Drink This: the soju sangria from Barrio Coreano
Image: Karolyne Ellacott
Playa Cabana came first, followed by younger siblings Playa Cabana Cantina, Playa Cabana Hacienda and now, Barrio Coreano has opened its doors on Bloor St., while, thankfully, dropping the PC prefix. Inside, the casual eatery looks much like the other outposts, however this menu has been peppered with Korean influences. K-Pop hits blare loudly overhead as diners tuck into tacos overflowing with galbi (a.k.a. Korean beef), grilled octopus or chipotle kampungki chicken.
The drinks list continues in the same vein, with picks including the Kimchi Sour (JD with kimchi juice) and the Cho-jito (a mojito jazzed up with sesame bitters). We liked the Soju Sangria ($8) which pairs red wine with Korean’s favourite tipple: soju, of the Jinro Chamisul variety.
The rice liquor, most easily compared to vodka, is synonymous with the ROK, costing around a dollar in the motherland. Here it is matched with lime juice and so-called K-town fruits—persimmon and Korean pear—giving the classic summer drink a wintry lean.
Barrio Coreano, 642 Bloor St. W., 416-901-5188