We all love a good takeaway on a Saturday night. There’s something comforting about that feeling of the MSG slipping down your throat in its sticky, neon coloured form. That is, until you try to go to sleep, and those sugary chemicals decide they want to PARTY in your head, stomach and feet (yes, you know what we mean) and you lie awake wondering why you ever had that last spring roll. WEL, why not try Korean food, huh? Just as delicious, with that same comforting effect – but without all the baggage. Particularly at these phenomenal London restaurants. You’ll never look at East Asian cuisine in the same way again.
1. Bó Drake
This East Asian BBQ restaurant is an America-meets-Korea hybrid of dreams. No reservations means you might have to wait, but if there was ever anything worth it – it’s Bó Drake. The meat dishes were particularly good. The ‘KFC’ (that is, Korean Fried Chicken obviously) to start was so mouthwateringly delicious that the freshness of the Cured Salmon Sashimi with miso, beetroot and camomile we had to accompany it was welcomed as a sort of antidote to its flavoursome-ness. It was almost too tasty. Almost. The same could be said for the Smoked Rib Stack (smoked with sweet chestnut wood and Asian BBQ sauce) but the irresistible sweet potato fries served with a Kimchi Island Dressing once again abated our tastebuds just enough for the BO SSÄM (smoked pulled pork, ssamjang, kimchi, spring onion oil & lettuce) to shine through as a sensational dish of its own.
Impressing even ourselves (we over here at SL headquarters pride ourselves on being able to eat – but Bó Drake’s rich flavours very nearly defeated us), we just had enough room to try their phenomenal desserts. Opting for the Green Tea Panacotta and Sesame Oil Soft Serve Ice Cream, we were frankly blown away. It’s been a lonnnngggg time since we haven’t wanted a meal to end…and it’s safe to say we were sad to go. Well, that wasn’t before ‘sampling’ yet another one of their equally delectable cocktails…mwuhahaha. The only advice we’d give? GO HUNGRY!
6 Greek St, W1 4DE
2. Bari Bari
This unassuming eatery is possibly one of East London’s best kept secrets. Located just off Whitechapel Road, Bari Bari’s menu is filled with an impressive mix of traditional and popular dishes – all of which are sensational. To start, get the Beef Steak Bun – a mouthwatering mixture of beef, cucumber spring onion, lettuce and mayo, all in a soft steamed bun. Messy, but totally worth it. If you’re more of the adventurous type, we’d suggest giving the Seafood Pancake or Budae Jjigae (a spicy stew with baked beans, sausage, onion, spring onion, ramen noodle and kimchi). For main, the Steak Bibimbap is a no-brainer, although we’d recommend trying it with duck for a more succulent texture. The Crispy Octopus Kimbap is seriously impressive, and at £15.50 very reasonably priced. As is everything at this simply stunning restaurant.
Their lunch specials are equally as tasty and even better value (we’re talking £8.50 for an ‘all in one’). And their desserts? Well, we have three words for you. Mochi, mochi, mochi.
24 White Church Lane, Whitechapel, E1 7QR
3. On The Bab
It’s what all of you trendy Londoners have been waiting for… it’s time for the Korean Street Food number! Offering a place for ‘casual dining’ where typical Korean drinks and popular dishes can be enjoyed together in a Korean tradition known as “anju“, On The Bab is – unsurprisingly – extremely popular. Small dishes include Gimari Salad (fried seaweed roll salad with a special soy sauce), and Toppoki (a spicy rice cake with vegetables and fish cakes), all of which are totally delicious. For mains you have options such as ‘On the Rice’, ‘On the Bun’ and ‘On the Roll’, or more traditional dishes including Kimchi Bokeum Bab, which is Korean style kimchi bacon paella with fried egg on top, and Soondubu Jjigae – a spicy tofu & seafood stew with free range egg, made Koba style. Yes, YUM indeed!
Featured Image Credit: VisitLondon