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[London] Korean restaurants and markets

  • Lina Sep 16, 2008 03:20 AM
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I'm making the move to London in a few weeks and after two years in this Korean wasteland (Dublin) I'm hoping to finally live somewhere where I can indulge in my Korean fixation.

So!

What are the best Korean restaurants in London?

Any great Korean markets or Asian markets that carry Korean foods?

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  1. New Malden is known for a high concentration of Koreans. Its a suburb about 20 mins by train from Waterloo. Some good spots there.

    otherwise, try koba in town, or some others in Soho.

    not sure of the specifics.

    2 Replies
    1. re: foreignmuck

      I agree with trying out New Malden - in fact, I need to get down there myself...!

      In central London, I love Assa's big Korean hotpots and grills, and Polo's magnificent raw beef bibimbap. I've also heard great things about Asadal in Holborn.

      1. re: supercharz

        If you can't be bothered getting out to New Malden, Blossom at Centre Point has fabulous raw beef, chicken and seafood bibimbaps. It is a bit of a corporate environment though but good if you live or work near the area.

    2. Hanna Supermarket on Store Street (Bloomsbury - Russell Square tube) - Korean groceries + serves food at lunch
      The Centre Point supermarket in the bottom of Centrepoint, St Giles High Street - Tott Ct Road tube
      These two places are 5 minutes walk apart from each other

      1. My favourite is Koba, but I've also been to Han Kang on Hanway St (which used to be a bit grubby but has been recently renovated), and Ran on Gt Marlborough St. And I second themags' recommendations, as those are the places I go to for Korean bits and pieces.

        Helen Yuet Ling Pang
        http://www.worldfoodieguide.com

        1. asadal (holborn) is pretty good. deb and i dined there two months ago and thoroughly enjoyed our meal. we lived in seoul for three years and grab a good korean meal whenever/wherever the opportunity presents itself.

          1. Thanks! I'll give a full report once I start trying them all out. :)

            1. My favorite Korean restaurant in London is Arang in Golden Square. I think it's owned by the people who own Ran which is also reccomended in this thread, but I think the service and thequality of food are a little bit better at Arang.

              1 Reply
              1. re: fatfoodie

                i heart this ressie too!

              2. There's a big building on Oxford Street called Centre Point. (Just look up when you're around Tottenham Court Road.) Just south of there is a little street that has four or so small Korean restaurants plus a Korean bakery. I like Polo the best...

                1. I moved yesterday, and in my first foray out of the serviced apt I'm staying in, I found a Korean restaurant just steps away. I decided that this was clearly a positive omen. "Lina, you're not in Dublin, anymore!"

                  Not one to tempt fate, and despite the fact that I already had dinner plans in a few hours, I headed in to Jindalle, off of Haymarket in the Picadilly Circus area. They seemed to be set up for some sort of theater rush because nearly all of the tables already had a full, cooked meal on it, which was rapidly congealing and not looking particularly appealing. There were two tables with people at them, and they were not eating the set menu on the other tables, but their dishes looked nice enough, I noticed a neng myun and daeji bulgogi.

                  I ordered a kim chi chi gae for takeaway, and then sat down at the only table that didn't already have a set menu meal on it to wait. Later, when a couple of women came in for dinner (and didn't want the set menu, apparently), I was asked to leave the table. This left me standing awkwardly in the middle of a small restaurant, despite the fact that there were over 40 empty chairs in the place, but I wasn't allowed to sit in any of them because they had now lukewarm and sort of grody food at them. I wasn't particularly impressed by this.

                  Finally got my soup and headed home. Wasn't great--was a very small amount, maybe 1.5 cups and had 3 tiny thumb-sized pieces of pork in it for £6.50. Kim chi chi gae is not too hard to make, so I was disappointed to see that they were using very solid tofu rather than the soft tofu I'm used to. Overall, would give them a thumbs down. However, the restaurant itself was very cute, and I'd probably give them a chance again if I wasn't doing takeaway. During the 15 minutes I was there, no one came in to eat one of the meals that were sitting out, so I have no idea what that was all about.

