Continuing my gamjatang or Korean pork bone soup journey, I popped in at Little Piggy's at the edge of Koreatown at 469 Bloor Street West, Toronto.
Little Piggy's main claim to fame is their Korean BBQ but they also have pork bone soup and other staples on their menu. They even have it on lunch special (CDN1 discount) between 11am and 4pm, and I managed to squeak in at 3:30pm 😂
The set up inside Little Piggy's is simple and neat, but it is a little more upscale compared to the typical mom and pop eateries along Bloor Street West.
The gamjatang come with a set of side dishes and rice.
The side dishes were tasty but served in a shiny steel tray with compartments. It's convenient and neat but I feel it detracts a bit from the feel of the traditional little clay banchan bowls.
Three large pieces of spine bones came in a deep clay bowl of bubbling, steamy reddish coloured soup.
There was neither bean sprouts nor nappa cabbage, ingredients normally found in the gamjatang dish.
But, there were perilla seeds which gave the dish a bit of nutty texture and a nice subtle toasty taste from the husk. Some places serving gamjatang do not use perilla seeds anymore, even though it is one of the dish's definitive ingredients.
Then, there was also potatoes. Again, some places omit potatoes in their gamjatang.
Actually, gamjatang literally means "potato soup" but there is no consensus on what is the role of potato in the dish. Some say that gamja or potato refers to the cut of pork. Others say, potatoes are added only because customers wanted it and it is not strictly part of the dish.
As for me, I do like potatoes in my gamjatang. I find that it gives the soup a more balanced savoury-sweetness with spicy notes rounding up the end. Potatoes also thicken the soup, giving it a nice body.
The pork was tender and juicy, especially those wedged between the spine bones, shielded from direct heat during cooking. They tasted wonderfully porky sweet 😋
I tried to dig and suck out as much meat as possible without attracting quizzical looks my way.
Finished everything from the banchan to the pork bone soup to the white rice - all were delicious.
👉 The gamjatang at Little Piggy's was good but I do miss the bean sprouts and nappa cabbage. The dish feels incomplete without those crunchy, juicy vegetables.
Restaurant name: Little Piggy's
Address: 469 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1X9
GPS: 43°39'57.6"N 79°24'24.5"W 43.666010, -79.406811
Tel: (416) 972-1674
Hours: 11:00am to 10:00pm daily
Date: 29 Mar 2017