Restaurant: Bulgogi Brothers
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very Good 5: Excellent
* Open for lunch & dinner
* Franchise from Korea
* Free Wifi
* Serves alcohol
* Good for large groups
Bulgogi Brothers is newly opened Korea based franchise restaurant up in Richmond Hill. Located at 140 York Blvd where all the restaurants are gathered, Bulgogi Brothers offers clean, brightly lit dining area for small and large groups.
Personally, I don't really like Bulgogi itself- I prefer quality meat that is not marinated and usually find Bulgogi to be too sweet for my taste.
However, passing by the restaurant the other day on my way to Chako (review coming up soon)- I really wanted to give it a try since it's rare to have restaurants open in Canada that's a franchise in Korea. I visited Bulgogi Brothers for lunch on a Saturday with my family.
Once I walked in, I was surprised to see how big the restaurant is. They have a separate dining room area as well as bar area which is rare for Korean restaurants. We were seated in a booth near the window which could easily fit 6~8 people.
Menu is quite simple, focusing on Korean BBQ and couple appetizers. Since we were there for lunch, we decided to try 2 out of the lunch specials they offered.
Just like when you get bread and olive oil to start at other restaurants, Bulgogi Brothers started off the meal with a basket filled with traditional Korean snacks. The basket was filled with steamed corn on the cob, fingering potatoes and edamame. I didn't eat any of them but my mom really enjoyed the corn.
We were all given small bowl of sweet pumpkin and sweet potato soup to start off. It was mildly sweet and quite appetizing although usually I don't really care for things like this.
There were 6 different types of sidedishes served with the meal. Some of them were namul, sweet pumpkin salad and kimchi. I liked the White KimChi (MulKimChi) and the sweet pumpkin salad
Ordered: HaeMul GungJung Mandu 5/5
* Fried dumpling with seafood (mussel, shrimp and squid) with spicy sauce for $12.99
* 8 pieces of fried dumpling with seafood were served on top of this bowl that was specially designed to keep it warm
* You are suppose to dip the dumpling into the spicy sauce and then eat it with the seafood
* I wasn't expecting much from this dish but it was really good
* Spicy sauce is sweet-spicy and there were more than enough seafood to go with the dumplings
* Shrimp, mussels, squid is covered in spicy sauce with green onion
* Dumplings came hot and fresh just out of the fryer and it went really well with the sauce
* This is def a fusion Korean dish but I really enjoyed it
Ordered: GwangYang Style Bulgogi 3/5
* Sliced beef bulgogi with fresh sweet sauce for $18.99
* Both of the lunch specials we ordered came with chicken salad
* Teriyaki chicken with salad topped with oriental dressing
* Had sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and red pepper
* Salad wasn't anything special but the chicken was quite tasty with the teriyaki sauce
* Bulgogi comes in a round plate with already cooked garlic, onions, mushroom and sweet potato
* Once they bring this to the table, they do the cooking for you
* I liked how the garlics already come cooked so I didn't have to wait so long
* They give you 3 different types of dipping sauce
* Starting on the left is spicy sauce, salt + sesame seed and then spicy bean paste (SsamJang)
* They told me that Bulgogi is best with the spicy sauce on the left
* If you prefer, you can use the lettuce to wrap the meat and eat it Ssam Style
* You can use the spicy bean paste (SsamJang) to dip the carrot and cucumber sticks
* Salt + Sesame seed is more so used when you eat non-marinated meats
* To be honest I didn't think GwangYang Style Bulgogi was that good
* The meat was a little tough and the marinade was tad too sweet for me
Ordered: ChaDolYangJi SukJu Bulgogi 5/5
* Sliced brisket bulgogi with green pea sprout and sesame leaf for $17.99
* I much preferred this one over the GwangYang Style
* Brisket is used for this and it is fattier and the sesame leaf adds more flavor
* Because we ordered lunch specials, you get a choice between Cold noodle or GanDaenJang
* For the cold noodle you can get plain (MulNaengMyun) or spicy (BiBimNaengMyun)
* I ordered Spicy cold noodle (BiBimNaengMyun) for one lunch special and GanDaenJang for other
* This was my first time trying GanDaenJang ever
* When I ordered it, I thought it was like DaenJangJjiGae (Soy bean soup) but it wasn't
* GanDaenJang is a Bean paste with tofu, beef and shiitake
* Basically it was like concentrated version of DaenJangJjiGae (Soy bean soup) and it's eaten with rice
* This was different, but I enjoyed it! You can even eat it with meat
* Cold noodle is served in a small bowl but it comes with everything (egg, beef slices and cucumber)
* I liked how the portions were small and the noodle already comes pre-cut
* This was one of the best tasting Spicy cold noodle I tried in Toronto so far
* Still it was a little too sweet but the spiciness level and the consistency of sauce was just right
When we were done with our meal, we were asked if we wanted YuZa Tea or Green Plum Tea. We ordered one of each. It comes iced and I liked the Green Plum Tea, they are both sweet.
Service was pretty amazing at Bulgogi Brothers. Servers were friendly and attentive and they were always there when I needed them. They check up on our table quite often and asked if we needed anything. They were so polite...it reminded me of dining at nice restaurants in Korea. Also, another thing I noticed about the restaurant is that they have an awesome ventilation system! It was not smokey at all inside the restaurant and I didn't walk out smelling like Korean BBQ after.
Summary: Bulgogi Brothers is a great addition to Korean restaurants in Toronto. It's a great way to introduce someone to Korean cuisine or Korean BBQ. They serve good quality food and provide excellent customer service. If you are looking to stuff your face full, this might not be the place for you (I suggest Korean Grill or Chako). Price point is a little higher if you think of other Korean BBQ spots in Toronto, but I think this place is totally worth it. I can't wait to go back to try other dishes!