Visited by: Heather Peter
28 Barton St E,
Hamilton, ON, L8L 2V5
I’m so grateful to be friends with some amazing Hamilton foodies, because if I wasn’t, how would I know about hidden gems like Golden Brown?! (Shout out to Jen at TasteHamont for setting up this glorious tasting.)
If you walked past Golden Brown on the street, you might miss it. It’s a little nook of a place, and not too much to look at on the outside. When you get in, your eyes might just bulge out of your head with excitement, like mine did.
Onto the review…..
Their logo is hand-drawn (or hand-painted, I should say), just what you would expect for this take-out joint that specializes handmade, slow-food.
We got spoiled. The food just kept coming at this tasting, and I’m not complaining! We tried:
Stuffed Mushrooms – Mushrooms are one of my favourite veggies, so I was happy we got to try these. They were light and not too strong. The perfect start to the tasting.
Korean Fried Chicken with Radishes – Seriously, this is the dish that will keep me coming back. That sauce….. ooooh man….I hope they bottle it because it’s crazy good and I’ll buy it by the boatload.
Kale Salad with Tomatoes and Bocconcini – I wasn’t really sure if this went with the rest of the tasting theme, but what do I know about Korean food? I just like to eat. And I wasn’t about to complain once I tried this dish. It was great and the dressing was on fleek. (Yeah, I just said that.)
Beef Stuffed Mushrooms – These weren’t too memorable, but they weren’t bad either!
Kimchi Lettuce Wraps – Golden Brown makes different Kim Chi each day, plus you can order it and take some home. Apparently, because it’s fermented, it’s supposed to be really good for you. So not only is this dish super yum, it’s also healthy. I’m in.
Pork with Kim Chi – This pork was cooked to perfection, and the addition of my new favourite thing: kim chi, made this meaty dish one to remember.
Open-face Burgers with Tangerine Kim Chi, Kale Kim Chi and Radish Kim Chi – The burgers were so itty bitty, and that would be my main complaint about this whole tasting (haha) because I could eat like 7 of these patties. They were insanely good.
Who am I?! Did I actually eat this much?!
Rice Rolled in Kim Chi Cabbage with Pear – From what I understand, this cabbage is like the “classic” kim chi of Korean food. It’s perfect. Just slightly spicy with some sweet pear and plain rice to offset the strong flavour.
Spicy Beef Lettuce Wraps – If you like spice, try this.
Rice Balls with Tea Infused Rice – Tea infused?! Right up my alley. These tasted fresh and clean. Thumbs up.
Pickled Eggplant Cucumbers – These were strong with an acidic/vinegary taste to them. I liked them, but I feel like I’d only like this one in small quantities. A whole meal may be too much for me.
Burdock Root Rice Balls – Burdock isn’t something you see very often in North American cuisine, and I’m not sure why not! Burdock root is a sort of strong root veggie, and from what I’ve learned at Golden Brown – it tastes great pickled, with white rice. Nom, nom, nom.
Kim Chi Rice Balls – These were just plain good. They were basically Arancini balls with the spiciness of Kim Chi. I’ll definitely get them again!
All the decor in Golden Brown has heart. Someone painstakingly created their menu, their counters, little artwork pieces around the shop. It’s all handmade and it’s adorable. This place also smells like a dream.
Don’t expect greasy take-out food. Golden brown is take-out, and it is quick, but this is the healthy REAL stuff. You can expect real ingredients and you’ll leave feeling better than you did…which is rare for take-out places, I find.
As a special side note: You can order ‘homemade’ kim chi from them! Just phone in your order and go to pick it up in a couple days.
Social Media Campaign
I originally found them on Instagram, which I think is where their social media campaign started out. Either way – they’re doing a great job on Instagram. Regular updates with yummy food pics and some adorable hand-drawn artwork thrown in. Just add this stuff onto Twitter and Facebook and you’ll be good as gold!
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/untilgoldenbrown
Twitter – https://twitter.com/goldenbrowntwit
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/untilgoldenbrown/
I’d love to see a website and some more activity on Facebook & Twitter.
Everything else: thumbs up, Golden Brown!
Since I visited, I have been raving about this place to everyone who will listen.
Update: They did disappear for a little while there, (Where did you go, Golden Brown?!) but they’re back in business and open with regular hours again! Yay!
Have you been to Golden Brown? Review it with us in the comments below!
(This visit was comped by Golden Brown. Opinions are my own.)