Close watchers of Baldwin Village have no doubt noticed the butcher paper in the windows at 1 Baldwin Street. Coming soon to the former Baldwin Palace Restaurant space are not one but two restaurants from restaurateur Sang Kim: Yakitori Bar and Seoul Food. (Kim, who previously helped launch Koko Share Bar, Ki and Blowfish, has adorned the door with a giant question mark, and is savvily building up hype for his December 1 launch with a behind-the-scenes blog.) Kim told us that although the two restaurants technically share one space, there’s a partition between them, and each will have a distinct feel and atmosphere.
The izakaya-style Yakitori Bar will be the rowdier of the two, hosting a series of competitions between guest chefs like Agave y Aguacate’s Francisco Alejandri and SupiCucu’s Rossy Earle. Each night, the yakitori (charcoal-grilled chicken) recipes of these chefs will be pitted against one another, with a winner chosen after three months. On the other side of the partition, Seoul Food will feature a walk-up counter where patrons can choose proteins, marinated vegetables and sauces that a cook will prepare. The counter is rounded out by grab-and-go kimbap (Korean-style sushi rolls) that’ll likely be a favourite of nearby OCAD and U of T students. The two restaurants will share a few things, though, including North Americanized Korean dishes like bulgogi burgers, kalbi beef sandwiches and kimchi fries, and a value-driven shochu, sake and wine list.
Yakitori Bar and Seoul Food, 1 Baldwin St., howtoopenarestaurantin30days.com