A Korean street food restaurant hidden in the heart of Little Italy opened up earlier this year. The space was initially home to DOMA, a fine dining Korean restaurant serving food of French-inspired techniques.
Chef and owner Paul Kim.
Chef and owner Paul Kim trained in French cuisine at Ottawa’s Le Cordon Bleu and was eager to use his culinary training in his first venture into the fine-dining restaurant scene. Following the closure of DOMA, Kim has decided to move away from the fine-dining world by taking on a new project closer to his South Korean roots -- Boonsik. The space has been completely redesigned and Chef Kim is creating some of his favourite South Korean street food dishes right here in one of Toronto’s oldest neighbourhoods. His goal is to serve South Korean comfort food to anyone who misses it or who has yet to try it. Tucked away on Clinton Street just off of College, this gem is a great addition to the neighbourhood.
Boonsik has a laid-back casual atmosphere with a decently sized seating area. The space is playful and has a retro nostalgic feel harping back to the '80s or '90s complete with neon signs, boldly coloured accented features and abstract art. Boonsik has a beautiful large window, which supplies natural light during its lunch hours and has vintage yet contemporary light fixtures that light up the dining area during their dinner rushes. The space is relaxed and you can be sure to enjoy old school K-pop or other nostalgic throwbacks playing as you enjoy your meal.
You may not have tried some of these classic South Korean dishes but this is the perfect opportunity to get a taste of Korean street food cooked by a chef who is putting his heart and soul into his food. Boonsik literally means "made with flour" but now references South Korea's street food scene.
Deep-fried egg sandwich.
The food is executed to perfection by the meticulous and skilled hands of Kim and his team. Kim wanted the food to spark a sense of nostalgia for people familiar with Korea's street food but even for those who try his dishes for the first time, the food is comforting for most. Who doesn't love a delicious silky yet crispy egg sandwich? Or a crunchy and cheesy corndog? If spice is part of your definition of comfort food, then the Teokbokki -- a chewy rice cake, fish cake and boiled egg in a spicy sauce (Gochujang) -- might be more your speed. The food speaks for itself. Everything is prepped in house daily and made to order.
Crispy sugar coated corn dog filled with mozzarella and beef sausage.
Teokbokki: rice cake, fish cake and boiled egg in Gochujang sauce.
Boonsik brings nostalgia into every aspect of their restaurant and carries some popular South Korean drinks -- flavoured milks, vintage sodas, punches and alcoholic beverages.
Who doesn't love a good flavoured milk! Boonsik carries strawberry, banana and melon flavoured milks.
Old school and favourite Korean drinks. Rice punch, old school vintage soda and Milkis, which is a lightly carbonated version of Korea's standard yogurt drink.
Apple or original soju for those feeling something a bit more alcoholic.