August 22, 2014
Aug 9, 2012
04:45 PM

First Look: Urraca Resto Lounge, a Korean fusion tapas bar at Yonge and Finch

Korean tacos (Image: Meri Perra)

Before opening their first restaurant, Urraca Resto Lounge, owners Sung Yeo and David Shin knew there could only be one spot for their Korean fusion tapas bar: Koreatown at the corner at Yonge and Finch. So that’s exactly where they opened about a month ago.

“Koreatown at Bloor and Christie is pretty out-dated now, that’s more for the older generation,” Shin tells us.  

While the younger folks are definitely coming in, so too are second-generation Koreans who are drawn to items such as bulgogi tacos ($7), nachos ($9) or — how much more Korean-Canadian can you get? — poutine ($7).

Uracca’s bulgogi, thinly-sliced from rib-eye, features heavily on the menu. The meat is marinated for at least a day in soy-sauce, sesame oil, sugar, green onion and other spices.  

“For people who like beef,” Shin says, “I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t liked bulgogi.”

But Urraca isn’t into exclusion. Vegetarian dishes are available, including a tomato-melt sandwich ($10) and an eggplant Parmesan sandwich ($10).

The Urraca beef tacos (pictured above) come in a row of eight bite-sized, honey-glazed flour tortillas, and are filled with bulgogi, napa cabbage coleslaw, tomatoes and avocado. They’re topped with freshly-cut daikon sprouts, and are drizzled with sour cream. The result is a bite-size flavour and texture combination that’s both savoury and refreshing (from the lime and the sprouts).

The Urraca nachos are made from fried wonton wraps, and are topped with bulgogi, green onions, tomatoes, bean sprouts and sour cream.

The Kobe slider ($12) is a tender, juicy creation with a kick. Inside a soft bun is straight wagyu beef seasoned with salt and pepper, along with napa cabbage and cherry tomatoes. It’s topped with a roasted garlic aioli, Swiss cheese and foie gras mousse shavings.

“The shavings are basically fat, so they melt and you can’t see them on the slider,” Shin says. “You can only taste them.”

Urraca provides a comfortable lounge-type atmosphere, with sleek leather couches for people to sit on by coffee tables. It’s a feel inspired by both Shin and Yeo’s time as sous-chefs at Joey, where the friends — who have worked together at various Toronto restaurants over the past 10 years — worked before they launched Urraca.

“We wanted for people to come in and relax and have a drink,” Shin says. “But we wanted people to have good food as well.”

Urraca Resto Lounge, 19a Finch Ave. W., 647-748-7122

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