                  Despite my disappointment with the soup, I was delighted that I ran into a Korean place in my first few minutes in London. I think it bodes well for the future.

                  http://www.timeout.com/london/restaur...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Lina

                    London has so much choice. Why revisit a place you had such a poor experience in? Given all the negative signals I was surprised you persevered.

                    Waterloo station isn't far from where you are staying, hop on a train to New Malden, it only takes 22 mins, trains every 15 mins, and cost approx. £6 - walk down the high street and it feels like you are in Korea - lots and lots of choice in restaurants and shops.

                  2. Today's Korean update (yesterday's was removed by an overzealous moderator)--

                    I went over to Centre Point and St Giles High St based on the recommendations I received here. Centre Point had me nearly in tears, I was so delighted to find their ready-to-cook bulgogi, etc. My favorite Korean supermarket in Oakland used to have that sort of stuff and I loved it!

                    I got a couple of prepared side dishes and some meats which are cooking now. Have already tried the fishcakes and spinach sides and I am in heaven! Also got a lot of cooking supplies.

                    On my way home I saw a bunch of Chinese markets on Lilse St and couldn't stop myself from going in and making a number of unnecessary purchases. Then, just a moment later, I saw Nippon and Korea Centre on Wardour Street and bought a load of ridiculous snack foods.

                    All of this within 10 minutes of my apartment--after 2 years in Dublin, I feel like I've died and gone to heaven!

                    1. Glad you went over to Centre Point! I've been dying to go to New Malden for ages--I spent two weeks in South Korea in 2004 and ate really really well--so if you're looking to make the trip and want some company, please let me know!

                      Also, in Clerkenwell, there's a place called New Seoul on Clerkenwell Road. I've only been there twice but the service has been very sweet both times and the food has been nice.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: kristainlondon

                        Krista, I just saw this post, missed it somehow. I'd definitely be up for a trip to New Malden.

                        Anyone have any specific New Malden recs?

                        1. re: Lina

                          I used to live in New Malden.

                          I would recommend Hamgipak - a tiny Korea cafe type place, but so good. There's various other places along New Malden high street. I liked the food at Han - it's a Korean bar right opposite New Malden station. It's more fusion though.

                          I haven't been to New Malden in awhile, but I always notice new places opening up.

                          New Malden is very suburban and would be good to visit, as it'll give you a chance to explore the outskirts of London.

                          Have fun.

                      2. Just signed up for a Korean cooking class at Eat Drink Talk (http://www.eatdrinktalk.co.uk/product...) in Feb if anyone's interested.

                        And just to take advantage of everything London has to offer, I signed up for a Korean cooking class with Kei-jo Sarsfield next month as well. Will report back.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Lina

                          I second (or third/fourth) the suggestion to get down to New Malden. I recently went to Jee Ceh Neh, full write up here, http://londonrestaurant.blog.co.uk/20... . But in summary a real notch up on Korean restaurants I've been to in the centre of town, tried a range of types of dishes and were impressede across the board. Will definitely be going back to New Malden to give other places a try.

                          1. re: Iestyn Morgan

                            Am thinking of trying this place tomorrow. Any chance you could give me directions (via public transport)?

                            1. re: Lina

                              Take the train from Waterloo to New Malden. First... go to Google Maps and type in KT3 4NU. It will show you the train station in relationship to Jee Ceh Neh.

                              Have fun!

                              1. re: zuriga1

                                Thanks so much, can't wait. Am super excited!

                                1. re: Lina

                                  lina - check out limsters post re new malden; i think kirsta's suggestion about company is a good one.

                                  1. re: Lina

                                    I'll be anxious to hear about your adventure. We don't live all that far by car from New Malden and I've been trying to get there for ages. You're inspiring me.

                                    1. re: zuriga1

                                      Had an amazing meal at Hamgipak last night, was so glad I finally went! I'll report more in the New Malden thread I started (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/600422) when I get a sec.

                          2. Just had a meal at Koba in Rathbone place. Thought it was very nice, but we ordered the mixed bbq platters. but didnt get as much as I woudl have expected for the money...

                            1. I ate here only 2 days ago and it was great. Good value too! Nara, Korean and japanese Restaurant, 9 D'Arblay St, W1. It's off New oxford Street, so conveneint for Oxford Circus.