Wednesday, March 26, 2014

REVIEW | Swish by Han - the best fusion menu combining traditional Korean with a modern American twist

I can't believe it's taken this long for me to eat at Swish by Han. I've been to their other location, OddSeoul, which I loved, so I had high expectations for the Han brothers' original restaurant in Toronto.  With the launch of their new 2014 menu, it was the perfect excuse to visit. This posh and hip Korean Fushion Restaurant is located on Wellington, just between Yonge St. and Church St.

We arrived shortly after 6PM on a Tuesday night. The space is very open but filled with glossy wooden tables, stretch out wooden benches, traditional korean jang-dok mural and other beautiful personalized pieces.  Their stacked up chairs by the statement wall reminded me of the school chairs in Korea, where I was born.  They sure did a great job paralleling the Korean+American theme with design and menu.

Now, on to the exciting part - all the food we tried!
Torched Mackerel ($10.00) with rice vinegar, mackerel, ginger, scallions & wasabi soy. This was a clean and simple start to the rest of our food. The server torched the fish at our table, so that was neat.

SBH Wings ($10.00) with fryer wings, buttermilk, onion, garlic, red chili & soy glaze. The chicken was tender and the skin was crispy - just the way it should be. I wish the red chilli from the sauce would be more prominent, I was expecting it to have a bit more heat to it.

Spicy Pork Tostadas ($10.00) with corn tortilla, pork neck, pineapple relish, queso fresco, crema & lime. We had to get two orders of these as they were so delicious. You should know that the toppings do tend to fall out and get messy, so make sure you have enough napkins!

Next, our main entree, Ssam Set Platter was served for us.
We chose the Lemongrass Viet Pork Belly Ssäm:
Dip the rice paper in the hot water on the left to soften it up. After a few seconds, lay the rice paper out and place a couple of pieces of the pork belly and veggies from the platter. Don't forget some chilli sauce and hoisin sauce!

Tada - just roll it up and enjoy!  The rice paper sticks to itself so don't worry about the wrap breaking.
We both really enjoyed the Pork Belly Ssam Set. The pork was marinated and cooked perfectly. Although you have to get pretty hands on with this platter, it's worth it.  The tenderness of the pork and the crunch of the fresh veggies go very well together.

Kimchi Tuna Kimbap Taco ($12.00) - rice, tuna salad with kimchi, scallions and chilli and sessame seeds atop seaweed paper.  I personally love tuna salad so the combination with kimchi was delicious.  This was surprisingly very filling.

Dynamite Kimbap Taco ($12.00) - tempura shrimp, rice, scallions atop seaweed paper. A cool twist to a typical dynamite roll.

Swish by Han offers a simple menu with each dish showcasing  Korean flavours with a modern twist. Everything we ordered was tasty and unique so we can't wait to go back for other items on the menu.  They definitely are doing the 'Korean fusion' thing right and probably better than anyone else in the City.
The atmosphere is perfect for dinner and/or drinks with friends or a romantic date (maybe hold off on the wings for the first few dates).  I really love how polished the service, space and the menu is. Definitely make some time to go check them out for yourself!

Swish by Han on Urbanspoon

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