What’s on the menu at Seoul Shakers, Leemo Han’s new Korean–South American snack bar in Bloordale

What’s on the menu at Seoul Shakers, Leemo Han’s new Korean–South American snack bar in Bloordale

Name: Seoul Shakers
Contact: 1241 Bloor St. W., no phone, @seoulshakersclub
Neighbourhood: Bloordale
Previously: Holy Oak Cafe
Owners: Leemo Han (Juanmoto, Pinky’s Ca Phe, Hanmoto) and Ihn Huh (Pinky’s Ca Phe)
Chefs: Executive chef Leemo Han and chef de cuisine Jason Poon (Beast Restaurant)

The food

A menu of Korean mash-ups with some South American influence. Expect things like kalbi empanadas, dressed with pico de gallo, aji sauce and black mint; tempura salt cod; and parrilla-grilled beef ribs served with potatoes and shishito peppers in a gochujang-tomato sauce. “I always wanted to come back to Korean after Oddseoul,” says Han. “This is my take on it, but for 2018.”

Tempura salt cod sits on a pool of aji and tartar sauces. $10.


Mongo squid yukkae tops beef tartare with sliced mongo squid sashimi, matchsticks of Korean pear and egg yolk. It’s served with sheets of seaweed. $15.


Eggplant kangpungi tosses fried eggplant in a spicy sweet soy glaze with bell peppers, scallions and chili oil. $10.


The kimchi-pear wedge salad tops a thick slice of iceberg lettuce doused in ginger-onion dressing with fermented Korean pear, stilton, roasted brown rice, pickled chilies and shredded radish. $10.


The roast kimchi chopped-cheese sandwich stuffs Martins potato rolls with a chopped ground beef patty, roasted kimchi, pickles, special sauce, lettuce, onions and cheese. It comes as Biggie ($15, shown here) or Smalls ($8).


And from above.


The steak and potatoes dish features a parrilla-grilled beef rib, potatoes with a gochujang-tomato sauce, shishito peppers and saamjang sauce. $32.


The SS Trompo tacos are made with gochujang-marinated pork neck that’s roasted on this vertical spit.


Chef de cuisine Jason Poon.


The drinks

A short list of easy-drinking beers, an equally short selection of wine and and a few large-format brut ciders. The draw here are Huh’s specialty cocktails and the house makgeolli (a Korean sparkling rice wine).

The booze supply.


The Belmont Rouge is made with Dillon’s Cassis, Campari, pisco, lemon and grapefruit juices and egg white. $14.


The Fino Berry is made with gin, Tio Pepe, lemon juice, blackberry shrub and cucumber bitters. $13.


The Mak Shake is a riff on the bourbon sour and made with bourbon, lime juice, orgeat, cinnamon and egg white. It’s topped off with Korean rice wine and garnished with a maraschino cherry. $14.


The space

No stranger to creating unique spaces, Han gutted the room and clad it in a whole lotta wood and custom arches. He outfitted the front room with a bar salvaged from a now-closed Hamilton establishment. Han, who loves collecting antiques, wanted to make the space look dated “like an old man’s, bar or an uncle’s man cave but with a cantina vibe.” Nailed it.

Quite the patina on that mirror.


A banquette near the entrance sits under a curtain of beads that Han sourced from Montreal’s Chinatown, then custom-cut and tied.


This is a working jukebox. Han looked high and low for eight years for one just like it.


Here’s a closer look. (Not close enough to see any of the selections, unfortunately.)


Co-owner Ihn Huh.


You’d think it was abandoned, but you’d be wrong.