Swish by Han

Travel to me = the opportunity to try new restaurants. This might explain why I always gain weight when I travel. :P My sister had heard about a new "upscale" Korean restaurant with great bi-bim-bap (which when literally translated means rubbed rice - sounds good doesn't it?) So my aunt, mom, sister and I went to Swish by Han.

First thing you notice when you walk in, is there aren't that many tables and it is decorated better than most Korean restaurants. Looking at the menu, the next thing you see is that this is likely going to cost much more than your typical Korean meal. Oh well... It is only Christmas once a year. I might as well enjoy my dinner. :D

Our first course was a hae mul pa jeon (aka seafood crepe/pancake.) The only issue with pa jeon's in general is the pa which is green onions. I HATE onions. So I am giving you the concensus around the table, that it tasted good since I did not eat any of it. I can attest to the fact that the salad under the pa jeon was very tasty. The seafood pancake looked like it had much better ingredients than your typical Korean seafood pancake which usually only has octopus legs. This one had octopus, big juicy (looking) shrimp, and scallops. My family thought it was a bit salty though. This was $10.

Next up was the famous lobster bi-bim-bap (I guess this is a follow up to my fabulous lobster risotto at Mis Trucos last week) This was my favourite dish. First because I love bi-bim-bap, and secondly because this one had an amazing amount of "nu-run-gi" the crispy rice that forms from the hot stone pot. Mmmmm... I really enjoyed this dish, my mom and aunt thought it was salty - I didn't find it too salty... but then again I do like my salt. Was this dish worth $18? Maybe... after all it did have the nice crisp nu-run-ji

Our third dish was a pork belly ssam (i.e. wrap). This one was tasty, but given that it was pork belly, it was fatty and a little overcooked on the hotplate. It came with ssam jang (hot red pepper paste) lettuce and kimchi - after all this is Korean food, it wouldn't be complete without kimchi

Once wrapped you end up with this photo on the side, which you pull
together into a small bundle and pop into your mouth (this is never done very gracefully since sauce is always dripping out of the lettuce.) It was tasty, but not worth the $16 since for $2 more I could have had the lobster bi-bim-bap which was way better.

Our final dish was what they call swish aka shabu shabu. They have several different flavours beef, seafood, and mushroom (sorry for all of you vegetarians out there... I do not understand how you can give up the glorious flavours of meat and seafood!) We ordered the seafood (clearly no vegetarians in my family!)

The best part of this dish were the handmade noodles that came after the seafood was all eaten. Reminded me of the cal gook su my grandmother used to make (sniff). The scallops were cut too thin so they were over cooked in seconds. Everything else was ok, but not "damn I need to go back again" good. At $30 I would probably skip this dish.

Finally we topped it off with some coffee pat bing su. This is one of a few Korean desserts. It is shaved ice topped with pat (red bean paste) ice cream. Usually there is some fruit on it, but in this case there was coffee and cinnamon. The first one that came the red bean that was in it had gone bad and it was sour. More than a little off putting. But... since it is my sister's favourite Korean food she asked for a second one. This one was much better and while me, my mom and my aunt each had one bite, my sister devoured the whole thing. I think the green tea pat bing su would have been better, but they were out of green tea ice cream. :(

All said and done I was stuffed, would I come again? Maybe for lunch, just for the lobster bi-bim-bap. I'd skip the rest of it.

Rating 2.5/5 (-1 for minor faults in food, -1.5 for serving rancid pat)

1 Response to "Swish by Han"

  1. Anonymous Says:
    January 7, 2011 at 12:41 AM

    I miss Korean food!!! =)

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