Nara

  • Restaurants
  • Korean
1 Love It
Soho

Nara may be named after the erstwhile capital of Japan, but it’s the Korean food that is the main draw here. Located just off Oxford Street, it’s well placed for refuelling during a day of shopping. The simple dining room has a relaxed, informal feel. Adding to its appeal, this is one of few central London Korean restaurants to offer free panch’an – on this occasion, sweet pickled cucumber, seasoned beansprouts and mung bean jelly.

Portion sizes can be generous – witness a big bowl of manduguk, filled with garlicky pork dumplings, sweet shrimp, squid and glass noodles. Barbecue dishes are also popular, such as juicy kabli, eaten wrapped in lettuce leaves with chunky-textured, piquant ssamjang and finely shredded sweet-and-sour spring onions. Succulent chicken slices, carefully cooked at the table-top electric grill, glistened invitingly with sticky chilli sauce.

If you fancy something a little more unusual, Nara offers hard-to-find ingredients such as Korean black pudding (sundae) served stir-fried or in soup, and savoury, sautéed bracken stalks (kosari namul). Korean beer is the ideal accompaniment.

 

Venue name: Nara
Contact:
Address: 9 D'Arblay Street
London
W1F 8DR
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-3pm, dinner served 6-10.30pm daily
Transport: Tube: Oxford Circus or Tottenham Court Road
Price: Main courses £9.50-£14.50. Set lunch £7.50. Set dinner £11.50

Average User Rating

2.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|3
1 person listening
Oli

I used to frequent this place regualarly but sadly on my last visit having not been for a while it has gone seriously downhill. Miso soup that they forgot to put the miso in (hot water with tofu and seaweed lacks a certain anything). A set sushi plater with no tuna, as advertised on the menu. The fish was fine, though the nigiri very small and over firm. It was suspiciously quiet and couldn't help but feel with all of the other options available locally people were voting with their feet. A shame, and perhaps just a bad day but I won't be going back and expect it to change or disappear pretty soon. Good luck to them.

Max

Agree with Chris M and disagree with the TO review, not fancy, not for business people, but great casual restaurant for Korean (not Japanese) food. Casual ie. = a bit like a Japanese isakaya resaurant. Usually full of youngish koreans and other asians. Nice to have the barbecue done for you on the burner at the center of each table. Good value /food quality /experiece ratio.

MR BROWN

Good Value and large portions , if your hungry go for a set meal then you'll get 3 courses for £7.50 for lunch and I think £8.50 at night, if you can get in. Not the best Korean food around but good tasty hot chillies garlic style sauces in abundance. Can be expensive if you have barbecue though.