bus #30 (runs only every half an hour) at Kipling Station, hop on it and it's only 1 stop and the restaurant will be right in front of you (look for the store-front sign in Korean).
Kipling Station is the western terminal station of Toronto subway line, 30 minutes from downtown Toronto. It is also 30 min. TTC Rocket Bus #192 ride from Toronto Pearson Airport, so if you have a few hours to kill during the layover, you could hop on the bus and come enjoy some homey Korean cooking. Open from 11am - 10:30pm, closed on Tuesdays (as of October 2012).
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