November 25, 2015

First Impression: Golden Brown

 A few weeks ago I discovered the most adorable Korean takeout joint. I literally barfed in my mouth a bit from how absolutely adorbs this place was. I practically squealed my pants off when I walked into the place.  Every inch of this tiny shop was covered in reclaimed wood and decorated in sweet little doodles done by hand.  
Ran by an incredibly humble and sweet son & mom duo, this is definitely a hidden gem on Barton street. And I mean it when I say hidden. The windows are all covered up and there is no sign at the door. How do you find it? It's right beside the HAVN art gallery. Got it?  
First off, they make their own kimchi. I'm not just talking cabbage but the works - mustard greens, two types of radishes, pear, parsnip, cucumber - so many to choose from! The one that stood out the most was the pear kimchi. It was so good it blew my socks off! The rest of the kimchi had lots of flavour and packed really good heat too. 

My buddies Jeannie & Salar (from Meat Ventures) recently discovered them and are now using Golden Brown's homemade kimchi at their poke bar (which if you haven't tried yet - you should! These guys hit it out of the park with their poke. Check out Pokeh Bar at the Hamilton market #notsponsored) 
The menu is very small and humble. Everything under ten dollars and most items served with white rice and pickled vegetables. The left column is for a small size and the right is large. The food is very much home cooked. Even though I'm not Korean, I feel like I just picked up some grub from mom's house. There is nothing fussy or pretentious about it. Just simple food done well, they clearly take pride in it.
This is the view from the door. Yes it's very small. And yeah, it's cute AF.

First thing we ordered was the Korean Fried Chicken, usually served on a skewer but we asked for it on its own. You also have the option of having it with rice. Jake also said you can order a dinner style KFC combo for two people for $20 

The sauce on the chicken was tangy, spicy, and included all the delicious flavours I love about Korean food. It was incredibly crispy on the outside and the meat (I think it was thigh) was juicy. This is the kind of dish you could keep eating & not realize you're full till about 6 pounds in. I loved the KFC and I'm hoping they'll consider doing bone in fried chicken. I would probably foam at the mouth with excitement if this happened. Or at least have bigger chunks of chicken.
 The Ju Meok Bob were $4 for 3 (top right corner),  we ordered one seaweed and two anchovy. These were nothing to write home about. It wasn't mind blowing - but I wouldn't kick it out of bed or anything. It does make a great snack if you're itching for white rice. They're essentially balls of rice with stuff inside.

The bottom middle was a small Jeyuk ($5) - spicy marinated slices of pork.  I hate to say it, but I can never differentiate the types of spices in Korean food. All I know is that it is either sweet, spicy, or both, but delicious every time. The meat was caramelized nicely and not over done at all. 
Pictured below is the large Jeyuk for $7. There is a bed of rice with pickled cabbage, pork & kimchi radish on the side. For $7 you get two types of veg, a starch and protein?! Are you fricken kidding me? FANTASTIC bang for your buck.
Loved the fact that they gave us different side dishes when I ordered the large Jeyuk and the large KFC meal. This place has some crazy potential and I'm looking forward to seeing them grow. From what I can tell from their instagram, they do a few daily specials and are vegetarian friendly. 
Tell all your foodie friends about this place. It'll be a bitch to find but totes worth it. I hope they put a sign out front very soon. For what I can remember, they are open till 9pm everyday but closed on Mondays. 


Happy Eating! 


Golden Brown 
28 Barton Street East 
Hamilton, On 
Golden Brown Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



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