As the dark clouds gathered overhead, we decided to be a bit spontaneous this Sunday evening and randomly duck into the nearest Korean. Although such hasty behavior can often end in tears, on account of the risk inherent on just blindly walking through the door, in these days I think I am entitled to live a bit dangerously.
Instead of merticlious research before choosing an eatery, my companion did the next best thing. They deigned to use one of their life lines, call a friend. So taht is how we arrived at Koba where it seemed that every man and his dog had the same idea as me as at 6pm on Sunday, we nabbed the almost last seats in the house.
Japchae, beef stir fried glass noodle. Smooth and delicious. Apparently Koba had re-opened less than a week ago and as a welcome back present, we were gifted with some free noodles. Exceedingly smooth with carefully seasoned vegetables, a delight. Although perhaps free things taste just that bit sweeter.
Kanpoonggi, korean fried chicken in sweet chili sauce. With succulent chicken inside, crunchy and tangy exterior this was excellent. This was one of the best examples of KFC that I have had in London, although it is probably also the priciest! At least here, you get what you pay for.
Dolsot Bibimbab, rice, seasonal vegetables in a hot stone bowl with bulgogi beef. Sadly not really that interesting. Even with a maximum serving of spicy sauce, it just didn’t have that depth of flavour that I would otherwise be expecting. It didn’t even make my tongue tingle. Then again, it may have been my fault as I attacked this so quickly, perhaps not giving the rice enough time to soak everything in. My excuse, I was hungry and unable to delay gratification. Don’t try the marshmallow test on me if you want to live.
Soondoobu Jjiigae, soft tofu and seafood stew. Seemed like the taste of the bibimbab may have migrated here. Deliciously full taste. Meltingly smooth tofu. Little parcels of seafood delight. Spicy too. This was something worth returning for.
Rice. With the spice of the soondoobu, the rice was a nice palate reliever. Served in a typical korean metal bowl, it made me think of all the great food I had eaten in Seoul once upon a time.
One thing that I must note which was atypical of other Korean BBQ places I have visited was the tranquility of the dining room. I couldn’t hear the sizzling of meat, the braying of slightly intoxicated customers, the slightly too loud K-pop music. Perhaps it was due to our position on the bar but things came across rather quiet and civilized.
Then again, perhaps its because I didn’t opt for the sizzling meat option this time. I guess that’s a reason to come back.
A quiet eating 8/10.
Dinner (2 courses) was GBP20 excluding drinks and service.
11 Rathbone Street
London W1T 1NA