Toronto Bites: Pyung Won House

Pyung Won House is my go-to place when I’m craving flavourful, inexpensive, and plentiful food. Mikaius and I love to go to this place when the wind is brisk – but that may also be due to the fact that I took him to this place for his first time mid-winter, and it holds some nostalgia for us. I’ve been there a couple of times, mostly with my co-workers after we finish closing shifts at eleven. Let me tell you, the combination of hot broth-y food plus warm rice when it’s chilly outside and close to midnight is positively wonderful.

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One of the many, many bowls of their porkbone soup that I’ve had over the past year. It is a wonderful dish for cold and tired bones. (c) DM

First, the food. Whenever I have a meal there, I often feel like having something meaty and broth-y, so I always hit up the soup section of their menu. I have had other items, like their teriyaki chicken and the pork belly barbecue, so I feel like I haven’t been missing out on the Pyung Won experience. My absolute favourite, though, is their porkbone soup. It reminds me of the bulalo and nilaga of my homeland, so having it always feels so comforting and familiar.

My goodness, the porkbone soup is so chock-full of flavours that my tastebuds purr in satisfaction from the first bite to the last. I love how the broth tastes like it has been simmering on the stove for hours, and the meat is so tender that it’s not a hassle to scrape it off the bone. Plus, it’s perfect with the rice and the side dishes. It’s convenient how the soup comes on a hot plate and bowl, and the soup is still boiling when it comes to your table. That way, there’s no question of the soup being cold or lukewarm when you start eating it. The servings are big considering that it’s so inexpensive.

I’m also a fan of the little side dishes. Mikaius and I particularly enjoy the crispy bean sprouts, the cabbage, and the tofu-like strips, and he likes the cucumbers, as they’re a nice contrast to the hot soup. He likes mixing it in with his rice and dumping broth all over it, but I usually pick it off from the little serving bowls before I dig in.

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Mikaius and I forget what this is called, but it’s LS03 on their menu. Check it out. (C) DM

The servers are also really friendly whenever we eat there, and we’ve eaten there a fair bit since last year. One time, I forgot my insulated water container at the restaurant without realizing that I had lost it there, and when I came back almost three months later, the server returned it to me like I had forgotten it yesterday. Now that’s amazing customer service for you! Seating has always been quite prompt, unless the place is full (usually around 7 or 8 PM most nights). The booths are comfortable and clean, and the servers are there seconds after you press the service bell. I have seen a few reviews where people say they were ignored by the servers, but I have no complaints whatsoever regarding the food, the servers, or the cleanliness of the place. Even though there are literally dozens of Korean restaurants on that strip, I will always come back to Pyung Won House regularly. Their close proximity to Cafe Princess doesn’t hurt either.

Overall rating: 4/5, would return again and again.

Note: Mikaius says he would give it 5/5 – and this man is really hard to please.

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