Introducing Core: Excellent Value in the Heart of Leslieville

The Space

By definition, core means “the part of something that is central to its existence or character”. This intention drives everything that the team at Core tries to accomplish — hospitality and service at their core, and hoping to be a core of Leslieville’s community. Their space is a quaint, 40-seat nook in the heart of Queen St. E. that is adorned with grey stone walls and red details. Whether the goal is a glass of wine and a snack at the bar a special occasion with the family, Core’s ambiance warm and inviting.

Meet Chef

Chef “H” Hyun Jung Kim is of South Korean background. His culinary career began at George Brown Culinary School, and this chapter presented him with the opportunity to intern with notable establishment like Senses of the Soho Metropolitan Hotel as well as Scaramouche Restaurant. Upon graduation in 2010, he began working at Globe Bistro, an establishment that introduced him to seasonally-inspired, contemporary Canadian cuisine. This style has since developed into the focal point and passion of his work.

The chapter of his career that he considers to be the most influential is the four years that he spent working at George Restaurant as Sous Chef. He is grateful for this time working alongside Chef Lorenzo Loseto, who he describes as the chef that he most greatly admires. In the time to follow, he spent six months travelling abroad to the United Kingdom, where he was able to stage in many Michelin-starred kitchens. His experience to-date as brought him to Core, where he was able to translate his training into his own menus on in at his very own restaurant.

The Food

Core’s menu is inspired by Chef H’s passion for experimentation and seasonality. From daily changing menu items, to three and five course tastings, the offerings at Core are as creative as they are generous. Perhaps one of the most notable aspects of the food at Core is the incredible value that your dollar will earn you in quantity, quality and service. For example, their starters range from $11-$16 a plate, their mains from $20-$31, and they offer a 3-course tasting menu for a reasonable $45, and a 5-course menu for $70 — and the portions will impress.

Albacore Tuna Tataki

Generous slices of albacore tuna in ponzu, served with fermented radish, pearl onions, and sunflower seeds.

Beef Tartare

Thinly chopped striploin garnished with capers, currents, chive and topped freshly grated foie gras. Served with a side of sesame crisps.

Foie Gras Torchon

A torchon of foie gras paired with a duo of rhubarb jam and poached rhubarb, topped with walnuts and fresh mint. Served with a side of toasted brioche.

Wild Sockeye Salmon

Crispy-skinned wild sockeye salmon served with a bright pepperonata, capers, brown butter, and sea asparagus.

Rack of Wild Boar

Sliced rack of wild boar served with rapini, king oyster mushrooms, and cipollini mushrooms, served with a flavoursome jus.

In a neighborhood best known for casual eateries, Core brings a nod to fine-dining while keeping the experience and prices approachable. They hope to get to know their neighbours as friends, cater both impromptu date nights and special occasions, and truly take care of their guests. To discover their full menu, check out their TK profile here.