Kimchi and Karaoke in Koreatown

Last week, one of my many Google Alerts on all things Korean stumbled upon a new venture in Toronto that sounded intriguing so I clicked on the link to learn more. And what I learned intrigued me so much that I contacted the person in charge – Karen (who’s absolutely lovely over email) – to ask some additional questions so I could share it with you, my lovely readers.

What am I talking about?

There is a new venture in Toronto called The Kulture Klub, which allows participants to learn a little about a new culture in a social, fun setting… like over dinner. Toronto is the perfect place for this as we have so many different and interesting cultures, all living side-by-side, but we don’t always take the time (like many busy people) to learn about our neighbours. And for someone like me, who is eternally curious about everything… it’s a fantastic thing!

What does this have to do with Korean culture?

They have an upcoming event – on Thursday November 22nd at 7pm – called “Kimchi and Karaoke in Koreatown”. It was the name of this event that originally caught my eye and made me research further. And reading the description – that the event involved not only eating Korean food but also learning about the food AND Korean customs and etiquette – how could I not share it with you. 

What will happen at Kimchi and Karaoke in Koreatown?

First of all, you will be treated to a 6-course meal prepared by the wonderful chefs at Arisu and curated by Chef John Lee, owner of Chippy’s Fish & Chips, who will act as our Korean food & culture tour guide throughout the evening. Chef Lee has a distinguished career spanning more than 20 years and three different continents. Just reading over the list of his accomplishments would make me want to attend the event – check out this great bio of Chef Lee. But it’s not just going to be an introduction to great Korean food! You will also learn Korean etiquette and social customs such as how food is served, who sets the table, how to pour drinks, rules of who eats first, topics of conversation, who pays the bill, and of course, how to use the chopsticks.

While I’m familiar with all of those from my three years in Korea (not to mention my Korean friends and all the research I do for my writing), there is even some new and interesting things that I’m looking forward to learning. You know how I’ve been teaching myself how to cook Korean? So learning more about the ingredients of the dishes we’ll be eating, as well as the significance and placement of each dish is super fascinating to me. I hear that they’ll even teach us Korean drinking games. ^^ Wonder if I’ll learn any new ones?

What will we be eating?

You didn’t think I’d forget such important information such as this did you? Remember I mentioned that it will be a 6-course meal? Well, looking over the fabulous Korean food that we will be treated to, I’m already getting hungry (and I ate dinner just a couple of hours ago). The meal will be a fabulous cross-section of Korean food like gujeolpan (구절판, an elaborate dish consisting of 9 different foods on a large plate) and omija cha (오미자 차, five-flavoured berry tea) that you don’t want to miss. Ever been curious about how to eat Korean food or what you’re eating? Then this is the event for you! I don’t want to give too much away… you should just come out and learn about Korean food and culture in a relaxed, friendly manner.

It’s not just about food!

Really, it’s not just about food and the customs of eating in Korea. We will also get the chance to learn a little of the Korean language so you can impress your friends the next time you order in a Korean restaurant by pronouncing the dishes correctly or saying thank you in Korean. And of course, we’ll learn about the culture itself, as well as some info about the Korean population in Toronto. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Karen assures me that it’s a comfortable place for everyone to ask questions and learn about Korean culture and food (which is a huge part of the culture).

Just the facts

  • What: Kimchi and Karaoke in Koreatown
  • Where: Arisu restaurant (584 Bloor St. W., Toronto – one block west of Bathurst)
  • When: Thursday November 22nd at 7pm
  • Who: Presented by The Kulture Klub
  • Why: Great food and a chance to learn about Korean culture
  • How much: Special early bird rate – $50 (+HST), just say you heard about the event on Life’s an Adventure 2. ^^
  • For more info or to register, please visit their website.

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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