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The best Korean restaurants in London

Data analyst turned blogger Rollin Lee used the pandemic to pivot from travel to food content and now attracts tens of thousands of views on Tik Tok where he guides enthusiastic foodies to everything from what to buy in Korean supermarkets to the best pho in London. The Korean American has now put together a list of his favourite Korean restaurants in London for Hot Dinners.

 

ArirangArirang

31-32 Poland St, London W1F 8QT

If you go to any big city around the world, you will always find a Korean restaurant called Arirang (Arirang is the most well known Korean folk song). Arirang was London’s very first Korean restaurant and opened in 1975. There are many Korean staples but this place is famous for its Samgyetang (Ginseng Chicken Soup). Folklore says this soup gives you stamina.

Follow on Instagram: @ariranglondon

More about Arirang

 

AssaAssa

23 Romilly St, London W1D 5AQ

Assa is a Korean restaurant in the heart of Soho that specialises in Korean hot pot. The most popular hot pot is army stew (a spicy stew made with spam, sausage, canned beans, instant noodles) and is perfect when it is rainy and cold. Assa is always busy so don’t be surprised if there is a line outside.

More about Assa

 

Bunsik LondonBunsik London

62 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0BU

Bunsik is the trendiest Korean restaurant in London right now. The popular Korean street foods on offer range from Tteokboki and kimbap to Korean corndogs. On their opening weekend, they sold over 5,000 Korean corn dogs! The dogs can be served plain or with a variety of toppings.

Follow on Instagram: @bunsik_london

 

#CheeMc

310 Walworth Rd, London SE17 2NA

There are so many Korean fried chicken restaurants. But most of the Korean fried chicken restaurants just focus on “sweet and spicy” or soy garlic. CheeMC is different. From black aglio, honey butter powdered to spring onion fried chicken, CheeMC follows Korean trends bringing the best fried chicken flavours to London.

Follow on Instagram: @cheemc_london

 

Genghis Khan  Genghis Khan

85-87 Kingston Rd, New Malden KT3 3PA

Genghis Khan is the only Korean-Chinese restaurant in London. They specialise in Jjajangmyeon (Black Bean Sauce Noodles) and Jjampong (Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup). Both dishes make me feel like I'm back in Korea. The portions are large enough to share and at lunchtime there is a set menu which is great value.

More about Genghis Khan

 

Hongdae Pocha  Hongdae Pocha

26 Romilly St, London W1D 5AJ

With its 70s retro vibe, Hongdae Pocha feels like you are in an old Korean pub back in Seoul. This is a pub it's all about the anju (which means food consumed with drinks). From authentic pig intestine hot pot to everybody’s favourite Korean fried chicken, Hongdae Pocha serve classic pocha (pub) dishes.

Follow on Instagram: @hongdae.pochalondon

More about Hongdae Pocha

 

Kangnam Pocha  Kangnam Pocha

176 Drury Ln, London WC2B 5QF

This tiny and unpretentious Korean restaurant is popular among foreign students from Korea. It’s a hidden gem and most Londoners probably don’t know about it. Everyone who finds their way here will order Gamjatang - a pork backbone spicy stew which is both warming and tasty.

Follow on Facebook

 

Korean BBQ & Vegan  Korean BBQ & Vegan

107 Whitecross St, London EC1Y 8JD

Korean BBQ & Vegan is the only full halal HMC certified Korean restaurant in London. They also have a big list of vegan dishes from vegan kimchi to vegan bibimbap. They have a restaurant in Bethnal Green and building on the popularity from that, they just opened a second branch in Barbican.

Follow on Instagram: @koreanbbqvegan

More about Korean BBQ & Vegan

 

Ktown BBQ  Ktown BBQ

8-12 Coombe Rd, New Malden KT3 4QE

Ktown BBQ is THE place to go. In Korea, If you go to a Korean BBQ restaurant, you get all the side dishes for free and constant refills. in the UK., there's usually a charge for every single dish which diminishes the whole experience of Korean BBQ. You don’t have to worry about that at Ktown BBQ. Ktown BBQ is an all-you-can eat buffet with all you can eat side dishes. There's no need to worry about having too much spring onion, kimchi salad or garlic. It's great value, so go hungry!

Follow on Instagram: @k_town_bbq

More about Ktown BBQ

 

Ogam Tapas Bar  Ogam Tapas Bar

10 Chapel Market, London N1 9EZ

Ogam is a Korean cocktail bar managed by an award-winning mixologist. When you go, you must try their Makgeolli, a milky sparkling rice wine that bartender Kim locally produces at his brewery in Finsbury. The tapas dishes of Korean food are all amazing. For spice lovers, Spicy Chicken Level 5 is going to make you sweat! The Soju (Korean spirit) served up here is very special - it's the only place in London you can get Lee Gang Ju soju.

Follow on Instagram: @ogam_london

More about Ogam Tapas Bar

 

Olle Korean Barbecue  Olle Korean Barbecue

88 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 6NH

Olle is a Korean barbecue restaurant with a high end feel and is more expensive than regular Korean BBQ. However, exceptional quality meat has made this a favourite of Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heng Min and BTS had their BBQ here on their last trip to London. Try the Wagyu beef and order Yuk Hwae (Korean beef tartare).

Follow on Instagram: @ollebbq

More about Olle Korean Barbecue

 

On the BabOn the Bab

Shoreditch / Covent Garden / St. Paul’s

On the Bab is a small but stylish Korean restaurant that serves fried chicken and Korean street food style dishes like beef buns. The fried chicken is the most popular item but their kimchi fried rice is the secret dish that tops all the other dishes  - the flavour is just right with that kick of kimchi.

Follow on Instagram: @onthebab

More about On the Bab

 

PelicanaPelicana  

Unit 10D, The Broadway Shopping Centre, London W6 9YD

Pelicana claim to be the very first Korean fried chicken company to have developed Yangnyeom (sweet and spicy) chicken - the dish that first put Korean fried chicken on the global map. Now they have opened their first branch in west London. Try the sweet and spicy chicken for the excellent contrasting flavours.

Follow on Instagram: @pelicanauk

More about Pelicana

 

https://www.treestonebutchers.co.uk/Treestone Butcher

71 High St, New Malden KT3 4BT and 24 North End Road, Golders Green, London NW11 7PT

Treestone's USP as a Korean BBQ restaurant is that it has an in-store Korean butcher. You chose the meat at the butcher counter and bring it to the restaurant where you cook it yourself on a BBQ grill. The meat is all excellent quality and the butcher can advise you what cuts to chose and how to cook. The shrimp beef is especially flavourful and there's a wide variety of side dishes provided.

More about Treestone Butcher

 

Yori  Yori

Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, Wimbledon, Ealing, Clapham Junction

Yori is the go-to restaurant for Korean celebrities such as Bong Joon-ho, the director of Parasite, and Sandra Oh from Killing Eve. Yori now has 5 branches around London serving all the usual Korean dishes. Try the Galbi Tang which is a beef rib soup.

Follow on Instagram: @yori_london_

More about Yori

 

Some imagery: Rollin Lee

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