My experience so far with Korean Food (한국 음식) in London, A Review

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


I started getting interested in the Korean culture at the beginning of the year. It all stemmed from my love for Korean Drama which led to my goal to master the language. Although I always thought Korean food looked good on T.V and i wanted to taste it, it never occurred to me to search for restaurants around London until a few months back. I was talking about KDramas with one of my friends and she told me that she loved Korean food and I was like we should go to a Korean restaurant sometime. That was how my Journey to this oriental cuisine started. First stop is Assa.

  Assa


See my friend is from Singapore and like me she has never checked to see if there were Korean restaurants around. So we used trip advisor to look for the nearest restaurant from Piccadilly Circus station and we found Assa. It wasn't a very long walk for us and when we found it this is what the entrance looked like.


Next Door to it is Assa Japan. The restaurant had a traditional feel to it and there were a few Koreans there which was a good sign. At this point I was so excited because I wanted to try everything. But we ended up with these below. P.S at least I got to try kimchi finally.


김치 비빔밥 - Kimchi Bibimbap

반 찬 - Side Dishes (I have no idea what they are but they were free)

쇠고기 비빔밥 - Beef Bibimbap


김치 - Kimchi (Spicy Fermented Cabbage, it is a staple dish in Korea)

김치전 - Kimchi Pancake

 My Favourite was the Kimchi Pancake. You dip it in the sesame seed oil and it was 정말 맛있었어요 - really delicious. The bibimbap came in this porcelain bowls that keeps your food boiling hot, I liked it but the portion was big so I only ate a bit of it. There was complimentary Korean tea being served which was an added bonus. As for Kimchi, it wasn't my favourite but I think it might be an acquired taste. The prices were reasonable for London and I got to say to the waiters 안녕히 계세요 - Goodbye to the person staying and it literally means "stay in peace".

Address: 53 St. Giles High Street, London

Han Kang


At the end of summer my 한국 선생님 visited London and he invited me for lunch with his friend. We went to Han Kang restaurant. Seeing that I was with Koreans, I decided to ask them to order for me because they obviously are familiar with the food. Here's what we ordered

된장찌게 - Miso Soup, 불고기 - Marinated Beef and 밥 - Rice.

김치찌개 - Kimchi Stew, and A vegetable soup (I have no idea what it's called)


We had a few 반 찬 - Side Dishes as well, it was of more variety than what I had at Assa. My Favourite was the 불고기 - Marinated Beef. It was stir-fried with some spring onions and vegetables. I still am not a fan of Kimchi I'm afraid. The Decor at this restaurant was modern and the price of the food was moderate.

Address:  16 Hanway Street, London W1T 1UE, England


Bamboo



A few weeks ago I attended a conference at Oxford. Arriving at Oxford on my way to the hotel I spotted this Korean restaurant called Bamboo and I insisted we go there for dinner. Upon arriving I was met by an African maitre'd and a Chinese waitress (there goes my Korean language practice). But that didn't stop me from admiring the decor and noticing the good aroma of the food. We ordered the following 



김치전 - Kimchi Pancake

양념 치킨 - Korean style fried chicken

치킨 까스 - Chicken Katsu
We had this with a serving of rice each. I loved the 양념 치킨 it was a bit spicy, crunchy but not too crunchy and all in all we had a delicious meal. I am definitely going back there when next i visit oxford. The prices were a bit high but the food was good.

Address: 17 park end street, Oxford. OX1 1HU

Kimchee



 A few days after I got back from Oxford, I went into London to visit the Korean Cultural Centre, but unfortunately they closed early because of the Korean Film Festival. So instead of going back I decided to still experience a bit of Korean culture, so I decided to go to Kimchee. I saw it in passing once and it looked great from the outside and so I thought why not check it out. The restaurant is elegant and stylish and you will immediately fall in love with the decor. At the entrance to your right is this marble wall with hangul characters written all over it which I thought was beyond beautiful. It had a mixture of traditional and modern in a way that blended. Check it out below.


Main Entrance

Cool wall right?!!!

Interior

김치 - Kimchi

Hot Pot 불고기

Rice
I didn't quite like what I ordered, apparently hot pot bulgogi is in a soup form and I am not a fan of soup. The Kimchi was good and I surprisingly liked it, I guess I might be warming up to the taste. I am definitely trying it one more time to see if it was a mistake in ordering or if the food was just not up to par. It was expensive but I guess it is a high end restaurant.

Address: 71 High Holborn, London WC1V 6EA

Verdict

After all my experience with Korean food, I find that it is a hit or miss with me. I like most of them at first try but some like kimchi might require a few tries. I know it wouldn't be as authentic as the food in Korea but I hope it is close :) I am definitely gonna go to more Korean restaurant and I might try making a dish myself one of these days. I would suggest you check the restaurant's website beforehand and to ask the waiter questions regarding the menu. I find that it helps you avoid getting something you absolutely hate.


안녕


meera



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