It is not ideal to open a new restaurant in the middle of a global pandemic, but that’s precisely what husband and wife team Woongchul Park and Bomee Ki did with their new venture. Sollip opened at the end of August, and brings together French techniques with Korean flavours. It has been getting some great write-ups, and so we booked a table at the end of October: timing which proved to be fortuitous, coming just as it did before another lockdown.
The restaurant interior is simple, almost spartan, but nevertheless elegant, and the welcome is warm, welcoming and professional. We were so taken with the overall experience that we forgot to take any photographs, apart from one of our chosen aperitive, a clear pine needle alcohol served in a small straight-edged glass bowl with a rippled texture that provided some lovely lighting effects. I would have quite happily sipped several more glasses.
We didn’t know quite what to expect in terms of flavours, but elegance and balance is what we got; certainly none of the ballsiness you get in a typical jjigae. This is a reined-in experience – nothing that’s going to put off people who are scared of a bit of spice or pungency, but nevertheless recognisably Korean in influence.
Given my forgetfulness, we’ll have to make do with a scan of the menu that we had to select from, and some shots from Sollip’s Instagram feed which illustrate some of the menu items.
We wish we’d had room in our stomachs to try everything on the menu, because everything we tasted we liked. So we’ll definitely be going back, once the current lockdown is lifted, to complete the experience. Edit: it seems Sollip realise this is a challenge everyone faces and so they are now doing a tasting menu in which it should be possible to eat everything listed.
Tim Hayward in the FT gives the restaurant a rave review (“Just beautiful poetry”), and Fay Maschler in the Standard also seems enthusiastic. Do give it a try, but don’t tell everyone because it would be nice to be able to get a reservation when you want one.