This is a review of Nak Won Korean Restaurant in the SW corner of Yonge and Finch.
After spending a long day at CNE, 8 other friends and I headed to North York for a very late dinner. Yonge and Finch area is an established Korean enclave in Toronto, and it features a number of restaurants that are well known beyond Korean community.
I was a little doubtful about going to Nak Won Korean Restaurant, and it turned out that my doubts were warranted. Although I didn't realize anything particularly wrong with my dish, the common consensus among my friends were that the experience was inauthentic.
First, we were served side dishes that were far too inadequate in quantity for a group our size. Much of Korean dining experience comes from the quantity and the quality of the side dishes that are a nice added bonus. As a Korean, I am often disappointed to find that many Korean restaurants in Canada offer sub-par dining experience despite having higher prices.
Second of all, we were served by a Mandarin-speaking server, which made me question the authenticity of the restaurant. Although I had many great experiences at Japanese restaurants operated by people of different ethnic backgrounds, I think that as a lesser-known cuisine, Korean food should be made and served by people that understand the food as well as the history and culture behind it.
As a Korean, I am proud to see my culture spreading throughout the world. When I see any instances of my culture being misrepresented, I am both disappointed and worried about the damage that it might cause. There are only few restaurants that does it right, and Nak Won Korean Restaurant is not one of them.
I am giving it 2 out of 5 stars. (★★☆☆☆)