On our weekday visit, Sorabol was as quiet as could be – a contrast to its usually bustling atmosphere at weekends, when tables are packed with Korean families (especially during Saturday lunch). The menu makes a wonderful read, with plenty of interesting dishes: marinated raw crab, Korean-style blood sausage. We found the kitchen to be efficient enough, but the food was less than satisfying on several counts. The highlight was a starter of ‘soufflé’ pancake: a fluffier version of the Korean p’ajeon, filled with chopped green beans and accompanied by a vinegar and soy dipping sauce. Yuk hwe, raw beef served with a raw egg yolk and sliced Korean pears, sounded good on paper but didn’t deliver; the shredded beef was still frozen in parts, rendering it inedible. ‘Anchang beef’ was a big improvement, freshly seared on the barbecue at the table. However, the meal dipped again with tteok mandu kuk (rice cakes with dumplings in beef soup), which was overloaded with glutinous rice cakes, making the soup too thick and gloopy. Disappointing compared to our previous visits.
180 New Malden High Street
|Opening hours:||Lunch served noon-3pm, dinner served 6-11pm Mon-Fri. Meals served noon-11pm Sat.|
|Transport:||Tube: New Malden rail|
|Price:||Main courses £6-£9.50. Set meal £18 4 courses.|
Average User Rating
4.3 / 5
- 5 star:3
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:0
Couldn't disagree with the time out review more. Like Peter Woo said below, it's important to understand the cuisine before criticising it. Tteok mandu kuk is supposed to be thick and gloopy- as the name suggests the main ingredient of this kuk is rice cakes. So I wouldn't say it's a negative to have a lot of tteok as that's what it's like traditionally. Also with the yuk hwe, it's supposed to be in part frozen. The taste of the raw beef is best when it feels a bit like a sorbet with the crunch- was it really inedible?? Personally, I only have yuk hwe at Sorabol as they are the only restaurant I trust enough to use good meat. Overall, as a Korean myself, I can confidently say that their food is the most traditional in London. Although it may be a little more expensive than the other Korean restaurants in New Malden, I am more than happy to pay it for the higher standard of food and service.
Disappointing. The overall impression remaining after an evening there is meanness. The food is over priced and the bbq portions were under sized. Side dishes a key feature of Korean food culture usually refilled in New Malden are not. Owner pacing up and down the restaurant making the whole experience rather uncomfortable. I cannot say the service was rude but it was not friendly or welcoming. This restaurant may be good by Korean-American standards but indeed by my Korean-Korean wife's standard and mine, who has eaten in a lot of Korean restaurant in Europe and Korea, it was not. The proof is in the pudding restaurant was half empty on a Friday night and the only Koreans were the waiters.
I often read Time Out as a guide to where I go but the Korean Restaurant guide is absolutely incorrect. I'm Korean American (Grew up in Los Angeles so I know my Korean food). This is one the two restaurants I would go eat in New Malden cause of the variety of the food that they have (compare to Central London as well as other New Malden restaurants) as well as the quality of the food (which is always been high). In terms of tteok mandu kuk (rice cakes with dumplings in beef soup) its SUPPOSE to have tons of rice cakes and the soup is suppose to very thick and gloppy. So as a food critic I would highly recommend that you first understand the cuisine and how the food is 'suppose' to be prepared before criticizing.
I rarely disagree with Time Out's findings, but the experience given was totally different from my own and I have found this restaurant to be consistently excellent quality, value and service - it's friendly, they explain the dishes and seem very flexible about options (plus the menu already has over 100 items) and I really couldn't fault the experience. It combines the traditional styling and modern expectations and is well worth the walk down to the end of the High St!