CLOSED: Urraca Resto Lounge (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 19A Finch Avenue West
Type of Meal: Dinner

After visiting Urraca Resto Lounge’s professional looking website, it was a bit of a shock to enter the restaurant itself.  Painted and furnished in all black, the place reminded me more of a small university club than a lounge.  Even their menus were in dismal condition – photocopied, caked with spilt drinks and numerous menu items crossed out. 

With this first impression, I had low expectations for the food to come.  Nonetheless, my friends and I decided to brave it and order a few items to try.  Urraca Resto Lounge’s menu consists of tapa dishes, combining Korean favourites (such as bulgogi and kimchi) with Western bar foods (mainly fries, nachos and tacos). 

Overall, it wasn’t that bad; dishes weren’t outstanding but they were edible and in line with most bar foods.  Unfortunately, most of the dishes used the same sauces and ingredients which caused them to taste alike, but there were two dishes that stood out:

  • Seafood rice cake ($12): Korean rice cake sticks mixed with a sweet and spicy gochujang sauce, cheese and seafood (mussels, shrimp and fish cake).  The seafood itself appears to be frozen so overall unimpressive and really could be substituted with any protein.  But, the rice cake sticks were chewy and had a great flavour, just a hint of spice but not over powering so really anyone could enjoy.

  • Kobe beef sliders ($12): although I couldn’t decipher the Korean part of the dish, the sliders were juicy and packed with flavours.  Cheese, a salsa with jalepenos and a spicy mayo sauce covered the thick tender meat patties providing a mouthful of tastes with each bite.    

The beef tacos ($7) and bulgolgi poutine ($7), on the other hand, were esthetically pleasing to look at but tasted like any other run of the mill version of the dish.  The problem may stem from the poor quality beef used to make both. Normally, when I have bulgogi, the beef is sliced paper thin, marinated and cooked quickly so that when it arrives the beef is juicy, flavourful and tender.  Urraca’s beef is hard, luke warm and tastes like large quantities of it is made ahead of time and just added to the dishes when necessary.  Additionally, both use the identical salsa and spicy mayo sauce (also used in the sliders) so after having one dish they all start tasting the same.     

Urraca, like most Korean restaurants, offer drinks that are soju based.  I often find them too diluted and sweet, so we opted to share a bottle of soju ($14) for the table and mixed a splash of Ginger Ale ($1.50 per can) in each to make it taste better.

The service we received from the waitress was helpful – she suggested menu items and aided in making dishes appropriate to serve four.  However, when my friend was feeling nauseous and dizzy, thus having to lie down for a moment, the manager was not sympathetic and made us feel like we had to leave.  In the end, this harsh attitude damaged any chance that either of us would ever return to the restaurant again.   

Overall mark - 5 out of 10

Gastro World's Grading System
  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!