Written by Tash
It’s no surprise that us K-Pop fans are also K-Food fans (we need it after all that dancing). Where do we go for our tteokbokki and kimchi jjigae fixes? We recently quizzed our members about their favourite spots.
15. Yami – New Malden
Based in London’s ‘Korea Town’ (named for its large Korean population – in fact the largest in Europe), you know you’ll get authentic food here. Yami’s great for Korean barbecue as well as the usual staples, and includes free banchan.
Address: Yami, 69 High St, New Malden KT3 4BT
14. Gaza – Soho
The newer sister company to New Malden’s ‘Bingsoo’, Gaza is Korean dessert heaven. They offer novel rice burgers and a selection of hot savoury bites, but the real star of the show is their bingsu. Their dedicated bingsu machine produces snowflake-fine milk ice, and you can order it in a number of ways: matcha red bean, Oreo, mango and more. They also offer various cakes, waffles and injeolmi toast, so make sure you have plenty of room for dessert.
13. Jin Go Gae – New Malden
Jin Go Gae is another star spot in New Malden for Korean barbecue. It’s also a place where you regularly see lots of hungry Korean customers enjoying their dishes, which is always a good sign. Not only is the food tasty, but the presentation is pleasing too. Instagrammers, get your phones ready.
12. Chee Mc – Walworth
If you venture down to Walworth in South London, you’ll be in for a KFC treat. Their specialty is fried chicken, and their reviews are always high. Can’t decide between sweet and spicy, classic or the other offerings? Take an army (not necessarily just of BTS stans) of friends with you and order a few versions.
11. Han – New Malden
Of course the food here is delicious. Go for barbecue! What makes Han stand out is the gorgeous interior of wooden beams and platforms. Don’t miss the karaoke here too: the largest room is particularly epic, with a booming sound system and funky lights.
10. Little Korea – Chinatown
This is a popular place for Chinatown revellers, and a good gateway restaurant for people new to Korean food. With a few Japanese-style offerings as well, (think bento and sushi), it’s a good place to take that friend who likes Japanese food but has yet to try Korean.
9. Hozi – Holborn
Go to Hozi for wholesome, no-nonsense and delicious Korean food. The prices are very reasonable, and they have a takeaway menu too if you’re tempted to take some spicy goodness with you.
8. Arang – Soho
Although still great for a casual meal, the interior of Arang is a little more on the smart side. The food is a little pricier thanks to its central location, but is great quality. Maybe the ideal place to bring a hot date!
7. SuperStar BBQ – Tottenham Court Road
If you like your Korean barbecue with a side of cool, this is the place for you. The interior is modern without being too pretentious, and the barbecue is quite decent. The hot stone bibimbap is great value for money if you don’t fancy barbecue, and definitely order the fried chicken here too.
Address: SuperStar BBQ, 4 Central Piazza St Giles, Saint Giles High Street, London WC2H 8AB
6. Kimchee – Holborn
Snazzy contemporary interior aside, the menu is beautifully presented (hello, Instagram!) and features all the favourites. Enjoy the bold, fresh flavours while feeling like the classiest person ever in this good-looking joint.
5. Seoul Bakery – Bloomsbury
Fans of the old Seoul Bakery will remember the walls plastered with cute notes, as well as autographs on the wall from bona fide K-pop idols who’d visited in the past. Their newer restaurant is just as popular, offering tasty, filling Korean food at fantastic prices for London. Be prepared to queue – this old establishment is well-loved.
Address: Seoul Bakery, 14 Great Russell St, Fitzrovia, London WC1B 3NH
4. On The Bab – Various Locations
Speaking of queues, this newer Korean food joint has also gathered an impressive following. As well as the usual favourites – all well-executed – they also offer Taiwanese-style steamed buns with Korean-style fillings. It works!
3. Bibimbap – Various Locations
With their sizzling hot stone namesake dish starting at £7.50, Bibimbap is great if you’re looking for ‘London cheap eats’. Their bowls are satisfying, come with a range of options and toppings, and look pretty thanks to the rainbow of veggies they use.
2. Yori – Piccadilly Circus
Two words: cheese tteokbokki. You’re welcome. Located near Piccadilly Circus, Yori is generally considered one of the best Korean restaurants in Central London. It’s also one of the most frequently-visited restaurants by the DGC crew. They always have K-Pop playing in the background, so be prepared to restrain yourself from busting your best moves when one you recognise comes on.
1. Assa – Soho
It’s official: the number-one voted restaurant of DGC is Assa. Like Yori, this is one we keep going back to again. The menu is reasonably-priced and with all the favourites (do get the kimchi pancake). Once again guard yourself against spontaneous dancing when your favourite K-Pop song comes on.
So, what’s your go-to Korean restaurant? Do let us know – or better still, take us with you!
Tash is an avid writer, baker & food blogger and has been a regular at DGC for a few years now. You can follow her on Instagram @_tashcakes_ and her website with weekly original recipes at www.tashcakes.com.