HanKang, London

Last week I was meeting a friend for drinks and a meal in London and I was so excited I started doing research for our meal weeks in advance. She is a big fan of Asian Cuisine and I haven’t had Korean food in years so Korean was my first choice. After some thorough research-going through TripAdvisor reviews and other people’s blog I came across HanKang. Korean restaurant near Tottenham Court Road station, loved by Koreans and adored by everyone else.

Their website looked impressive and their menu is incredible with a great selection of starters, meat and fish dishes, rice dishes as well as sharing barbecue platters that get cooked on your table right in front of you.

We got there around 8 o’clock on a Thursday night and the place was heaving, the restaurant sits about 20-25 people with about 10-12 tables. Every table was full and it was mostly Korean customers(jackpot!) Service was fast and smooth, as soon as we sat down we were given menus and 5 minutes later we had our drinks. We started off with some delicious Macon Rouge(they only do wines by bottle) and they also have a great selection Korean alcohol(sake,soju, bakeseju etc.). Our wine was served cold which was slightly disappointing but it warmed up quickly. Next time I will definitely give a go some of Korean wines to see how different they are from traditional selection.

We were starving and very tipsy by the time we got there so we went all out and ordered a few dishes to share-Boochoo Jeon (chive pancake), kimchi(pickled cabbage with chilli powder), Dak Bulgogi(seasoned and marinated chicken) and Bibimbab (steamed rice with vegetables, beef and a fried egg on top) and a portion of chicken dumplings(served with soy sauce).

IMG_9628 Every dish was spot on and we wolfed it all down very quickly(looking back, I wish I took longer to savour it all).

Kimchi was extremely spicy which complimented fried dumplings, I ended up using some of kimchi sauce for dipping. Marinated chicken was juicy and tender and I could have had a portion all to myself! Bibimbab is such a simple but hearty dish, and I think that runny yolk makes any dish 10 times better. My favourite part of our meal was the chive pancake, it had incredible texture-crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. I used left over soy sauce and kimchi sauce for dipping and I spent all of last week googling recipes of Korean pancakes.

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Once we finished eating, we contemplated ordering another dish to share but decided to give ourselves at least 10 minutes, instead we ordered a bottle of Pinot Grigio. As we were finishing off our bottle, the restaurant started getting more and more empty, we ordered green tea ice cream to share. The ice cream was very refreshing, just what you want to top off your hearty dinner. Green tea ice cream will definitely be my choice of ice cream for hot weather.

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We spent good few hours at the restaurant and the waitress was really nice and helpful (it wasn’t one of those over the top nice). She was genuinely looking after her customers. Our bill came to just under £70 which is very decent for a three course meal for 2 and two bottles of wine. The quality of food and service was definitely worth it and I can’t recommend it more.

Restaurant itself is very cosy and bright, our table for two was very spacious(normally you find that tables for two are tiny and you don’t have any elbow room). Ever since our visit, I’ve been obsessing over Korean food and googling different recipes to make. Today I went to a couple of local Asian supermarets to pick up kimchi, chicken dumplings and gochujang(spicy pepper paste) and doenjang(bean paste) both of which have a number of uses and I can’t wait to give them a go!

If you want to check out HanKang’s full menu and to book a table, click here: http://www.hankang.co.uk/hankang.html

Anya xx

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