Miss Korea Cafe and Restaurant opens in the semi-basement space previously occupied by Cafe Lavi
By Michael Ganley | October 25, 2022
Miss Korea is tucked into the semi-basement of an old brick building on 100th Avenue, in the space previously occupied by Cafe Lavi and before that, another Korean restaurant, Nourishak K-Eatery.
Proprietor Sungjin Myung moved from Ottawa with her husband last year, and opened Miss Korea six weeks ago. She is only open for breakfast and lunch, with another restaurant, JMT Korean, taking over for the evenings. Myung says she made the decision to share the space with another restaurant in part to take some risk out of the launch, but also because she has another priority.
“For me, I have a little girl, just nine years old,” she says. “I want to spend lots of time with her.”
For breakfast, Miss Korea offers bagels and the popular croissant-waffle hybrid, the croffle, topped with ice cream and syrup.
The lunch menu is standard for a Korean restaurant, with a variety of bibimbap, ramen and doshirak (lunch boxes) available, and of course the ubiquitous pickled-and-fermented cabbage, kimchi.
I ordered the spicy pork doshirak. First to arrive are the two banchan (side dishes) of kimchi and seaweed beef soup. The main course includes sweet and spicy pork, rice, japchae (sweet potato starch noodles stir fried with vegetables) and two crispy, pork-filled mandu (dumplings). The meal is spicy and satisfying, with the intense savoury flavours typical of Korean Food. To close things out, be sure to try the ginger and lemon tea, a perfect digestif to the meal.
Miss Korea is a little hard to find, situated as it is half underground and with the branding on the outside belonging to JMT and, still, Cafe Lavi.
“I’m a little worried about that but people keep coming back,” says Myung. “So I’m happy.”