Swish by han (Christmas / New Year’s Eve!)


What? Swish by han for dinner
Where? 38 Wellington st east (King station)
Price? $25-$40
The skinny: Korean restaurants are gaining an increasing good reputation here. There was the pho revolution, now we’ve got Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu and Owl of Minerva as favourites for late night noshing. Swish by han is more of a hip restaurant but don’t be fooled, the food here can be the stuff of dreams.

My final post of 2011. This year’s been amazing! After getting that much needed push from my friends, I set out on creating a blog as an outlet for my love of food. And “carmenhungry” is what resulted. The name was supposed to be temporary but after awhile, it stuck. :D I’m glad for that I guess.(HAPPY NEW YEAR! <|:D)

This blog was meant for friends and family who were curious as to how I could rationalize eating out as often as I do (honestly, it’s not much!!) but it has grown into something bigger. I don’t want to get all mushy, but honestly, thanks for reading! Really, knowing that people do benefit from the reading my blog is what keeps me going. That and my insatiable appetite. A New Year’s resolution of mine: “improve writing skills”. :D Hardest part is to act on your plan. So here’s to action! Hope you all had a good year and are looking forward to an even greater one!

Okay. So I thought what better food adventure to post than my Christmas Eve dinner? I’m lame like that. I figured, “oooh! Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve! It’s perfect!” 

Initially, my friend and I wanted to try out Grand Electric. Not surprisingly, they weren’t open. Same story goes for numerous other restaurants. It was probably past 9:30 at this point when we decided to try one more restaurant, Swish by han. Not wanting to get our spirits up we cautiously approach the place…and then we see people come out! YESSS :D
The restaurant, is cozy, warm and definitely inviting! I'm loving the highly varnished tables. :D

Rather than getting any of the sets, we just ordered a bunch of dishes based on how good they sounded. Worked well! 

"Kimchi”ed pears with stilton cheese (10)
Maybe there will be some sort of lightly poached pears in the mix? Nope. They weren’t cooked in any way so you got the freshness of the pear to cut through the stilton. It wasn’t really spicy but enough for you to get some heat.

The stilton came in small morsels. Too bad they weren’t bigger! :D Still, a nice start.  

“Bi Bim Bap” Rolls (7)
Bibimbap, as I’m used to, is served in a stone pot. There’s rice at the bottom and it’s topped with all sorts of julienned sautéed and seasoned vegetables, beef, chili pepper paste, and a raw or fried egg. You mix it all up yourself. 

I was expecting some of the crunchy rice that sticks to the pot along with vegetables and beef all wrapped up but this seemed more like an elevated spring roll. The wrap was alright but the filling was rather, unmemorable. :(

Soo Yook: 48 Hour braised beef shank (12)
There is definitely a pattern in the plating and presentation. Some sort of spring salad mix with finely sliced chilis and on a long plate or serving device. Meh, still looked appealing to me! :D 

Now this beef shank….hmm let’s just say that it definitely exceeded our expectations. It was really tender and served almost chilled? We quickly finished this dish in no time. 

Spicy pork neck tacos (10)
After a little while our tacos arrives. Pork neck. That’s what caught our attention. Neither of us had ever tried anything quite like this so this is the perfect chance to do so! 

Instantly, this became the highlight of our meal. I’m talking irresistibly good. The crunchy red cabbage and all the mysteriously mouthwatering sauces all came together so perfectly with the pork neck. Amazing. There was a moment there when both of us were struggling to eat these handfuls of bliss, with sauce running down our hands and arms, when something clicked. This is one of those mouthfuls that you take cautiously, and it ends up being perplexingly one of the best food moments in your life. 

(We’re told the kitchen’s about to close. Not full yet, we hastily put in another order for the pork neck tacos. The size of the tacos are noticeably bigger. Did they notice us trying to savour it but give in and just devour them?). I’m not exaggerating here. I expected a decent piece of meat and the usual toppings along with a good sauce or two. 


This is indescribably so much better. Similar to that moment of elation when we had the pillowy pork buns at momofuku ssäm bar.

Neither of us care that we’ve soiled our once white napkins. The mess was worth it. So worth it.

Verdict? How come I waited so long to try this place?! I’m itching to come back here already and it’s only been a week. :D Pricey but come for the pork neck tacos and you won't be disappointed!

4 out of 5 NOMs
Swish by Han on Urbanspoon


  1. Good one! I definitely need to improve writing skills. This is my first time at your blog. Love it! Great design and great photos. I'm on the hunt for good korean food downtown. Thanks for sharing :)


  2. thanks! Korean food is amazing! if you can handle the heat. :D mmm yep, I definitely agree on you with that one. I went to buk chang soon tofu yesterday--so satisfying!

  3. Had the taco at the Food Truck eats and it was delish... after your review I may consider trying this place

  4. i definitely liked the tacos the most! It really had all the elements you'd want in a dish...and it fits in your hand! :D