Korea House may be plonked on a busy stretch of the Burlington Road, but don’t let that put you off – it’s worth a visit. The characterful interior is decorated with wooden masks and Korean calligraphy; to one side are a couple of quiet tatami-mat rooms. Service was both gracious and informative. At weekends, the restaurant is full of families sharing communal dishes, while on Thursday and Friday nights, you’ll often find crowds of lively salarymen unwinding over a few drinks.
The restaurant’s name changed in 2012 (it was formerly called Hankook), but the extensive menu is the same as ever, covering the usual barbecues, stews and variations on bibimbap, plus Japanese sushi. In a dish of dubu kimchi, the tangy, stimulating flavour of mature kimchi stir-fried with slices of pork belly was balanced well by cubes of bland boiled tofu.
Not available in many Korean establishments is a stew of blood sausage (sundae) and pork offal (including the liver and ears) in a milky, pork broth. It’s served with a selection of condiments, such as salted shrimp, chopped garlic, crushed perilla seeds and spicy red chilli paste. Another traditional accompaniment is a cold cup of soju. It’s not for the faint-hearted – try, if you dare.