Restaurant: Swish by Han
Location: St Lawrence Market
Address: 38 Wellington St E
Price Range: $15~25
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very Good 5: Excellent
*Open for lunch
*Big portion for Tapa style
*Closed on Sundays
I probably mentioned this in one of my previous posts, but I do not like fusion food. I personally think that a lot of fusion styled dishes are over-rated and over-priced most of the time. That's one of the main reasons why I was hesistant on trying Swish by Han for quite awhile.
Korean food and fusion style- just sounded like a disater to me. It's hard enough to impress me with Korean food but fusion? I had my doubts. However, my experience at Swish by Han completely washed away my doubts and I was more than impressed.
On a Monday night, I met up with Vickie (kiki's b.f.f) and Mary (Eat, Drink and be Mary) for dinner.
I never knew Swish by Han was so close to the Pravda Vodka Bar (Check out my review here)which I've been to many times now (and love!). Inside of the restaurant is nicely lit with few chandliers and tastefully decorated with touches of Korean culture here and there. It definitely does not look like your ordinary Korean restaurant which was different.
Ordered: Iced Honey & Mint Tea 4/5
* Non-alcoholic Iced tea for $5
* Was too tired to drink alcohol so went with the Iced Tea
* Tasted like Mojito + Lemonade
* It was refreshing and went well with the meal
Ordered: Spicy Pork Buns 3/5
* Spicy pork served in Soft Buns for $9
* This was cut into 4 pieces (might have been cause there were 4 of us)
* Pork was cooked in sweet + spicy sauce with veggies with a hint of smokiness
* There was a lot of sauce inside which made it quite messy to eat because it was cut into small pieces- things started falling out of the bun
* You could def tell this had strong korean flavors built into the recipe. I would have enjoyed it if they held back on the sauce just a tad bit
Ordered: Spicy Pork Tacos 4/5
* 2 taco for $10
* Asian flavor inspired tacos are popular these days
* Comes with a lot of filling/topping such as spicy pork pieces, cabbage, kimchi and mayo
* I found this to be pretty spicy and I am Korean! So be aware if you can't handle spicy food
* It comes with lime but I didn't use it (didn't think it was necessary)
* It helps if you eat some of the fillings with your chopstick first and then wrap up the rest because they give you lots of fillings for this dish
Ordered: Steamed Pork Buns 5/5
* 2 Steamed Bun with pork belly and veggies for $10
* One of their popular dish (special of the day)
* 2 pieces of fatty pork belly inside each bun served with japanese pickle(radish), green onion, cucumbers and special sauce (GoChuJang; korean chili paste & Hoisin Sauce)
* First time I tried steamed pork buns were at Momofuku, New York and this specific dish was fusion between Korean-Chinese
* More hoisin sauce than GoChuJang (less spicy)
* Special sauce is really strong and the pork belly is fatty but the radishes and cucumbers balance out the richness of this dish
* This is a must try!!
Ordered: Soo Yook 5/5
* 48 hour braised beef shank served with salad for $12
* Nice, colorful presentation- beef is shaved thin and it goes well with the spring mix salad and green onion
* Salad is bursting with flavor (sweet tangy vinegrette with a hint of sesame oil)
* I felt like this dish was one of the most authentic tasting dish out of all
* Although it is a meat dish, it's light and would be good as an appetizer
* I would get this again, it was sooo yummy!
Ordered: Lobster BiBimBap 4/5
* BiBimBap with lobster meat served in stone bowl for $18
* Veggies (spinach, eggplant, radish, zucchini, bean sprout) and fried eggs. basically your ordinary BiBimBap with chunks of lobster meat
* They bring the dish to the table and mix it for you with the GoChuJang (Korean Chili Paste) so you can control how spicy you want this dish to be
* Because we were asking her if we can take pictures of it before she mixed it up, the rice sat in the stone bowl longer than it was suppose to- which was good cause it made more crunchy rice pieces that I love!
* Stone bowl comes really hot and this creates all the crunchy rice on the bottom
* Another dish that I really enjoyed
Ordered: Pork Belly Ssam 3/5
* Pork belly served with rice, kimchi and lettuce for $18
* Swish by Han is a Ssam & Shabu Bar, you must at least try one of them! so we chose the pork belly ssam set
* First thing I noticed was how burnt the pork belly pieces were
* Served with 2 different types of KimChi but they both tasted the same to me
* Served with lettuce and rice, you take the lettuce and wrap up rice with the pork belly- add the spicy sauce as well as some kimchi and eat it!
* Pork belly pieces were fatty and this dish was decent but it didn't impress me that much
* Much prefer regular authentic Korean porkbelly BBQ
Overall I really enjoyed the dishes at Swish by Han. It might be because I really wasn't looking to be impressed but few of their dishes were super tasty and the flavors weren't over done. Service was awesome and both of the girls who helped us were super friendly and helpful with the menu.
Summary: If you love Korean food and is looking for something new, Swish by Han is for you. If you are new to Korean food and would like to try it but take a baby step, Swish by Han is for you as well.
They serve strong, bold Korean flavors in a new, innovative way and you def want to be part of it. I've already gone back once and I will def be back again soon :)