Address: Korean Food 101 held at Song Cook’s Authentic Korean restaurant, 72 Steeles Ave. W #6, Thornhill, ON
When I went: May 2017, dinner, 6 people
Chopsticks and Forks is a food tour company founded by Jusep Sim; a passionate foodie and entrepreneur whose vision is to showcase the story behind the diversity of food in Toronto. He has a guided food tour at Kensington Market, as well as a non-walking tour called “Korean Food 101” held at Song Cook’s Authentic Korean restaurant in Thornhill. ‘Korean Food 101’ was indeed a VIP introduction to Korean Food!
The ‘Korean Food 101’ dining experience happens every Sunday at 5 pm with 16 people per dining experience. Private tours are also available. I was excited to experience a private dining experience with my family and highly recommend it.
Here are the top 5 reasons why I enjoyed ‘Korean Food 101’:
Jusep has an interesting story and is a great story teller. He lived with a family in Kenya for 3 months to volunteer and ate a ton of local cuisine. He appreciated that the Kenyan family hosted him daily which motivated Jusep to want to host others…and that was how Chopsticks and Forks was created. Meeting him was the highlight as his enthusiasm was contagious! I love to ask a ton of questions and Jusep blew me away with his knowledge. He wasn’t a host that just memorized a script and a few facts… he knows his stuff and was passionate to talk about it!
2. Food was good and I was full!
The tasting included 7 dishes, as well as rice and unlimited refills of bachan (side dishes). I have been to many Korean restaurants and have had most of the dishes that we tasted which included bulgogi, dumplings, and don katsu. Still, there were many stand outs from the meal. I really enjoyed that the Jap Chae was served warm rather than cold, and the don katsu had a thin but extra crispy batter. The kimchi was one of the best I have had in Toronto as it had a slight sweetness to it but still packed a punch. The kimchi came with a pair of scissors so that we could cut it into our desired size, and made the experience more interactive.
As a big eater, I was afraid a “tasting” meant I would get small portions. With some dishes served family style and others individual, I was stuffed!
3. I actually learned some cool facts about Korean food history through the dishes.
Did you know that Jap Chae (Korean glass noodles) was a dish of Imperial decent, and was created over 600 years ago? With a large Buddhist population in the early years, a vegetarian diet was the norm. Jap Chae was vegetarian only, and has evolved to include meat over the years. Like many cuisines that have influences from other countries, Korean cuisine has influences from Japanese and Chinese food. One notable dish that has Chinese influence was the Cha-Jang Myun (black bean noodle dish). The Chinese version used yellow bean, and the Korean version used Black bean and was sweeter in taste.
4. Overall enjoyable experience.
We had the honour of having Jusep join us for dinner as well, so it was a casual yet informative experience. Korean Food 101 lasted about 2 hours and time flew by. The tour typically ends with a guided tour around Galleria (Korean supermarket) which is walking distance to the restaurant. Our family decided to skip this portion of the tour.
5. Song Cook’s Authentic Korean restaurant was a great restaurant to host Korean Food 101.
Aside from tasty food, the restaurant was huge with many private rooms, perfect for large parties and for hosting Korean Food 101.
Korean Food 101 tour prices:
Adult: $53 CAD
Adolescent 8-12 years old: $35 CAD
Children 7 years and younger : $25 CAD
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*Disclosure: My husband and my meal was complimentary and as always, the opinions in the post are my own.
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