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Mee Market

Restaurants, Korean Soho
3 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(1user review)

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

A Korean food market in Soho.

Going for lunch in this clean, white, angular space will appeal to your inner shopaholic. That’s because, in addition to a small counter for hot food, there’s plenty of stuff to buy. Split across two tiny floors, you can pick up Korean rice and veg at street level, or pots and beautifully arranged stationery in the basement. It’s both efficient and incredibly brightly lit. Which appeals to the closet OCD-sufferer inside me, but isn’t terribly cosy. 

Foodwise, there was a short menu of three Korean rice bowls plus one market ramen. If you’re eating in (most people are taking away), you order at the counter then head downstairs. The best dish by miles was the BBQ bowl (£8.90) – a great mound of soft white rice topped with thin slices of kimchi-laced pork and crunchy slaw. And though the noodles in the market ramen (£6.95) are of the instant kind (packet noodles are a big thing in Korea) it came layered with plenty of fresh veg. But stay away from the katsu-esque curry: it wasn’t just mild, it was bland and boring.

Still, the staff are sweet and portions are huge. You could actually share that BBQ bowl between two and have yourself a light lunch for less than a fiver. Plus you get to eat it listening to a non-stop playlist of Korean pop. And what’s better than that?

Details

Address: 9a Archer Street
Soho
London
W1D 7AX
Transport: Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Price: Lunch for two, no drinks or service: around £20.
Contact:
Do you own this business?

Users say (1)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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

I walked passed this little shop that looked like just that (a shop) and on careful inspection, realised it's a Korean food restaurant. Firstly, I am a bit confused by the name, because in my head "mee" is associated with Malay and Singaporean food. 


Since we were in the area for a play, we thought we'll give it a shot. So upstairs in the retail section, where the shop sells items that are usually under £1 can be bought for £3. It is a self-service restaurant, where you order from one section and pic up your food from another. 


If you want to sit down, you have to go to a windowless bottom floor, which I must add is beautifully decorated in Scandi-style.


The food was average, the prices were slightly higher for what I had anticipated and it lacked authenticity for us.

Tastemaker

Mee Market is one of London’s newest and shiniest hidden gems in both the fast-casual lunching landscape and the delicious Korean food scene. Opened earlier this year and tucked away behind ‘Les Miserables’ on Shaftesbury Avenue, it’s the sort of place you bookmark for a return visit while you’re still finishing the rice bowl in front of you.


It isn’t big although there’s room to sit comfortably & dine in downstairs but it is gorgeously unpretentious with beautifully clean lines of white marble counters, wooden crates of rainbow produce and shelves of Korean groceries & homeware that will make you want to fill one of the linen tote bags with things you’ve never heard of before to take away with you. Mee Market can also lay claim to some of the sweetest & loveliest staff in the capital; smiley, a tiny bit shy and a little bit giggly, they are absolutely delightful and happy to both explain what things are and to offer quietly honest opinions.


Freshly made to order rice & noodle bowls & boxes are generously sized so go hungry and in need of spicy flavours & layered textures. Prices run from £6.90 – £8.90 for the bowls and sides start at £3 and whilst you could definitely share, I’d suggest getting two different things and rotating halfway through because really, isn’t that the whole point of dining with a friend? 


We did just that with the Mee Bowl and the BBQ Bowl, both with spicy chicken. There are plenty of different gorgeously flavoured component parts to choose when assembling your dish; everything from egg to bean sprouts and kimchi to edamame is fresh, colourful & delicious and with different sauces, proteins & rice and noodles to select from, I guarantee anyone will be able to piece together a lunch they’ll love.


Korean food is big right now and my hope, as an avid eater, is that this trend continues to grow but while a lot of places start and focus on fried chicken and beef bulgogi (both of which totally have their place), Mee Market offers something a little bit lighter, fresher and crisper and if you love the complex flavours & spices of Korea, you’ll find yourself one very happy person eating here.

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