Korean culture entered many areas of our life and while K-Pop, Korean cosmetics, Hanbok, Hangul, gangster movies, and TV soap operas conquer the world, it’s the Korean food that I am going to talk about in this post.
As usual, let me state first again that the real Asian cuisine really differs from what you can find in the West – usually cheap fast food/take away shops. The food in these is typically far worse, made using poor, cheap quality ingredients, and as a result you get stuff that is typically more greasy, flavorless, served with overcooked, totally ruined rice and with various strange bits and piece added – the food poorly localized to better accommodate the local taste buds, and… wallets. You can also bet that many of these shops add MSG.
It’s not easy to find a really good spot.
London is very lucky in this matter. While finding a good Japanese restaurant is pretty hard these days, Korean cuisine connoisseurs are totally spoiled. First, there is Kimchee – a chain of Korean restaurants and fast-fooodish chain in one.
The food served there is actually pretty decent, and prices are very affordable. So… If you want to grab a quick snack, you can try one of many shops f.ex. in Tottenham Court. And if you want to have a Restaurant experience, you can visit the shop in Holborn.
If you truly like to try something that really is delicious and gets as close to real Korean food as possible, you must definitely visit Jin Go Gae.
To get to the Restuarant is not that easy. This task alone deserves at least one Michelin star 😉
The Restaurant is in New Malden – the little Korea of London – and you need to take the train from the city centre. You then need to either grab a bus, or walk for a good 10-15 minutes (you will definitely want to walk back on your feet and help your digestive system process all this the goodness :).
The food there is served in a similar fashion as it is in Korea. You get pickles, you get water in a plastic container, and the Restaurant has a very family feel. And in case you are wondering… it’s always packed, and you should expect to queue – as far as I know they don’t take booking (although this changes from time to time). .
The food there is simply phenomenal! Try Kimchi jeon (pancake with kimchi), gyoza (dumplings), and kalbi (grilled sweet beef rib). A couple of photos from the recent gig where we ordered these are shown below (photos are not the best, because it was a bit dark, and I really don’t have the necessary skills!) .
At the moment it’s our favorite place for Korean food and I highly recommend it!