Koba remains one of the strongest players on the West End Korean scene since opening in 2005 – we’ve yet to have a disappointing meal here.
Barbecue meats such as beef kalbi or bulgogi are well marinated, and grilled at the table by efficient staff. Barbecued squid was fresh as a daisy, with just the right amount of tongue-tingling heat in the vibrant red sauce. Stews make a sound choice too, with umami-rich stocks and accompanying bowls of pearly rice. The spicy, slow-simmered short rib hotpot comes with chinese cabbage and sweet potato noodles as well as chunky pieces of beef, while the soft tofu stew is packed with seafood slivers.
As this is Fitzrovia rather than K-town (New Malden), there’s no free panch’an, and the namul is a little pricy at £5.90. This is our only quibble, however.
Service is polished but not too formal, and the dark, modern-East-Asian-meets-industrial interior is slick, making Koba an ideal spot for anything from a business lunch (set meals start at £6.50) to a casual dinner. Drinks include Korean beers, soju and a short wine list.
Check out more great Korean restaurants in London