Cheap Eat of the Week: Owl of Minerva’s bimbimbap
By Gizelle Lau
Late night bibimbap (Image: Gizelle Lau)
It wasn’t so long ago that if you were looking for some late night eats in Toronto, you’d be hard pressed to find something nutritious, delicious and cheap. Up in Koreatown at Bloor and Christie, the quick, convenient and always reliable Owl of Minerva has been a great 24-hour destination for years.
The spot serves late-night eats to students, clubbers and then even more intoxicated clubbers. In the wee hours of the morning, the overproduced Korean pop music videos make this place epic.
A staple at Owl of Minerva is the pork bone soup, except when you’re tired and don’t have the dexterity to handle those metal Korean chopsticks. Enter the dolsot bibimbap ($7), which comes in a heated stone bowl that’s been drizzled with sesame oil. Inside is a healthy portion of rice, julienned carrots, zucchini, pickled radish, bean sprouts, sautéed spinach, shiitake mushrooms and bulgogi beef. It’s finished with a raw egg and sesame seeds, and the whole mixture cooks inside the bowl (and gets nice and crusty at the bottom if you let it sit for a couple of minutes).
The bibimbap is served with gochuchang (fermented red chili pepper paste), mixed in according to personal preference before eating.
Owl of Minerva, 700 Bloor St. W., 416-538-3030
Gizelle Lau is a food and travel writer and photographer in Toronto who lives from one meal to the next. Her column, Cheap Eat of the Week, highlights dishes that costs $10 or less. Follow her on Twitter for your daily dose of food from in/around the city.