Kaya in top 10 unusual restaurants

In last Saturday’s Times, in The Knowledge listings supplement (7-13 October), there was a list of top 10 unusual restaurants in London, as ranked by Square Meal. Kaya, 42 Albermarle Street, is in the list.

This is something of an oddity among the ranks of sleek, modish Mayfair restaurants, but it’s well worth seeking out for an induction to authentic Korean cuisine. Tuck into excellent renditions of classics such as seaweed soup, beef and ox tongue barbecued at the table, and jellyfish and seafood in a mustard sauce. Don’t stint on the side dishes either, as the rice, noodles & broths all add to the experience.

It’s only recently that Square Meal has recognised “Korean” as a separate cuisine, so maybe that’s why they consider Kaya unusual. I certainly can’t thing of anything unusual about it when compared with the chocolate covered scorpions you get at Archipelago (which I haven’t been brave enough to try).

I can recommend Kaya myself. It’s a frequent destination for me if I’m in the St James’s / Bond Street area, while another favourite is Asadal if I’m heading home from the City. I’ve yet to settle on a favourite in the Soho area. I’ve tried Jin, Arirang, Jindalle, Ran and Dong San, of which the front-runners are probably Arirang and Jin.

4 thoughts on “Kaya in top 10 unusual restaurants

  1. I can’t believe you’ve tried Dong San and aren’t raving about it! My wife and I can’t get enough of the place, really high quality dishes. May be worth trying again if you get a chance.

  2. Oh yeah, Nara is a must! At lunch time, they do some very nice dishes and at a very competitive price too. There is no service charge (only @ lunchtime), though if you do go, try and go with Korean’s because like most Korean restaurants, they won’t charge you for Kimchi!
    Dong San is quite good, though some dishes are nicer than others. Their galbi (갈비) is amazing but their spicy bulgolgi (돼지불고기) is a bit rough (not spicy enough and too sweet).

  3. I’d like to recommend Myungga.
    Tthis restaurant have got a long history since 1990.
    Timeout chose this restaurant as a critics’ choice.

    It’s very famos for seafood pancake(pajon), Kalbi(BQQ Ribs). Glass noodle, Spicy prawn. Bibimbap etc…
    It’s very delicious of Kimchi HOT POT.
    Last time I saw two premier Korean player in the restaurant. I will go there this Friday with my girlfriend.

  4. @Chen – I agree with you. I’m now a fairly regular visitor to Myungga. Didn’t see any Korean footballers though!
    @Max – I’ve tried Dong San again and am confirmed in my view that it’s not a front-runner. They can pull out all the stops when they have to (there was a good celebratory lunch there to launch a ceramics show with various Korean big-wigs) but if you go on an average evening you get average food, IMHO.

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