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.