01 Feb 5X BEST KOREAN BBQ RESTAURANTS IN LONDON
With the increasing popularity of Korean pop culture and K Drama, the demand, or rather, cravings for Korean food has also significantly increased over the years. Here are 5 of our tried and tested Korean BBQ restaurants in Central London that will satisfy your cravings and leave you wanting more!
Korean BBQ restaurants in London
Look a few years back, and Korean restaurants were hard to find. Now however, things have changed and more and more Korean BBQ restaurants are opening up in London and elsewhere in the world. In Amsterdam for example, this unique way of freshly preparing your own food, has become somewhat of a trend. So where can you find the best ones? Take a look below.
YORI – 147 Curtain Rd
With 8 locations across London, YORI is here to make authentic Korean food mainstream. We went to their Shoreditch branch on a Saturday night and the restaurant came to life! Their menu is extensive but not overwhelming, with everything from stir fry to stew, and of course, Korean barbecue.
To start, we tried the haemool pajeon (seafood pancake) as well as the dak gang jung (boneless korean fried chicken glazed in sweet chilli sauce), and boy were they delicious! We’d also recommend trying the gal bi tang, which is a rich and hearty beef rib soup that comes in a stone pot. This is the perfect soul food for cold winter days or when you’re feeling a little under the weather. As for the BBQ, we loved the YORI Selection. This is perfect for 2 people and if you want to try a variety of meat and seafood (the marinated beef rib was 100% our favourite from the platter).
Best for: groups, dinner before a fun night out
Bonus: the manager and our lovely waiter taught us how to make somec, a typical korean drink that combines soju and beer) and it was quite a performance!
Pochawa Grill – 29 Wardour St
Think neon lights, Kpop music on blast – Pochawa Grill is a vibey Korean restaurant right by the gates of Chinatown in London. It is the perfect spot for a casual Korean lunch with friends or a fun evening meal out. They have some great lunch deal and amazing BBQ sets. We recommend their signature combo which includes four different cuts of meat. They also have a good selection of vegetarian dishes to choose from. We particularly enjoyed the corn cheese and soft tofu jjigae. Pochawa Grill don’t take reservations so make sure you come early for dinner before it gets too busy!
Best for: casual lunch or dinner, small groups (~4 pax)
Korean Grill Kensington – Courtfield Rd, South Kensington
If you’re looking for something more upmarket and elevated, you need to check out Korean Grill Kensington. This restaurant is located in the opulent neighbourhood of South Kensington, inside Millenium Hotel. Treat yourself to the KGK Chef’s Feast where you can experience a delectable selection of appetisers. After which, the waiter cooks each of the four cuts for you on the inbuilt tabletop-style grill.
What stood out to us most about this KBBQ is their signature marinade. It was so flavourful and pungent. Although the menu is at a higher price point compared to the rest of our picks, it’s definitely worth it for the quality and ambiance. Make sure to dress appropriately as the dress code is smart casual.
Best for: date night, celebration (the long benches on either side of the restaurant also makes it a great venue for bigger groups)
Barn Ju – 10 Gate St
Barn Ju is a contemporary Korean restaurant that is tucked away from the main streets of Holborn. Whilst it does not have the tabletop-style grill that you can find in other KBBQ restaurants, it does offer some aromatic and perfectly cooked barbecued dishes.
I love its modern take on authentic Korean dishes. The menu is fun and descriptive, making ordering much easier for those who have never tried Korean food before. If you’re ordering Table BBQ, be sure to get the LA Galbi and pork belly and squid. Both of these are served on sizzling iron plates. We also loved their half and half jeom (kimchi pancake and seafood pancake) and soybean paste stew. Don’t sleep on their drinks menu. I love the so-so apple cocktail and the mandarin blossom but if i come back with a group, I’ll definitely be ordering the yakult makgeolli which comes in a jar.
P.S. If you head downstairs and through the archway, you’ll find a private dining room fit for up to 10 people which also turns into a karaoke room. This is perfect for a group dinner or a birthday celebration.
Best for: casual lunch and dinner, date night, small group of 4s upstairs and bigger group gatherings in the private dining area
Lime Orange – 312 Vauxhall Bridge Rd
Do not underestimate the size of this restaurant, Lime Orange is a buzzing family-run eatery in Victoria (just a stone throw away from the Apollo Victoria Theatre, where Wicked the Musical is being shown) serving authentic and delicious Korean food.
Despite it being off the main street, the queue for the restaurant went all the way out the door when we arrived on a weekday evening. Lime Orange has won multiple Travellers Choice Awards over the years and of course, we had high hopes. Thankfully, our expectations were met, if not exceeded.
We started with Yangyeum Korean fried chicken. This starter was super flavourful with a tangy taste from the sweet and sticky chilli sauce. Then comes our food-coma-inducing Korean barbecue. We had a healthy mix of pork belly, chicken and tender beef bulgogi. We enjoyed with some fresh lettuce and rice, and a bottle of Makgeolli, a milky textured fermented rice wine (it tastes a lot better than it sounds).
This is a popular spot amongst locals as well as theatre-goers as they also offer a great pre-theatre menu where you can sample some of their best-selling dishes.
Best for: casual lunch/ dinner, small groups of 4 and pre-theatre
Have you tried any of these Korean restaurants in London yet? If so, let us know which one you liked best and if you have any other recommendations, let us know!
*Chantelle is one of our amazing travel editors, based in London. She travels the world for us, looking for the best spots, unique places and knows how to tell a story. You can follow her quirky finds at @chantelle_pang