Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Urraca Resto Lounge

Despite the fact that I live in Mississauga, everybody knows I practically live and breathe downtown the 18 hours I'm awake...especially when it comes to eating out. Having said that, I could not say no when Alex Gadoury, sous chef of Urraca Resto Lounge (@UrracaResto) in North York, emailed me and invited me to go try Urraca a month prior to its grand opening. In his email, Gadoury described Urraca as utilizing a fusion style of cuisine:

"We are a continental tapas style concept restaurant with heavy Korean influences. We want people to come relax after work, stop by and have a drink and order a small plate before they go home. The prices are very affordable so you have the option to try a variety of dishes. This gives more freshness and flexibility to the customer as well as the kitchen staff...

...We want to introduce Korean cuisine to the non-korean demographic even if the restaurant is situated in the middle of Korea Town. There aren't any competitive restaurants in the area other than Moxie's or Kelsey's that cater to the young demographic. There are restaurants that strictly cater to Koreans but we are trying to get away from strictly serving the Korean crowd. It is a gamble but one that we are willing to take to become pioneers in that aspect."

I was curious. I was intrigued. Bringing a friend with me, I made my way to Urraca a couple of weeks ago for dinner. We had the following dishes:

Complementary Wonton Chips & Onion Rings 

Complementary Mac & Cheese

Urraca Beef Taco ($7)
Korean beef, avocado, tortilla, sprouts, cheddar
Gadoury: The beef taco is Bulgogi Taco. We use thinly sliced eye of the round (a lot of Korean restaurants use a cheaper cut of beef, we prefer the quality of the eye of the round) and marinate it in a soy sauce based marinade.

Tuna Salad ($10)
Tuna, sesame, crispy rice, bell peppers, ponzu 

Pork Belly 3 Way Platter ($10)
Braised, Roast, Smoked 

Gadoury: We roast the pork belly wrapped with green onions, garlic cloves and black peppercorns. On the plate it rests on samjam, made of pureed garlic,onion, miso paste & kojujam (Korean chili paste).

Gadoury: The poached and smoked are both poached. The poaching liquid consists of water, red wine, black peppercorns, garlic, green onions and tomatoes. Then we slice the smoked and smoke it for approximately 45 minutes in either cherrywood, applewood, hickory or mesquite (it changes everyday). The smoked pork rest on a bed of roughly chopped salted nappa cabbage and garnished with our apple, green onion and daikon radish slaw (mixed with Korean chili powder, salt, tiny bit of sesame oil and a tiny bit of sugar)

Gadoury: The poached pork rests on sliced nappa cabbage marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil and garnished with kimchi. 

Kobe Slider ($8)
Kobe, truffle cheese, fois shavings, garlic aioli 

Okay, so maybe my friend and I ordered a bit too much food for two people (that pork belly platter is supposed to serve 3-4 lol) but hey, we still managed to finish almost everything! Our favourites that night were the beef tacos and the roasted pork belly (we couldn't' get enough of that spicy samjam sauce!) Other menu items that I wanted to try, but did not have the stomach room for, is their Bulgogi Poutine and Seafood Rice Cake. Oh well, there's always next time ;)

Staying true to Urraca's vision of serving Korean fusion, tapas style cuisine, the restaurant is doing a great job incorporating traditional Korean ingredients and flavours into otherwise popular, mainstream dishes. With such creative plates, Urraca is definitely offering the Yonge and Finch area something new and refreshing.

Urraca Resto Lounge on Urbanspoon