Restaurant: Jung Soo Nae
Location: 5754 Yonge Street, North York, ON M2M 3T6
Price Range: $$
In Korea, there are numerous gejang specialty restaurants but unfortunately we aren’t as lucky here in Canada. It’s rare to see fresh crabs in Toronto and it isn’t a common dish like bibimbap or pork bone soup. Thus the moment my friend told me Jung Soo Nae serve this dish, I dragged her with me to relive that memory of having delicious fresh crabs in Korea again :).
Jung So Nae is a hidden restaurant near Finch Station under an apartment complex. It is so small that if you come here during rush hour, it’s extremely hard to get a table! Despite being so small, the restaurant is quite warm and very welcoming. I felt like I was actually invited to a Korean’s friend house to try their food!
Unlike the ganjan gejang, the crabs for YangNyeom are already opened and cut into pieces before being marinated for the sauce to coat and penetrate the crab meat. While the crab was fresh, there was no other flavors such as sweet or salty and the crab was just.. bland and spicy.
Unlike the YangNyeom marinate, I found the brine for the GanJang to be more flavorful while not overpowering nor too salty. The sauce eliminated the raw, fishy taste while enhancing the flavor of the fresh crabs at the same time. Since the crabs were kept whole – which is how it’s supposed to be anyways – I would have appreciated more if the staff provided us with a knife or scissors to cut the crab into bite size pieces. This way it would be much easier to suck the crab flesh out of the legs and claws. I also recommend you guys to put a few spoons of rice into the shell to mix with the roe and tomalley – absolutely delicious!
The supposed-to-be porridge was thinner than expected – I remember having a creamier red bean porridge in Korea. The rice balls were too salty yet the soup was just not too sweet. The flavor combination was so strange that none of our friends liked this dish.
I also have to mention that the service here is terrible. The lady can’t speak English but she was still somewhat friendly. The only person who can communicate in English is her husband, but he was just straight up rude – even my Korean friend commented how unfriendly he was as well. Otherwise, some of the dishes at Jung Soo Nae was a hit and miss. Other than raw crabs, it seems a lot of people come here for their BBQ and stir fried dishes as well so I would probably try that next time!