Ever since we sold our house, Elise & I have been downsizing and focusing on our upcoming move to the UK. The consequence of this has been a general apathy toward shopping and cooking, as well as a realization that when I do cook – it takes up far too much time that could be spent working or doing errands that further us along in what’s got to be done before we leave Canada.
See we’d be fine with taking this time away from working if it were enjoyable to cook and eat, but living with family as we do, the simple act of using the kitchen can be a hectic one – as there always seem to be way too many people in this house for our introverted personalities (mostly Elise’s if I’m honest) to handle.
One of the downsides of being a professional blogger is finding the time and a good environment to go outside and take a break. The house is both our home and our office, so it’s important to find a way to disengage ourselves from this space – even for just a short mental break.
The solution to all this was to drag ourselves (not that we’re complaining) to eat out out more. Humans gotta eat, and this way, we can have an internet break, chat over a nice meal, and catch our breath for an hour or so, all in one go.
The downside is that most restaurants are not exactly the pinnacle of healthy eating, and so after testing a dozen or so places in the past month (benefits of living on Yonge & Steeles – so many restaurants within walking distance!) we settled on a traditional Korean food restaurant – family-operated, hearty, and filling without any heavily fried or oily dishes.
The appetizers (banchan) mean we always feel like we have a healthy amount of diversity, even if we end up picking the same dish to eat every time we’re there. These are different each day we go, though the regulars pop up often and they’re always healthy and delicious no matter what we get.
Korean food is especially heavy on the veggies – something we typically don’t get all that often in our diet because both Elise and I are basically carnivores.
Bibimbap, our current favourite healthy dish, is loaded with so many different kinds of vegetables that you barely notice the lack of all that much meat. That lovely egg on the top certainly helps as well.
It comes in a hot stone bowl – ready for you to mix and add gochujang (hot pepper paste) to. So perfect once you’re done mixing.
And honestly, Elise and I will often both get the bibimbap, not caring for a second that we both got the same thing and thus can’t share food to have more variety (again, thanks to those always-provided appetizers!).
If we’re especially hungry, we’ll get a side dish of these oh-so-tasty dumplings.
And if we really want to go all out, we’ll order a bulgogi (grilled beef) dinner + the spicy pork & squid stir fry that’s pictured below. We get a set of greens (lettuce, cabbage, and mint) which we use to put the grilled beef and pork/squid inside, and that’s pretty much the most healthy and delicious meal either Elise or I can imagine having for an evening. To see a picture of this whole double-dish & appetizer set (as well as the complementary soup and purple rice it comes with!), scroll up to the very first picture in this article, then try telling me that doesn’t look heavenly.
Yum, yum, yum!
We now go to this local place (Ahzimae Zipbap Korean Cuisine in case anyone’s interested in visiting ever – the address is 6068 Yonge Street, North York, ON) around 2-3 times a week.
Feels good to be taking a breather in a place that’s got such healthy food. Not only that, but it’s got an ambiance we really appreciate. So many restaurants on Yonge Street are high key – aimed at younger audiences and the “dating” scene. This place is perfect for us – cozy, private booths, and a winding-down-from-a-long-day-of-hard-work feel about all the other restaurant-goers.
It’s also got the nicest waitress we’ve ever had serve us in it. You know, the kind of waitress who isn’t all-up-in-your-business, trying to push sales, or just plain negligent. Yeah she’s pretty great at giving us our space and we’re always greeted with the warmest hello we’ve ever had when she sees us walking into the restaurant.
We also seem to be pretty a-ok in the owner’s eyes, we think because we polish off all our kimchi.
I think this is what I will miss the most from Canada: the easy access to foods from so many different cultures within walking distance. So many choices about what to eat and actually quite reasonable prices for those dishes. It’s definitely a perk you can’t experience living most places around the world.