I have walked past Dong San on Poland Street many times, stopped and looked at the menu and then run away at the sight of all the plastic sushi, sashimi and kimchi on display in the window. However, having read some positive reviews about this place, I decided to give it a go. Actually, I have been here twice now as the food turned out to be very, very good!
Raw beef sashimi! This is so tasty, the beef, cucumber and pear all cut identically, blended together with egg yolk and sugar and sesame oil. I could eat 100 portions of this stuff, perfect!
Kimchi Pancakes, perfectly crispy on the outside and nice and moist on the inside. Love the taste of these pancakes.
I have a soft spot for mackerel. This was a grilled mackerel, seasoned with some lemon and salt. Very, very good. Once again, I could have easily had more of this.
Finally, spicy squid with cucumber and onions and some other vegetables. This was also a cold dish, the portion is huge. I really loved this, I also recommend trying the same dish with whelk.
I must say that Dong San has positively surprised me on both visits and I will be going back very soon. I have no idea what the sushi and sashimi tastes like, to be honest I don’t even know why they bother doing this. I think it might be for lunch guests to make some money, so I forgive them. Please pay them a visit and let me know what you think!
Woo Jung, this is one of the Korean restaurants near the monstrosity that is London Centre Point. I actually visited this restaurant last summer, don’t even know if it’s still there.
I remember not ordering these starters, they were on the house. Kimchi (great!), pickled bean sprouts and cucumber and some weird jelly with hot sauce on the top.
This was what they called something similar to spicy pork soup. I remember that this had no taste at all, very bland.
I have a theory when it comes to spicy food served in Asian restaurants. At some places, not sure if this happened at Woo Jung, they get all excited when you order something that says spicy. Usually they ask you, “very spicy, hot hot, ok?”. Then they walk away with the order and look a bit sceptical. My experience is that when you get the food, it’s not at all spicy or hot! So, what I think they do is that they scribble down the order and then add some funny characters for “white person no no spicy” for the kitchen.
Woo Jung, ok food, but you can have much nicer Korean food at several restaurants nearby in Soho. Sorry guys!
Centrepoint Sushi is one of the restaurants just behind Centrepoint, the (ugly) landmark at the end of Oxford Street. There a few Korean restaurants in this area, one of which will be reviewed later. Ok, so Centrepoint Sushi is above a Japanese/Korean supermarket and we were hungry from and tempted to try some of their food.
The menu is a mix of Korean/Japanese/Chinese food. The food is actually quite expensive considering that this is not a fancy joint. I had some Kimchi Jigae, it was ok, but really nothing spectacular.
This was the Chirashi Sushi, I looked great and was good. Again, nothing spectacular and the rice was not the best. Why am I even saying stuff was ok? The service was great, I just remembered that. Shy Japanese girls, did not understand or speak much English. However, very polite and attentive.
Verdict: spend your money somewhere else. If the mains were -£2 then I might consider this one again, but not really at the rate they are charging today.
On my way home I walked by this newly opened Japanese restaurant (with non-Japanese staff) on Lisle Street. They had a 50 % offer on their entire menu, this was really a temptation I could not resist of. I did not even notice the name of the place when I entered, however, soon I realised that they were playing Lady Gaga on the stereo and they had Ga Ga specials on their menu. I most say, that this was perhaps the most confusing thing with the restaurant. The interior is new and fresh, feels very clean but lacks warmth.
I ordered the following items from their menu (which was really a Japanese/Chinese/Korean mix).
Gyoza. These were actually really good, soft and tasty.
Kimchi. OMG this picture is just awful. The problem was my camera and the fact that it was served in a deep bowl so it made it even harder to get a decent picture. The first thing on my list to buy when I get my next pay check is a new camera. The kimchi was a mix of cabbage, carrots and other vegetables. It was actually very good, a bit different to all other kimchi I have tried. the sauce was a bit smoother and thicker and there was much more garlic in Sushi Ga Ga’s version. Still, I enjoyed this very much.
Chirashi Sushi, one of those stomach fillers! The fish came cut in cubes, the first time I have encountered this. Not sashimi quality fish; hence, the cubes I guess. However, it worked out really nice and I found the dish really nice.
The chirashi sushi came with a small Soba noodle soup. This was not good, I actually just had a taste of the soup and some noodles and decided not to eat it. A boring texture to the noodles, the soup was too sweet and really was not something I would enjoy eating. It was also a bit strange to have a carb supplement to a carb main dish.
All in all, I might go here again if they have some good offers on the menu. I would definitely order the Kimchi and perhaps try one of their nigiri plates or Bento boxes.
I joined a group of friends to have this nice set meal at Myung Ga on Kingly Street. Actually, we shared two set meals; one with seafood and one with meat. I liked the food, however, eating set meals is always a gamble. Usually this involves having the most popular dishes and I can’t get rid of the thought of huge pots in the kitchen with all the food prepared in advance. Although everything was fresh and nice, it seemed as if the dishes were perhaps prepared in a rush without much love.
Soups for starters, light and pleasant.
Deep-fried vegetables with a dip sauce (not in picture).
Dumplings (Goon Mandu), really nice and crispy.
Japche, Korean glass noodle fry. This was perhaps a bit too unspecific in taste.
Seafood bulgogi, not a big fan of the veggies in this dish. A bit buffet style.
Cabbage kimchi. This was really acidic, I liked it.
Modum namul, or preserved/marinated vegetables.
The meal ended with some nice fresh fruit.
All in all, this was an ok Korean restaurant but not the greatest. A bit too rushed and lacked personality. Soju, reviewed earlier, was superior and although the interior is not as nice at Soju, the food is far better.
People, listen up! This is a very nice, inexpensive Korean restaurant in London for you to visit. They were voted by Time Out as one of the better cheap eats in London. In addition, they carry the name of one of my teachers in high school which made the experience a bit funny for me.
Korean food is something I have not written that much about. Some of the best meals I have had have been Korean. There are some excellent alternatives in New York if you happen to be there. Of course there is Korea itself, not Kim Jong II land, but South Korea.
We arrived very late to Soju, I guess we were the last table to order. Therefore the service was ultra rapid. No problem with this, I really do not like to sit around waiting for my order to be taken. We had a selection of small portions for starters. From left: cucumber kimchi, cabbage kimchi, goon mandu (Korean dumplings) and a cold tofu salad. All of these were excellent.
We finished the meal with some excellent raw beef bibimbap. This came in a hot pot and the beef was perfectly cooked after mixing the stuff around. Bibimbap is excellent, I love it! I will most definitely go back to Soju, a great place for a Korean dinner.
* Update 10/08/24 *
I have been to Soju twice after writing the original post, once for dinner and once for lunch.
The best thing ever was their Raw Beef Sashimi, this was one of the best things I have eaten in a long time. The beef came shredded with pears, a great combination.
I also had some bibimbap similar to the one above, however the beef was cooked in this version. I must say that I prefer the one with raw beef. They have some great alternatives for lunch, please pay them a visit.
At any given Korean restaurant you will find Jeon on the menu. These thin and crispy Korean “pancakes” are just great! You can have them with a variety of fillings; vegetables, pork, shrimp and why not fox? LOL, no stay away from the fox Jeon.
You will find a variety of pancake mixes in your local Asian supermarket. Pick your favourite and start mixing the stuff according to the instructions on the package.
I added turmeric powder, sesame seeds, onions and green onions to my mix.
In a pan, fry some onions and garlic with the protein of your choice. I had tiger prawns and pork in the fridge so I went for these.
Add some of the batter and let it fry for a couple of minutes, add some bean sprouts and herbs. Fold over and the pancake is ready! Great!