Korean restaurant Wimbledon
The restaurant is a brisk stroll from the place. Follow the primary roadway past Jin’s Estate Management, Han Town Travel (‘No 1 in Korea!’) and Seoul Plaza, after that simply take a right after Korean providers.
You’ll walk by a profusion of locations offering the finest of Korean cuisine – tabletop grills asizzle with luscious slices of galbi (meat rib marinated in sweet soy sauce); searing hot stone bowls filled up with egg, rice and chilli sauce; and nice piles regarding the scarlet-flecked, fermented cabbage called kimchi.
Just as with Chinese and Japanese food, texture is just as crucial as flavour in Korean meals
But ignore them all, because about 50 yards further on is Su Los Angeles, stated by those in the recognize to-be the best of the great deal.
Around, the warmly utilitarian area is filled up with Koreans of all ages: parents using their screaming brood, fitted businessmen deep in discussion and students gossiping over soup bowls of noodles. We could be anywhere in Korea, however for one little detail: the purple London buses that thunder through the window.
Because definately not becoming in the pulsating heart of Seoul, I’m into the more genteel environment of brand new Malden, a terraced west London area wedged between Raynes Park and Kingston upon Thames. It’s like stumbling across a little place of Narnia in Pinner, such may be the incongruous nature associated with the match.
However brand new Malden has got the biggest expatriate Korean population in European countries, therefore large that residents call it ‘New Mal-dong’, ‘dong’ being the Korean term for neighbourhood.
These western origins, they do say, were planted back the Sixties, whenever Wimbledon was as soon as residence into first Korean ambassador’s residence. A small Korean neighborhood sprung up when you look at the surrounding area, therefore’s believed that around 20, 000 Koreans today live truth be told there.
When it comes to really serious eater, it is a very good thing undoubtedly. Korean meals is too usually seen as a poor reference to Chinese and Japanese cuisine, less varied as compared to former and lacking the latter’s clean refinement. Utter rot, I state.
A few years back, we invested a while in Seoul and wasn't only blown away by the folks but because of the meals, also. There’s an exquisitely elegant and delicate ‘royal’ food, including instead earthier, punchy daily fare.
Fermented vegetable dishes (like the kimchi, created using sets from cabbage to cucumber), chilli, garlic and sesame give you the anchor of Korean food. And simply much like Chinese and Japanese food, surface is every bit as essential as flavour.
Generally in most parts of Britain, Korean meals tends to be toned down so as not to ever offend the fragile palates of us Westerners.
In New Malden, though, there’s no such nonsense.
‘New Malden is the Chinatown for Koreans, perhaps, ’ says Hannah Paek, girl for the proprietors.
‘My daddy could be the prepare and worked in several Korean locations around right here, before starting Su Los Angeles. We offer real Korean meals right here, the type of thing we’d consume home.’
Cabbage kimchi arrives very first, sharp, pungent and refreshing, kick-starting the taste buds into activity. Then pa jun, a seafood-and-spring-onion pancake that’s component omelette and component crisp, golden batter. The crunch melds aided by the soft, sweet chew.
‘It’s rather like a Korean Yorkshire pudding, only much more eggy, ’ states meals copywriter Matthew Fort, my lunching companion.
Their eyes light with pleasure. Yukhoe comes next, a visceral size of raw beef, sesame seeds and pieces of sharp pear, topped with a raw egg. It’s smooth, wealthy and luxurious, a steak tartare dressed in a mink coating.
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a metal cover in the middle of table is raised, a brazier of hot coals is slotted in and a barbeque grill added to top.