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Those looking for late-night Asian street food in Toronto will find it at The Bar Jokbal Night Market, a soon-to-be-opened outpost of one of North York’s best Korean tapas spots.
One of the biggest pork hock franchises in Korea, Jokbal Night Market currently has more than 300 locations scattered throughout the country. Last December, Sean Lee opened the chain’s first Canadian outpost in North York. Previously, Lee owned a sushi restaurant in Markham, where he worked for the last decade.
Originating in Korea, jokbal is a rich and savoury dish that’s made using pig’s trotters, cooked for hours in a blend of salty soy sauce and other spices. On the menu at Jokbar Night Market, diners will find an array of variations of this dish, including the original jokbal and a spicy barbeque jokbal. “The secret recipe came straight from Korea,” says Lee. Additional tapas-style plates include bossam (pork belly), Korean-style chive and kimchi pancakes, Korean-style cold noodles, and steamed clams finished with white wine.
Following the success of Jokbal Night Market’s recent opening at the end of last year, Lee is getting ready to open a spinoff establishment later this month. With an anticipated opening date of April 13, The Bar at Jokbal Night Market will follow suit with a similar menu, but will also feature more than 20 Korean-style izakaya dishes with both Japanese and Italian influence, including fried chicken with pasta, whole marinated squid with noodles, a taco platter, prosciutto and honeydew melon, truffle fries, tuna tataki, aged salmon sashimi and more.
“Our first location is already packed with customers and lots of people coming from downtown,” Lee says of his decision to open a sister spot closer to the downtown core.
As far as the cocktail menu goes, The Bar Jokbal Night Market will offer several specialty cocktails like the Earl Grey highball, the apple ginger highball and peach sangria, alongside a selection of soju, beer and spirits.
The Bar Jokbal Night Market is located at 639 Yonge St. and is open daily from 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. The original Jokbal Night Market is located at 41 Sheppard Ave. E. in North York.