Location: Thornhill, Canada
Address: 7353 Yonge Street
Type of Meal: Dinner
Although Cho Sun doesn’t offer an extensive menu, they do offer many of the popular dishes with a concentration on cold noodles given a quarter of their menu is dedicated to naengmyeon combos.
Given Cho Sun’s focus, we had to start with a bowl of bibim naengmyeon (spicy cold noodles) with a side of galbi (beef short ribs) ($17.95). My first experience with this temperature challenged carb was at Dahn (http://gastroworldblog.blogspot.ca/2013/03/dahn-thornhill.html) and found it refreshing with great textured noodles.
At Cho Sun, we decided to try the spicy version, which instead of being in a broth sits in a spicy dressing made from gochujang (red chili paste). Disappointingly, it wasn’t very spicy despite the sauce’s scary shade of red. Rather, the noodles were sweet with a hint of heat at the end. Cho Sun also serves it with arrowroot noodles which are less “springy” in texture, comparable to a thinner soba noodle. Sadly, that amazing texture of Dahn’s clear noodle, the highlight of the dish, was missing.
The naengmyeon can be purchased alone or with sides of various proteins. We selected galbi which was flavourful but unfortunately a bit “grizzly”, so although tender, was tough to bite through.
Another popular dish is the seafood tofu soup ($8.95) which is really a hearty stew eaten as a main. Cho Sun’s was chocked full of ingredients including silken egg tofu, small pieces of calamari, shrimp, scallops and mussels. Served with a bowl of black rice (actually purple in colour), it’s a filling and comforting meal. A thick savoury spicy stew, it’s served in a piping hot stone bowl where it retained its temperature throughout the whole meal. The tofu soup was my favourite dish for the night.
Cho Sun’s steamed dumplings ($6.95) arrived in thin wrappers and stuffed with plenty of pork and vegetable filling. Although served with a side of dipping sauce, neither was really flavourful so ended tasting bland. Either the filling or the sauce needs to be saltier to bring some zip to the dish. The dumplings could be improved by serving them in a warm steamer basket, rather than a cold plate, so they could retain their temperature better.
Like most Korean restaurants, a variety of side dishes also accompanied our meal. They were all some sort of vegetable (turnip, eggplant, watercress, bean sprouts, cabbage), which went well with the predominantly carb and protein dishes we ordered. I only wish they gave us more, given it seems like they serve the same amount regardless of table size.
Overall, Cho Sun serves a good selection of staples but doesn’t execute any of them to an extraordinary level. Nonetheless, during our week night visit they were surprisingly busy with a constant stream of predominantly Korean clientele. So, although I wasn’t impressed, Cho Sun must be meeting someone’s expectations?
Overall mark - 6 out of 10
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Gastro World's Grading System
- Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
- 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
- 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
- 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
- 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
- 10 - absolute perfection!