Assa

Restaurants, Korean Soho
4 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)

News of the unexpected closure of the Centre Point's Koreatown disappointed many fans of the Korean cafes offering rock bottom prices. Never fear, Assa, one of the restaurants affected, has another branch in nearby Soho.

Posted:

Venue name: Assa
Contact:
Address: 23 Romilly Street
London
W1D 5AQ
Opening hours: noon-midnight Mon-Sat; 5pm-midnight Sun.
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square, Covent Garden or Piccadilly Circus
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Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|3
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tastemaker

With the chilly weather approaching, my brother and I thought it would be apt to have hot pot this weekend and specifically, Korean hot pot. It’s the perfect dish to have when the weather gets cold, as it warms you right up, it’s quick to cook, and filled with tons of ingredients.


We came to ASSA in Soho, as this is probably one of the few Korean restaurants in central London that we haven’t tried yet. We chose the Pork Hot Pot, which comes with a variety of ingredients: luncheon meat, cocktail sausages, kimchee, vegetables, half a serving of ramen noodles, fresh marinated pork meat, and mushrooms.


Additionally, I wanted Rice Cakes so we ordered a side of it, to be added into the hot pot once everything was cooked. They came on a separate plate and were already cooked but just frozen, so we added them at the very end. It didn’t take long for them to heat up, given that our broth was boiling the entire time and the waitress came around to top up the broth halfway through our meal.


It was a very tasty dish overall! It was spicy from the kimchee but also from the homemade broth, which I enjoyed because I like spicy food and I hadn’t had any in a long time. There was a generous amount of vegetables in the hot pot, which was great to give it some balance against all the meat we had. As for the meat, everything was kept simple. The luncheon meat and cocktail sausages did not require a long to cook and actually got a tad mushy by the end of our meal because they’d been sitting inside the boiling broth for so long. I liked the Korean ramen because it’s slightly more bouncy/spring-y than regular ramen and has more of a chew to it, which I enjoy.


As I was quite hungry (or just being greedy, who knows at this point), I ordered a side of Glass Noodles Dumplings. A serving came with two large dumplings that were cut in two, so there were four pieces in total. They were deep-fried with the crispiest skin and a delicious filling! It was served with a dish of soy sauce as well as a dollop of Sriracha mayonnaise on the side, both of which were good but I preferred the former.


This was such a warming and hearty meal! Perfect for lunch because I had the rest of the afternoon to digest this meal and it gave me all the energy I needed to get through my day. We didn’t have to wait long for a table either, given that we came on a weekend and at prime lunch time. The restaurant is well equipped when there is a queue and it was well-heated!



Giving it four stars instead of five because of the price. ~£25 Would be considered relatively cheap to many and to be fair is decent-priced for London, but I can't help comparing it to Asia. The beef hotpot was good, filled with noodles, veg and tofu, you can also add more sides to put into the hotpot. Pretty similar to what I've had in Korea, and very nice and filling. Comforting on a cold night out.

tastemaker

If you are craving for a spicy hot soup in the cold British winter, you might like this place. We've been there twice now and discovered a new dish each time. I highly recommend their kimchi stew "kimchi jigae", spicy beef soup "yukgaejang", beef and vegetable soup, fried chicken and seafood pancake. Those are the things we tried but their menu is quite expansive, you can try their hot pot if you have 3+ in your party. Their kimchi stew was pretty authentic, I would say that soup is comparable to LA standard Korean food (that's my base for Korean food comparison). I have heard from Korean friends that LA Korean food is the best outside of Korea. Their spicy beef soup was surprising good, it's a little different than what I've tasted but there's a pepper corn flavor in the soup that keeps me going back to drink more soup. Fried chicken was tasty as well, I hardly order such dishes but I had a craving for it last time. One thing I didn't like was that they didn't give free refills for side dishes "banchan", maybe I have been spoiled by Korean restaurants in California where they compete for who has the best and most side dishes. But it's London, hardly any places offer that. They offer two stingy cheap side dishes. But it is what it is in London for the Korean food scene. Either way, hope you'll enjoy date night with a Korean feast or a reunion with a bunch of good friends. Ciao! 


You can find pics that I took and uploaded them from my Instagram (Spoonstix).