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London's best Korean restaurants

Chow down on kimchi and bulk up on bibimbap at the best Korean restaurants London has to offer

If you’ve got that kimchi craving, then you’ve come to the right place. Korean restaurants can be found dotted all over town these days, as well as positioned in New Malden and Tottenham Court Road hotspots. Here's where to find the best of bulgogi, bibimbap and barbecue – it's the best Korean restaurants in London.

The best Korean restaurants in London

Asadal

With a discreet entrance just by Holborn station, Asadal has been the go-to venue for Korean food fans in central London for many years. It still puts out a mix of classic dishes to a loyal crowd. Find the likes of bulgogi barbecued beef cooked on a table-top grill and gently charred pork belly, as well as affordable set lunch options with sides of kimchi and pickles in the mix.

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Holborn

Bi Bim Bap

Bi Bim Bap has become a regular favourite for a cheap and warming bowl of its namesake dish. Served in hot stone bowls (dolsot), there are ten varieties of the spicy rice mix to choose from including five different veggie options, all topped with a range of shredded vegetables and ready for you to mix with all the chilli sauce (gochujang) and bean paste you fancy.

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Soho

Bó Drake

Venue says: “New menu coming soon!”

An East Asian barbecue restaurant and Anju bar from former Roka alumnus Jan Lee. In reality, Bo Drake is a fusion restaurant blending Korean eats with Mexican cuisine. Find it in bao filled with brisket or kimchi quesadillas. Flavours are splashed on with vigour: to eat here is to surf on wave after wave of umami flavours.

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Soho
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Cah Chi

There’s a real warmth to this residential Raynes Park restaurant, which pulls an appreciative crowd of Eastern and Western diners. The menu contains more than just the standard array of barbecues, stews and stir-fries. Even the complimentary panch’an are better than average, with subtle own-made kimchi and sweet, nutty adzuki beans a regular feature.

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Cottenham Park

Ceena

Ceena doles out Korean fast-food to a City crowd, with eco-friendly packaging for those taking away, and since it’s based in the City, lunch boxes are on offer for al desko diners. But steaming bowls of jjigae and Korean pancakes (jeon) suit the slower lunchtime crowd just as nicely. It’s more filling than refined, but a nice alternative to your typical Pret a Manger run.

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Smithfield

Dotori

It’s still nigh on impossible to get a table without booking at this Finsbury Park establishment that blends Korean and Japanese influences. All’s not lost if you don’t bag a seat, however, as they do offer takeaway. Well-prepared and well-priced dishes include bokum bap (fried rice), yukgejang (spicy beef stew soup) and dishes from the barbecue.

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Finsbury Park
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Jee Cee Neh

Translating as ‘my neighbour Jee’, Jee Cee Neh is an apt moniker for this New Malden restaurant, which has a decidedly homespun feel. It’s often packed, with a mix of Korean and Western customers. Like the venue, the authentic dishes are homely and unpretentious and the stews are particularly winning. Service can be variable, but usually comes with a smile.

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New Malden

Jinjuu

A trendy take on Korean dining from celebrity chef Judy Joo (although more famous in the US than on these shores). The ‘Jin Chick’ is a tasty signature Korean fried chicken with a sweet and spicy chilli sauce. Otherwise, dishes tend to be a mash-up of East and West, from sliders to ribs to tacos.

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Soho

Koba

Venue says: “Please call us to reserve your table and to enjoy an authentic Korean table barbecue.”

Koba remains one of the strongest players on the West End Korean scene since opening in 2005. Barbecue meats are well marinated and grilled at the table – choose from beef kalbi, bulgogi and more. Stews make a sound choice too, with umami-rich stocks and accompanying bowls of pearly rice.

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Fitzrovia
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Naru

Although Naru offers some cheffy presentational flourishes, it’s not a matter of style over substance – this is a solid venue for quality Korean classics, with a few innovative touches. Instead of tabletop grills, meat is barbecued in the kitchen and brought sizzling to tables, from marinated short rib to bulgogi beef.

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Covent Garden
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By: Time Out London Food & Drink

Comments

2 comments
Laura
Laura

Little Korea on Lisle St is great for Korean staples that aren't too expensive. Yum!

Max
Max

Cahchi (까치) doesn't mean 'together' - it means 'magpie.'