Top nosh for less dosh: is Korean food going mainstream?

This week’s Time Out has a brief feature on tasty meals for tight times. In central London they highlight ten restaurants, of which three are Korean. Here they are:

Bi Bim Bap. In Soho, try big, filling stone bowls of Korea’s national dish of rice mixed with variations of meat and vegetables, stirred together and served piping hot. 11 Greek Street, W1D 4DJ. Tottenham Court Road tube. 020 7287 3434

Bi Bim Bap Soho is the only Korean restaurant in London to have asked to be my Facebook friend. I’m told it’s an offshoot of my favourite central London Korean, Asadal.

Inside Koba
Inside Koba

Koba. The sleek restaurant looks expensive, but offers great value and superlative korean cooking in Fitzrovia. The jeongol (casseroles, £9-£22) are big enough for four. 11 Rathbone Street, W1T 1NA. Tottenham Court Road tube. www.koba-london.com. 020 7580 8825

Koba, I’m told, is slightly fusion. I’ve had it recommended to me but I’ve never been there yet. Sometime soon, I promise.

Soju. A tiny Soho restaurant with plenty to offer on its comprehensive Korean menu. Greaseless japchae (stir-fried glass noodles) are spot on, and the kimchi is vibrant in flavour and presentation. 32 Great Windmill Street, W1D 7LR. 020 7434 3262

I hadn’t heard of this one, but any restaurant that can offer greaseless japchae has got to go on my list for a visit. I always find japchae rather greasy. I wonder what they have on their drinks list?

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One thought on “Top nosh for less dosh: is Korean food going mainstream?

  1. Thanks for the “head-up” on Bi Bim Bap Soho – my wife is from Seoul, and I suspect we’ll have to track down this place next time we visit London!

    Asadal always made a fine pibimbap too, but probably the best I’ve tried in the London area is a bit off the beaten track: “Ko Gu Ryo” (139 High Street, Staines, MIDDX TW18 4LG – 01784 461223). They offer a fascinating variant on “dolsot pibimbap” (the variety served in a sizzling hot stone bowl, so the rice bakes crispy round the edges), where they mix in raw pieces of salmon fillet, which then cook in the bowl. It is absolutely delicious, especially with some “gojujang” mixed in, and I highly recommend a visit (I’m not connected with Ko Gu Ryo in any way, but just wanted to share the experience!).

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