- 206 - 350 Portage Avenue
Even though it doesn’t come naturally, the owners of Greenish make a point to know all of their regular customers by name.
“We immigrated here so all of the names are hard to pronounce. We practice,” laughs Euijun Cha, the chef and owner of the health-conscious Korean and Japanese cuisine-focused restaurant, Greenish.
Since opening in July 2017, Cha and his wife, Yunggi Yoon, have reinvented the restaurant space on the second level at 354 Portage Ave. Cha worked in the former café located there, and along with his carpentry-trained wife, renovated the space to include more earthy woods to complement their health-forward menu.
At lunch, Greenish is known for its ambitious salads which require no sacrifices on the part of the consumer – a generous albacore tuna salad is topped with juicy mango, avocado, cabbage and a refreshing chili lime dressing. A roasted beet, quinoa and candied pecan-topped salad is an alternative if you like a good sweet and savoury salad. All of the dressings and sauces are homemade at Greenish – so there’s really no imitators for their distinct tastes.
While it does provide a cozy array of tables for diners, the convenient, skywalk-adjacent restaurant also offers a showcase of prepared sushi, sashimi and salad dishes for takeout (Cha notes there’s a flux of Hydro workers that make their way from the nearby skywalk – perhaps the most convenient way to arrive at their restaurant).
If you have time to sit down, there’s an elaborate sushi menu for rolls prepared fresh – or, you can enjoy specialty international dishes like bulgogi, sundubu (Korean stew), ramen or takoyaki (like a Japanese croquette).
Perhaps most excitingly, Greenish is known for impressing with its homemade kimchi – a must-try for anyone who can take the pickled heat.
In the mornings, Greenish capitalizes on its convenient location for downtown commuters and offers breakfast sandwiches (including a bargain for a smoked salmon bagel and small coffee for just over $5)
As a way of competing with the many coffee shops in the nearby vicinity, Greenish offers hand-drip coffee and espresso drinks, all made fresh per serving. (Before joining forces with her husband, Yoon worked as a barista and mastered the perfect latte.)
While the pair have plans to continue with further renovations to the space and introduce new dishes to the menu, they are thrilled with reception since opening.
“We probably know 100 names already. We’re very happy,” says Cha.