There's a new hot eatery in Koreatown! Barrio Coreano, by the creators of Playa Cabana, has situated itself among Korean family restaurants in the area and taking the neighbourhood by storm. My visit was on a Thursday night as a walk in (as online booking was full) and was lucky enough to get a seat!
The restaurant definitely stands out from the rest of the stores and eateries in the few blocks of bloor between Christie and Bathurst streets. You won't be able to just walk past this hip & urban space, decorated with interesting details and neon, flashing lights. The chalk board menus, rustic metal chairs, bowling alley signs and overall grungy mood of the space made me feel like I was in a back alley after party - LOVE!
Onto the food, which is Mexican like Playa Cabana's there other restaurants in the City, but with Korean influence in most of their dishes. I couldn't wait to try.
Chips & Guac was a nice appetizer to nibble on with our drinks while we waited for our entrees. Freshly made guacamole is served generously. Highly recommended!
Grilled Calamari with burnt arbol kimchi was perfection. We ordered this upon our server's recommendation and we love her for it. It's no wonder why it's the most popular appetizer there!
We ordered two tacos: first was the Chipotle Chicken Kampungki. 'Kampungki' is a popular Korean chicken dish that is battered with its sgnatured sweet & spicy sauce. Barrio Coreano did a great job integrating that flavour into their menu. The crispy battered chicken pieces (of which there were plenty of) with spicy, creamy mayo, green onions, onions, jalapenos and radish complemented each other tastefully.
Second taco was the Korean Beef (Galbi) Taco with radish, lettuce, green onions and shredded carrots. This too was deliciously addictive with perfectly marinated and tender beef pieces. Two thumbs up!
I can't be happier that this late-night eatery slash dinner restaurant opened up in Koreatown, so accessible on the Bloor street subway line. With their intriguing daily specials and unique cocktails with Korean touches, I know it won't be too long until my next visit - so eager to try the 3 other Tacos that I missed out on my first visit!