06 4 / 2012

Dear Diary,

Imonay Korean Restaurant is totally cute! We weren’t sure what to expect, because, well, we haven’t heard anything about it and it looks pretty nondescript:

The completely endearing menu won us over pretty quickly, explaining that, “‘Imonay’ literally means aunt’s place. Try Aunt’s delicious authentic home-cooked Korean meals.” So we did! Imonay also made it feel like our aunt lived in a basement suite, which made us like her even more.

Our friends Luke and Tony joined us for dinner and it was great. Luke approached dinner like a competition, and took an early lead by declaring himself to be “the most dynamic” dinner guest on the Kimchi Diaries thus far. Check out this evidence:

Wow! What energy! It’s like he’s jumping out of the screen and into your lap! Smarminess aside, Luke probably did “win” dinner, but more on that later…

We started with some pretty awesome banchan - 9 different dishes in all! Imonay threw down some as-yet unseen and untasted banchan in the form of a sauteed eggplant dish and what we ultimately decided were pickled pears, though this was the topic of some debate that remains unresolved.

Then we moved on to some appetizers. We opted for a kimchi pancake and some glass noodles with beef. The kimchi pancake was arguably the best six dollars we as a foursome have ever collectively spent (we’ve previously split a carton of Ben and Jerry’s so you can gauge the awesomeness of this pancake accordingly). Tony thought the glass noodles (jap chae) were better than those at Tofu Village and that also opened up a debate. (Can you sense a pattern here? What an argumentative dinner!)

Tony, Beth, and Dan were all interested in the Bibim Guk Soo, described as “white flour noodle topped with veggies, sweet and spicy sauce and sesame oil.” This sounds delish and slightly less heavy than most of the K-Town meals we’ve been eating. However, this proved to be a horrible misorder. The problem: The menu should clearly state that Bibim Guk Soo is “served cold,” and it totally didn’t. What made it all the more confusing was that another dish on the menu said “served cold” so you know it’s not our fault! We blame poor signage.

When the dish came, all three of us let out a collective sigh. Cold noodles! We were had!

Dan made the best of the cold noodle situation, eating most of it and declaring it to be “good!” Tony completely avoided her cold noodles and hit the glass noodles instead. Beth tried to eat as much of the beef bulgogi as she could before Dan noticed that she was no longer “sharing” two dishes with him. Basically, as soon as two bowls of cold noodles arrived, everyone went into survival mode. It got a little weird.

Here is Beth’s “making the best of it” face, diary, but she was not pleased. Dan’s blasé attitude wins again, as he really was this happy.

This is really where Luke won, sticking with the old favourite of bibimbop. He went out on a ledge a bit, adding some bulgogi and avocado (yeah, avocado) to the stone bowl. There are lots of add-on options here; something to check out if you’re a bit over the standard bibimbop fare (though, really, that is crazy: bibimbop is so good!). Luke was a big fan of the bibimbop but mentioned that he wouldn’t be adding avocado again any time soon.

All in all, we were pretty torn about how we felt about Imonay. We love the name, we love the glass noodles, we love the pancake, we love the cute decor, and we love the excitement over personalized bibimbop. But we don’t love cold noodles, and unfortunately, three quarters of the table ordered them. 3.5 snowflakes!