Address: 7353 Yonge St.
Phone Number: (905) 707-8426
Cho Sun Ok is a Korean restaurant serving up unique and authentic Korean dishes, including their cold noodle soups and one of the best bibimbap dishes in the GTA. Nestled in a low-key plaza at Yonge and Clarke, Cho Sun Ok is always occupied with hungry couples, families, and anyone wanting a taste of what the popular Thornhill spot has to offer.
Inside, the restaurant is bright and clean, and you are instantly greeted by smiling staff members. If you beat the lunch and dinner-time rush, you can get seated quickly. If you arrive during peak times (usually after 12:00pm for lunch and 6:30pm for dinner), be prepared to wait around 15 minutes for a table. Weekends are also typically busier, but as far as waiting for a table goes, the 15 minutes is well worth it for the delicious food you will soon get to enjoy.
Cho Sun Ok offers two kinds of pork Mandu (dumplings). You can get them either steamed (Jjinmandu) or fried (Goonmandu), and both come with a homemade soy dipping sauce. The Jjinmandu (pictured below next to the Naengmyun) were an absolute delight, with fresh, chewy dough surrounding a rich and flavorful filling. The flavor of the dumplings is enhanced by the subtly of the salty-sweet dipping sauce provided. Consider getting dumplings as part of a Naengmyun (cold noodle soup) combo to save some cash – about $3 worth of savings.
One of the most interesting and unique dishes on Cho Sun Ok’s menu is the Mool Naengmyun (pictured below), a chilled noodle soup. Arrowroot noodles sit in the center of a metal bowl filled with slushy broth and is topped with a flavorful red pepper sauce, sesame seed oil, pickled daikon, julienned cucumber, a slice of pear, and half a hard-boiled egg. Servers cut the noodles at your table before you begin your meal, as they are quite long and the soup is more easily enjoyed with smaller noodle portions. For any shameless instafoodies or food photographers out there, you can consider asking the servers to wait a moment to cut the noodles so you can get a photo of the ingredients beautifully stacked on top of one another. The dish itself is a bit intimidating (slushy, ice cold soup?!), but the first bite reassures you in your adventurous decision. The flavors work so beautifully together and all contribute to a satisfying, yet refreshing taste. The sweetness from the pear and pickled daikon compliment the slight kick of the red pepper sauce wonderfully. The arrowroot noodles also add texture to the dish – perfectly chewy and ready to absorb all the other wonderful flavors present in the dish. This may be the perfect summer comfort food.
Variations on the dish are also on the menu – the Bibim Naengmyun and Hwae Naengmyun are similar, but with a few differences. Namely, both come without slushy broth, but it can (and should!) be ordered on the side. This would be a good option for more apprehensive restaurant-goers, who aren’t sure about the idea of cold soup. The Bibim Naengmyun is exactly the same as the Mool Naengmyun, but comes without the slushy broth. The Hwae Naengmyun is also the same, but served with raw skates.
The bibimbap, rated some of the best in the GTA, is lovely as well. If you love a good rice dish, this one is for you. There are three varieties on the menu – Dolsot Bibimbap (pictured), which contains thin slices of seasoned carrots, zucchini, daikon, cucumber, and shitake, along with spinach, soybean sprouts, and bulgogi beef piled onto fluffy, perfectly cooked rice. The dish is served in a hot stone bowl, topped with an egg yolk, and garnished with sesame seeds and dried seaweed flakes. The other Bimbimbap dishes offered are the Jangjorim Dolsot Bibimbap and the Yangpoon Bibimbap. Notable differences between the three versions are the marinated beef flank instead of the bulgogi beef in the Jangjorim Dolsot Bibimbap and the absence of rice in favor of sliced head lettuce in the Yangpoon Bibimpap and a fried egg instead of a raw egg yolk.
We tried the Dolsot Bibimbap. Positives of the dish were the generous portion size and expertly cooked meat. The veggies were also cooked well and had nice flavoring; they contributed nicely to the great texture of the dish. The dish may have fared better with a larger egg yolk to compliment the large dish size and overall, the bibimbap itself could have used a bit more flavor. With this said, it was still an enjoyable dish and worth a try in our opinion.
Overall, Cho Sun Ok consistently proves why it receives so many rave reviews from their satisfied customers. Staff evidently appreciates your business and the physical space is inviting and tidy. The food is excellent and uses fresh ingredients. The only drawback is that the food is a bit pricy compared to other Korean joints, but it is definitely worth the quality and overall good dining experience.