On this part of the street, you'll find a few Korean restautants, a church with services for Koreans and a little food store with delicious homemade kimchi and various banchan.
We wanted to go to Seoul Bakery but it was already full and it was quite cold last night so we went next door to Woo Jung. And we don't regret it a bit!
Oh my... The food was delicious, the portions huge, the service friendly, the price more than raisonnable.
I couldn't wait to share this address with you!!
(Sorry for the quality of the pictures : my phone is great when there's enough light in the room but it's s... in dim light conditions... but read the end of the post to see how things are going to improve very soon!)
The place : Woo Jung
The address : 59 Saint Giles High Street - Tottenham Court Road Station
Interior : there's not much to say about it. Just 6 tables for 4 and a direct view on the kitchen. It's small but not too small. You can have dinner without hearing the next table conversation. It's cosy. It's not like in Seoul but it feels much more authentic than the likes of Kimchee in Holborn.
Menu : Oh my... Don't get me started on this one. You have so much choice, you're spoilt! BBQ, bibimbap, hot pot, soup, stews, pajeon, japchae, mandu, kimchi, namul .... All the classical ! :) And their set menu are just perfect when you can't make up your mind on choosing!
We tried for you : two Set A menus at £18/person and we added a plate of fried chicken for £5.90. Brace yourself, here's the list of what we had :
- Miso soup : really delicious, with soft tofu cubes and Korean spinach.
- Mat kimchi : classic cut cabbage kimchi. A nice portion.
- A selection of namul (vegetable marinated in sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, chili flakes and garlic). I recognized Kongnamul (bean sprouts), Muchae (thin stripes of radish), Oi namul (thin slice of cucumber). Again, nice size.
- Mandu : if you like gyoza, you'll like mandu. There was 6 of them, served with spicy dipping sauce.
- The fried chicken : yummy little piece of chicken in batter, served with lots of salad and red pepper.
- Haemul jeon : Korean pancake garnished with seafood (calamari, squid), fish sticks and vegetables and served with a dipping sauce.
- Japchae : thin sweet potato starch noodles, with lots of vegetables and meat, seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil. The portion was so huge (and we were so full) that the waitress kindly wrap it up for us to take away (that's part of tonight dinner sorted, 감사합니다! )
- Then came the main : Kalbi ! It's beef short ribs. So tender and juicy! I tend to prefer it to Bulgogi. It was cooked for us by our waiter on a portable stove. (Usually, J-Y would take care of this part...).
- The main was served with rice, lettuce and 쌈장 (ssamjang), a paste made of fermented soy beans, spicy sauce, sesame oil and garlic. And that's the fun bit : you take a salad leaf, a piece of meat, then add a bit of ssamjang and maybe kimchi or namul if you want. You wrap it up like a little parcel and
shove itelegantly put it in your mouth ! Oh, I love ssam....
- Last, dessert was a big slice of honeydew and some orange.
We couldn't eat our rice (I know it's really bad manner but we were about to explode).
With this feast, we drank Hite, the Korean Beer (£3). It's kinda sweet, with pear cider notes.
At £55 for two, drinks and service charge included, I think I found one of my new favourite Korean restaurant.
Website : sadly, they don't have a website, nor twitter account or facebook page which means I'll have to go back to tell them how much I like their place!
PS : Even if we were full, we went afterwards to Pâtisserie Bertaux in Greek street for a little birthday cake. I chose that really nice Strawberry chou tart ! Still my favourite place for traditional pâtisserie on my birthday.
And look what my birthday present was :