Neon lights, sizzling bites take centre stage at GTA Korean eatery

Pocha 1989, an innovative new Korean bar and restaurant opened just a few months ago, and and it’s garnering rave reviews online.

The term pocha is a play on the Korean word pojang-macha, which loosely translates to a “street vendor” or “stall that sells comfort food.”

Inside the North York location is a dimly lit, Instagram-worthy dining room. Guests are greeted to an artistic display of  neon palm trees, lattice and faux greenery, interlocked in fairy lights. Pocha 1989’s tropical feel doesn’t end there. High above the tables, an array of greenery hangs from the ceilings for a soft, dreamy effect. Once guests get used to the warm, ambient glow, they’re treated to an easy-to-navigate menu complete with an abundance of Korean favourites.

Spicy creamy udon

Some of the most popular items are the Oden soup, a broth composed of red pepper, scallion and fried bean curd, topped with skewered fish cakes, while the spicy creamy udon, too, is a must-try item; the soft and chewy noodles are made with beef sausage, bacon, onion and egg and then topped with flying fish roe. And don’t forget to save some room for dessert. The pancakes — one of the most popular street snacks in Korea, topped with vanilla ice cream are divine.

Boneless chicken bites

Another popular menu item is the boneless chicken. Bite-sized pieces of chicken are breaded and deep- fried before being glazed in a house-made sweet and spicy sauce. The dish is topped with shaved almonds, and Pocha recommends white rice or the loaded bulgogi fries as accompaniments.

On the drinks menu, diners will find an incredible selection of premium soju, including Hwayo 41 and flavoured options like green grape, grapefruit, peach and apple mango.

Pocha 1989 is located at 4852 Yonge St., North York.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO