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Mar 2, 2009 06:34 AM

[London] New Malden Korean recs

Am thinking of hitting up New Malden tomorrow night for some Korean delicacies. Would love any specific suggestions for restaurants and if any of you would be so good, directions on how to get there via public transport.

I'm really excited to try it out, can't believe I haven't done it yet!

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  1. Hamgipak - At the top of New Malden high Street. It's a little cafe popular wth the Korean locals.There are several others along this stretch of road and there's also a few on Kingston road and Burlington road, which are all nearby. New Malden is served by South West trains. Take an overland Shepperton service from Waterloo - it takes about 30 minutes. Exit the station and you'll be on the high street.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Nii

      I really enjoyed the seafood pancake (aka pan jeon) at Hamipak - light and crisp, and perfectly tender pieces of squid etc. Lovely aromatic green onion. As delicious as the version at Asadal (Holborn), although stylistically different (Asadal's more substantial, soft centres, crisp outsides).

      On a trip there with a kristainlondon and oonth, we also tried You Me on Burlington and were slightly disappointed, although I was wondering if we should have tried the Korean-Chinese dishes (ganponggi, jajiangmyun etc) instead, since these types of dishes appeared more prominent... Love to hear more if anyone tries them.

    2. Hamgipak (or Ham Gi Pak) review:

      Best Korean food I've had in London, hands down. If you're into Korean--and I'm into Korean--then it's actually worth taking a train to New Malden for a taste of their sweet Korean goodness.

      We ordered five dishes for four people and it came to £45. In central London it would have been twice that. I was especially pleased with the soon dubu chigae--was the nicest I've had in a very long time. I'd go back for that alone.

      The seafood pancake was one of the best I'd had. Not greasy, cooked through, spring onions perfectly done. Yum. Bulgogi was great and cheap £8 for a big plate of beef. The spicy octopus was good, but since it was twice as much as everything else at £15, I was expecting it to be the high point of the meal, which it wasn't. It was still really tasty, though.

      The only frightening moment was at the end, when we had finished and the entire staff were sitting there with their fleece jackets on waiting for us to get the hell out so they could go home. Understandable, but I think this was around 10:30. So I guess they keep early hours.

      Advice: go to the off-license that you see immediately on leaving the train station on your way. The place is BYO and there aren't any shops in the immediate area with a decent selection. The restaurant is 5 or 6 minutes from the train station.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Lina

        Thanks for the report, Lina. I hope to get to New Malden soon, and you made it sound very worth the while. I'm glad it was an easy trip for you.

        Places close up early out here in the 'suburbs.' It's not exactly like London. :-)

        1. re: Lina

          We finally got to Hamgipak for lunch today. Howler... will be happy to go back anytime you can make the trip. And it's worth the ride.

          I hadn't eaten any Korean food for ages, and this place, although tiny, prepares fantastic stuff. I had the seafood pancake which turned out to be just as delicious as Lina (and others) promised. My husband had a bowl of soup with noodles (he is not much of a lunch person), so I took home a carryout of the Bulgogi to have another time. The staff is extremely friendly and the place was full but not jam-packed.

          1. re: Lina

            Hamgipak is awesome. Four of us went on Monday and we had a fantastic meal for 40 quid. The seafood pancake was great, but I don't know if I would seek it out again on a menu that has so many incredible items. Also the barbecued pork belly slices were lovely, but maybe not the best value for money on that menu.

            The real highlights of the meal were the two stew like dishes and the fried chicken. Also, their kimchee selections are delicious and many dishes come with rice. The fried chicken "nuggets" are little bunches are white meat chicken fried Korean style. Nice little snack and a huuuge portion. The fish roe stew wasn't very spicy but it was rich and delicious. Finally the stewed do bu with pork (not soon do bu) was incredibly homey and one of my favorite dishes there. It was very thick and almost seemed blended. Great with rice.

            All in all we can't wait to go back.

            1. re: JFores

              I'm glad you got to this place. I can't wait to go back and try some other things on the menu. We're lucky and can drive there in about 20-30 minutes. And aren't the waitresses nice, too?

              1. re: zuriga1

                Yeah the staff are great. One of them lived in Queens for a while, btw.

          2. For those heading down to Ktown in New Malden, don't forget Palace which made a very good first impression on me last year, I would like to go back and try more items at both there and Hamgipak.


            The bakery I referred to in my post is called Hyun's @ 94 Burlington Road, I've tried a couple of their items via Natural Natural, my local Japanese grocery store, and haven't been overly impressed (disappointing curry donut) but there's lots more to sample, must be some good stuff.

            Also I've become addicted to these melon lollies from SK Mart, my local Korean grocery store, great texture (akin to frozen yoghurt) and very authentic gallia melon favour. Great for the summer and, @ 95p each, a relative bargain. Uploading a photo (which hopefully works).

            3 Replies
            1. re: oonth

              Thanks. I always wanted to go to the Palace. We'll try it!

              1. re: zuriga1

                this place is 20 mins from me on the bus, makes a nice change!

                The spicy pork dish I had at Hamgipak was incredible (and served on a cool looking pig plate), as was the seafood pancake, but we were kinda shoved out the door with half-finished drinks taken away. Guess they need turnovers.

                Palace staff are super duper friendly and the food was great.

                1. re: kidtofu

                  I wish the place was a bit larger. They should expand! Our timing was good - just by chance. We went on a quiet Sunday afternoon, and there were even empty tables that day. I guess dinnertime is a lot different.

            2. I'm sorry to report that I had a very poor main at Hangipak last night. We had wanted a return to Sorabol, but they were full at a very early hour... perhaps a party was in progress. So we crossed the street and found Hangipak quite empty. I ordered rice cakes with beef bulghi. The plate had about 20 rice cakes and 4 small pieces of beef. This is not worth the £7 charge. I had to break down and order a serving of seafood pancake so the evening would not be a total waste. :-) As always, the pancake was delicious, and my husbands seafood and udon dish was also OK but lacking in seafood.

              I won't be returning there anytime soon. Palace next door looks OK... we can check that out, too, at some point.

              2 Replies
              1. re: zuriga1

                sorry your visit was poor, had an amazing lunch there today, my first visit. We didn't order anything too demanding - seafood pancake, dolsot bibimbap and sundubu jjigae - but everything was excellent, especially the jjigae, and the banchan. I thought this was some seriously generous and soulful food, for ten pounds each with tea. Loved the service too. Will be interested to hear your report on palace though.

                1. re: skut

                  I'm glad to hear you had a great lunch. It's really a cosy place and the service, as you said, is always good. Maybe we just hit a bad night, as our first experience was much better, and those pancakes are hard to beat. Sooner or later we'll get to the Palace - stay tuned.

              2. Went to Palace last night and had a wonderful meal. It was fairly obvious that most of us were new to Korean food (I was the only Oriental in a group of nine), and the husband came over to explain how the menu worked, and which dishes were favourites among his clientele.

                I really enjoyed the traditional Korean fried noodles (and accidentally devoured most of it, thinking it was my order of chilled glass noodles), as well as the chilled glass noodles itself. The noodles were nice and springy and incredibly smooth. I swear they just slid down my throat the moment I put them in my mouth. The sliced beef ribs in soya sauce was amazing, and easily the best beef I'd eaten in a while. The seafood and kimchi pancakes were a big hit with my group as well.

                All in all, the bill came up to £27 per person including service and three (alcoholic) drinks per person. We ordered just a little too much, and probably could have done with two less 'starters' but, nevertheless, a fun night out even though my hair smelt of kimchi after that.

                2 Replies
                1. re: raistlyn

                  Thanks for the report raistlyn. Palace has been top of my list for ages, having tried a few of the other favorites in New Malden. All the seafood pancakes we've had have been delicious.

                  1. re: raistlyn

                    We just came back from a delicious lunch at Palace. I went with my friend Rikki, who's actually been to Korea but is blind so he didn't actually know what he'd eaten there apart from lots of kimchi, which he loves! So as relative newcomers to Korean food we ordered dumplings, seafood pancake and beef bulgogi. It was all fantastic - loved the seafood pancake which was perfectly cooked, not at all greasy and so huge we couldn't eat it all. The dumplings were light and delicate and the beef beautifully tender and flavoursome. The staff were lovely too - we were the only non-Koreans there so stood out a bit but we were made very welcome. I think the owner was surprised that we'd come all the way from Brixton to eat Korean food! Will definitely be back to try other things, and probably other New Malden restaurants as well. Korean might be my new food obsession!