I stumbled upon Jung Soo Nae Korean restaurant along Yonge Street near to Finch subway station. I was sightseeing along the stretch of Yonge Street between Centerpoint Mall and Finch subway station when I spotted a stream of people walking into this little restaurant.
I stood a while outside the restaurant and observed that it is popular with locals. It's interesting that Jung Soo Nae restaurant is not among the many shop houses along busy Yonge Street but at the ground level of a drab apartment block.
I noted down Jung Soo Nae for a visit the next day 😄
Stepping inside Jung Soo Nae, it is a small space with heavy wooden tables and chairs packed rather closely together. The customers were diverse though most were Korean speaking.
The background music was soothing Korean ballads, not trendy K-pop. They were playing my favourite Korean song today 😄
As the norm in Korean restaurants, our orders came with a full complement of banchan or small side dishes, which were all very appetising.
We had gamjatang or Korean pork bone soup. I wanted to taste gamjatang at as many places as possible before experimenting on making my own at home 😄
We also had marinated raw cold crab as this is a popular Korean speciality and Jung Soo Nae is well known for this dish.
Jung Soo Nae's gamjatang comes bubbling hot in a deep stone pot. There were three large pieces of pork with bone and pieces of nappa cabbage almost dissolved by boiling. The watery soup was red with spice and a floating layer of grease. It is mildly savoury and has a good spicy kick - the spiciest that I have tasted so far in Toronto. (It is still at the moderate level of spiciness for me 😄 )
There were neither potatoes, bean sprouts nor perilla seeds or leaves. (Perilla seeds are considered a definitive ingredient of gamjatang.)
The pork bones were nicely done. They were tender, juicy and have a nice natural sweetness.
The tender meat fell off the bone easily and they were delicious.
At CDN10.99 (before tax and tips) a serving, Jung Soo Nae's gamjatang is more expensive than at most other places where it goes for CDN7.99 to CDN8.99.
This is the first time we are eating this classic Korean raw crab marinated in blended soy sauce dish.
The marinated blue swimmer crabs were served in a shallow pool of Jung Soo Nae's house blended sauce. Every restaurant have their own secret concoction which is usually a blend of soy sauce, chili pepper, dried chili pepper, apple, dried kelp, onion, ginger, garlic, rice syrup etc.
The shell is filled with creamy roe, natural juices, soft tissue and membrane. Rice is packed into the shell and stirred with a spoon to soak up the flavours in the shell.
It was marvellously delicious and the layers of savoury-sweet flavours were rather subtle.
The crab body bursting with roe and cream.
I just squeezed out all the natural juicy goodness by pressing the crab inside my mouth. The shell was not soft but it was thin enough to be flattened in the mouth.
👉 Jung Soo Nae is a charming little restaurant serving authentic Korean dishes. The gamjatang is good. Personally, I am very happy to taste a delicious new dish, GanJang JeJang which I would like to try more and perhaps attempt to make it myself.
This stretch of Yonge Street near to Finch subway station is part of Toronto's sprawling suburbia. There are many interesting shops and restaurants catering to the diverse community here. (Jung Soo Nae is in the same area but off the main commercial strip.)
Restaurant name: Jung Soo Nae
Address: 5754 Yonge St, North York, ON M2M 3T6
GPS: 43°46'59.9"N 79°25'00.1"W 43.783291, -79.416698
Tel: (416) 222-4267
Hours: 11:00am to 11:00pm (Tues off)
Date: 2 Apr 2017