KOREA HOUSE - Since most restaurants were closed on Jan. 1, I took my parents to Korea House on Bloor (instead of Sejong, which I would have preferred) for a late dinner. After a long wait (with nowhere to stand out of the way), we were seated, and ordered beef bulgogi, kalbi beef ribs, spicy octopus and noodles, some kind of pancake (pointed to a picture on the menu!), and steamed dumplings, along with 3 beers (no Korean beer available). The kalbi took ages to be served, and we finished the other 3 dishes while waiting for it. They forgot to bring the accompanying miso soup, but brought the rice (for the kalbi) at the beginning with everything else so that it was cold by the time the kalbi arrived. The pancake never arrived and the server seemed mystified as to whether or not we had even ordered it. The bulgogi was a bit disappointing as it arrived less than piping hot and had a too-mild flavour, but everything else was decent, although there was at least one piece of uncooked inedible octopus. The sides are tasty, especially the white jelly-like one (name and content escapes me). Dinner came to $87 incl. taxes. My parents now like Korean food! Got 3 kinds of walnut cakes from the place just east of Sejong to cap off the experience...however, the red bean walnut cakes are MUCH better at the place further west (west of Korea House), because those contain whole red beans (but that "west" bakery was closed like most of the good places in town!)
CITY INN - in Market Village beside Pacific Mall - Having experienced Dragon Dynasty where they offer non-Asians spring rolls and discourage eating congee, City Inn was a relatively welcoming experience. After a long wait (the hostess claims she called our number but we never heard it in english and had to wait even longer for a table for 3), we got prompt service once seated for dimsum. They have only one rolling cart, that contains what I assume are samples of certain dishes, such as eggplant, tarts, noodles, and shrimp dumpling soup. We ordered the eggplant and she went away to either get it heated or to order a fresh dish - it wasn't clear which course of action she took. Regardless, the eggplant dish was quite enjoyable though nothing special. The highlight was duck tongues in honey with some kind of translucent noodles. I highly recommend this dish! It's served cold and is absolutely delicious! We also had squid and shrimp egg pancakes (similar to omelette), squid in XO sauce (which didn't appear to contain any XO sauce so I ordered some on the side), and curried octopus (tasty, resembling cuttlefish), plus two orders of sticky rice with assorted meats, Chinese greens (absolutely delicious) and black bean steamed spare ribs (ordinary). Even the tea was better than average. Lunch for 3 was almost $60 inclusive. My parents were impressed and we'd all definitely return. After walking through Pacific Mall and T&T for the first time, they said they felt they were in China or at least Vancouver!