It’s a tricky business navigating the innumerable Korean restaurants on offer in this truly global city, from endless fried chicken joints to the famous BBQ spots along Kimberely Road’s Little Korea. If you’re specifically craving tabletop-grilled slices of smoky meat and veg, check out the best Korean BBQ, or if you want a spicy bowl of rice, kimchi, meat and veggies, topped with a wobbly egg, delve into the best places for bibimbap.
For a higher-level guide to the best Korean food in town, this list features the very best Korean BBQ spots, fried chicken shops and higher-end establishments, as well as restaurants that stay true to tradition. If you like your kimchi live and fiery, your chicken crisp and succulent and your soju constantly topped up, you’ve come to the right place. By Sam Sinha
RECOMMENDED: Don’t forget about all the great local food there is to eat in Hong Kong.
The Best Korean Food in Hong Kong
Lovers of all things authentic, prepare to be offended by Bib n Hops’ take on Korean classics. Using top quality imported ingredients, self-styled ‘Demon Chef’ Alvin Leung chucks together traditional flavours and global influences with reckless abandon. The range of bibimbap here are all deep in savoury fermented flavours and the grilled proteins are top-notch. Given the name, the draught beer selection is a little disappointing, but there are some crafty options by the bottle and a nice selection of new and old world wines. Expect aggressively modern food, trendy interiors and an upbeat soundtrack.
This all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue restaurant is a dream come true for carnivores. All the seats are fitted with a tabletop grill that comes with a lever on the side, allowing you to easily adjust the heat. In terms of ingredients, they have all the classics, including spicy pork, mutton and marinated beef slices alongside appetising banchan side dishes which even include Korean sushi. If you're looking for a quick and affordable Korean barbecue fix, then look no further.
For a proper Korean experience and dishes made with responsibly sourced ingredients, check out Myung Ga, which has been in Hong Kong since 1996. Try the grilled beef short ribs – they burst with an addictive combo of sweet and salty flavours. Or feast on top-quality beef and seafood ready for the hotpot or BBQ. This place also provides an unlimited supply of side dishes that are hard to say no to. The original space in Causeway Bay still provides a meal with a view, or head to the other locations in Tai Koo Shing or TST.
Nene is worshipped in Korea for good reason and can now be found all over Hong Kong. The portions are huge, the chicken is near-perfect and the prices are fab. Order your choice of crispy fried chicken – a mound of wings, bathed in sticky sweet, sour and hot sauces. Just be careful ordering ‘freaking hot’ unless you’re really into spice. It’s almost inedible for mortals. Although the interiors lack a bit of soul, if you’re in the mall and hankering after some spicy chicken and beer, you won’t be disappointed.
This giant BBQ temple is tucked up on the N-th floor in an unassuming block on Lockhart Road. It unpretentiously delivers all that you could want from a Korean BBQ spot: a hot grill with plenty of seats for large gatherings, fast service of ice-cold beers and soju, and excellent dipping sauces for your charred slices of meat, fish and veg. And all at very reasonable prices.
This Korean barbecue joint offers more than 10 meal packages, complete with banchan nibbles. With branches in Causeway Bay and TST and as one of the best options at the airport, Sorabol stays true to tradition, right down to the ingredients used – the seafood and vegetables are air-shipped from Korea each week. The décor at this place is simple, with fitted grills and plain white coverings on every table. Less plain is the wang galbi – top-grade short ribs marinated overnight with a homemade sweet soy-based sauce, the result is tender and moreish. Large tables and generous portions make this a great place to host family gatherings.
Coming straight outta Seoul in 2001, Uncle Padak is unbeatable for quality Korean chicken and beer with a party atmosphere. The popular half-and-half combo allows you to select two out of the range on offer. But we suggest ordering the ‘Padak’, a zingy mound of meat loaded with a sweet and spicy sauce, rice cakes and dumplings. Padak is the fun uncle who lets you swear and break the rules when your mum’s not looking – expect damn fine chicken and K-pop tunes, lubricated with soju, makgeolli and Cass beer.