I finally can share you a blog review of Arang as I had a birthday feast at the restaurant. It is a wonderful Korean restaurant to celebrate a birthday that can cater for quite a large group. Both Arang and Asadal (https://chechemui.wordpress.com/2010/02/07/asadal-korean-restaurant-holborn/) are two London Korean restaurants that can cater for large party. But I prefer Arang for its atmosphere and it is brighter than Asadal.
Arang is located on Goldern Sqaure, which is a few minutes walk from Piccadilly Circus tube station. This Korean restaurant is a popular place for Korean as I found out last time coming here after work with no booking and all BBQ tables had a waiting for at least an hour. So if you do not want to be disappointed then do make reservation.
There is a large choice of dishes to choose on their menu. As from past experience the restaurant is happy to cater for variety of people who might not eat certain meat or might be vegetarian. They did a great job in catering for a large group of those who was ‘pure’ vegetarian and those who just eat no meat and those who love their meat. For this evening it was a bit more straight forward in dietary requirement.
While waiting for a few friends, we started off ordering some small cold appetizers – Shi kum chi namul (seasoned spinach) and Kak doo gi (pickled diced white radish). Once we placed our first order they then bought as some complimentary appetizers – seasoned beansprouts, kim chi (Korea’s well-known spicy preserved cabbage pickle) and some potatoes mixed with some mustard mayonnaise.
These small light appertizers are great to start off a meal but also excellent if you are waiting for friends and still be able to keep some room in your stomach for the main meal.
Starters we ordered included Yuk whe (seasoned raw beef strips with egg yolk and sliced pear) which a friend said they prefer this dish here then Arirang (https://chechemui.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/arirang/), as the beef is not served frozen here at Arang and it is mixed with an egg yolk.
My two favourite starters is Par jeon (korean pizza with seafood and spring onion) and Ddok bok ki (rice cake with fishball in spicy sauce). Arang’s ddok bok ki I love, as it include a boiled egg that is cut in half which is great to use it to dab some of the leftover spicy.
Then we follow this by the main and a birthday girl was torn between sharing a Korean casserole or to have BBQ. But the wonder of dining Korean in a big party is to have both. So we ordered the Bul lak chun gol (a casserole with beef, octopus and vegetable). We asked the waitress when ordering if this was mild because there are some casserole which I found that can set my mouth burning.
The casserole we ordered was OK which I think would go nice with some steamed rice. The octopus was cooked too long that we all found the octopus was tough and chewy.
For BBQ I love Arang because we are allowed to cook it to how we want it to be – those who like their beef well done and other who prefer it medium done. But I found it a fun activity to cook on the bbq stove.
The bbq menu has a variety of choice and the best things is Arang’s have two variety of platters which either a meat platter (assorted beef with pepper & sesame oil sauce ribs, fillet tongue and chicken) or a seafood platter (assorted seafood with special sauce mussel, shell, squid, prawn and scallop). It is great if you cannot decide what type of meat or seafood to go for the bbq. We went for both platters.
The seafood platters had shelled prawn which are huge. Juicy bbq prawn but it require to get fingers dirty to peel off the shell off the prawn before getting to the meat.
Along with it all we ordered the glass noodle fried with beef and vegetable, which is a firm favourite of mine.
For rice, we went for a Korea’s well known hot stone bowl rice – Dol bi bim bab. At Arang they are flexible in the protein you can choose to have – chicken, beef or pork. Usually it is with beef, so we went with beef.
When I’m at Arang I recommend to try the Hwi thop bab (salmon sashimi with rice and special hot sauce). It it brought to your table with a bowl of steamed rice that has sashimi and vegetable on top. You add some of the hot sauce and mix it all together (the waitress you would find will be happy to do this for you). The photo below is the Hwi thop bab after mixing.
With complimentary appetizers, you will finish your meal some complimentary fruits – fresh oranges. As well as oranges that evening, we also finished our meal with a surprise birthday cake for the birthday girl. A big red velvet cake from Hummingbird bakery (https://chechemui.wordpress.com/2009/05/05/the-hummingbird-bakery/).
Three layers of soft red velvet sponge cake, covered in cheese frosting. Top edge of the cake was dusting with edible red glitter. It was simple decoration but beautiful cake that made a birthday girl with a big smile. It taste exactly like Hummingbird bakery’s red velvet cupcakes – a creamy sweet cheese frosting but goes well with the cake which is really a coco powder cake that is not sweet. I am not a big fan of very sweet food especially icing. But without cheese frosting with red velvet cake it just isn’t the same. This cake was gorgeous! Thanks 😉
Arang Korean restaurant
9 Golden Square,