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Food & Drink

What’s on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food

By Renée Suen| Photography by Renée Suen
What's on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food

Name: Boonsik Contact: 50C Clinton St., 416-551-1550, boonsik.to
Neighbourhood: Little Italy Previously: Doma Chef-owner: Paul Kim (Doma) Accessibility: Two steps at entrance; washroom in basement down a flight of stairs

The food

Kim has moved from fussing over fancy small plates to serving a fast-casual Korean menu of boonsik (“food made from flour”) favourites. “I describe it as Korean soul food because every Korean grows up with boonsik. I love boonsik, but there’s no restaurant in Toronto that specializes in it,” Kim says. “Everyone in Korea knows what boonsik is like—every town or city has its own flavours, but I’ve tried to make it balanced.”

What's on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food
Sweet potato glazed with honey butter—a very popular Korean street snack—is made with a touch of rice syrup. $6.

 

What's on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food
Boonsik’s homemade fried mandoo are filled with pork, vegetables and glass noodles, and come in regular or “crazy spicy.” $6.

 

What's on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food
The Korn Dog has a mozzarella and beef sausage centre surrounded by a rice- and bread-flour batter. It comes drizzled with ketchup, mustard and sprinkle of sugar. $3.

 

What's on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food
Here’s a closer look.

 

What's on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food
Inspired by stone-pot eggs, Kim’s egg sandwich features a breaded and deep-fried slab of oven-baked egg between soft bread—just like a pork katsu sando—with slivered onion and a secret sauce. $8.

 

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What's on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food
Served in paper cups, the Janchi Cup Noodle Soup is a slightly spicy broth of dried anchovy and kombu chock full of somyun (thin wheat flour noodles), shredded carrot, zucchini, fried tofu, egg, nori and scallions. $4.

 

What's on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food
The made-to-order Bulgogi Kimbap is filled with carrots, lettuce, perilla leaves and shiitake mushrooms. $8.

 

What's on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food
Also made-to-order, the Spicy Tuna Kimbap contains tuna, mayonnaise, fresh chilies, carrots, lettuce and perilla leaves. $8.

 

What's on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food
The Ganjang Shrimp Dupbap features soy sauce–marinated shrimp, tobiko and lettuce, over rice dressed with a myeongnan (pollock roe) sauce. $12.

 

What's on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food
Having researched over 300 tteokbokki recipes, Kim came up with his own version of the rice-cake dish that involves fish cakes. It’s $18 for the medium serving shown here. Add mozzarella for an extra $3.

 

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What's on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food
Reserve some sauce for dunking.

 

What's on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food
Inspired by a small variety store near his old school, Kim has stocked a display case with old-school Korean snacks for $1 each.

 

What's on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food
Chef-owner Paul Kim.

 

The drinks

Non-alcoholic options ranging from flavoured milks and pop, “old-fashioned coffee” (drip with two creams, two sugars) and yuja (otherwise known as yuzu) tea. For boozier stuff, there’s soju, beer and house wine.

What's on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food
Iced misugaru is a multi-grain latte that can be served hot or cold. $4.

 

The space

Kim has redecorated the café-like space with vintage finds. And from the speakers: a soundtrack of ’90s Korean music.

What's on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food
What's on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food
What's on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food
What's on the menu at Boonsik, Little Italy’s new spot for Korean street food

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