Hi, my name is Sam Lee.
I grew up in South Korea and immigrated to Canada when I was young. I have a unique perspective of knowing what true Korean cooking is as well as experience of the vast cuisine that Toronto has to offer. The appetizers are just a way of presenting my perspective on how I see food in a Korean Canadian way. I remember in my youth when winter came my grandmother would roast some sweet potatoes for me. We would sit by the heater and she would put a piece of Kim Chi on the sweet potato. Sounds strange but it tastes so amazing. It is one of my best food memories. It was on our menu and will be back soon when Kim Chi season rolls around again.
Janet is my wife. She does most of the recipe development. She enjoys finding recipes for Kim Chi and is responsible for fine tuning all the Bi Bim Bap ingredients. If you have already been to Bi Bim Bap you might have had her 'White Kim Chi' that we have been serving for the last month. (KimChi made without chilli peppers.) The white colour signifies purity and is very popular at Korean weddings. There is no heat to the Kim Chi so you can actually taste all the other components that make Kim Chi taste so good. She also made some 'Water Kim Chi' a Kim Chi that we sip with a spoon that we served in December. She has some Radish Kim Chi fermenting right now that will be ready sometime in March. She made it the traditional way so it is taking longer that usual so I hope it turns out tasty (if not it will end up in our family stew for a few months to follow) She made some Baby Nappa Kim Chi, Mini Radish Kim Chi and Dandelion Kim Chi. Might be ready sometime in Feb. My fav Napa KimChi is Pyoung Yang style (part of my family lived there before the Korean War) very light in heat but high in taste. The flesh stays white but when you bite into it the Napa juices explode in your mouth. I better stop here because we are getting off topic here. I just wanted to say she is a great wife and a great cook.
Another thing is that I can't tolerate MSG, preservatives or foods that are not fresh. Gives me chest pains. I will not allow MSG in my kitchen cause I eat here. While I'm at it no shell fish in my Kim Chi. Agave syrup, maple syrup, honey, brown sugar and fruits will replace white sugar where possible. No processed salt, only sea salt allowed. If a dish is vegetarian I will try to make it vegan. I will also use gluten free products when available. Why? If I can do it and still keep the food traditional and tasty why not?
I will do my best to post what I am going to try in the future as well as what I have tried in the past to keep you updated on the menu changes.