Yijo BBQ

Yijo BBQ is a tradition Korean restaurant where you can get charcoal BBQ in North West London. The restaurant is local to North Finchley and right next to the tube station.

Yijo BBQ

Yijo BBQ

There are are a range of Korean starters to select on the menu. We ordered a variety of traditional Korean starters.

Yukhoe (£9.50) is a Korean beef tartare served with pear and topped with egg.

Yijo BBQ

Par Jeon (£7.90) is a Korean seafood pancake and is one of my favourite Korean dish to order.

Yijo BBQ

Yang yeum chicken (£8.50) is fired chicken in sweet chilli sauce.

Yijo BBQ

Yijo has a range of meats to order for BBQ, ranging from beef, chicken, pork, lamb, duck and seafood. There is also platters which are great to get a range of meat. We ordered the modum so gogi set (£30) which includes different selection of meat.

Yijo BBQ

The restaurant is happy to leave you to cook the meat yourself. But if you are not sure how to cook the meat or prefer it to be cooked for you the staff will be happy to help.

Yijo BBQ

Yijo BBQ

The BBQ meats came served with lettuce leaves, side dishes and sauces.

Yijo BBQ

Yijo has a selection of rice and noodles including the famous bibimbap.

Yijo BBQ

There is a range of Korean broths and hotpots on Yijo’s menu. We tried the Sam Gae Tang (£15) which is one of the traditional Korean broth. It is made up of a whole chicken cooked with ginseng.

The portion size was decent for the price. Although the chicken was nicely cooked but I thought there was not enough ginseng.

Yijo BBQ

It is not a fancy place but one where you get decent Korean food at reasonable price. I do recommend you book in advance for a table.

Yijo BBQ
1 Station Road,
Finchley
N3 2SB,
UK

http://www.yijo.co.uk

The Hottest K-Food in London 2016

It was a great pleasure to be invited to attend The Hottest K-Food in London organised by Korean culture centre and Embassy of the Republic of Korean in the UK.

The Hottest K-food in London 2016

The event started with guest speakers sharing about their experience of how they got to where they were with their passion about Korean food. Daniel O’Sullivan shared the story of starting his restaurant Kimchi Cult in Scotland. Da-Hae West also shared her experience of how she and her husband AmeriKorean dream food business Busan BBQ was born. Jordan Burke the author of his award wining book Our Korean Kitchen, spoke about his experience of fermentation and explaining it is one of the main technique used in Korean cuisines.

A Korean lunch was provided in a buffet style where we tried a range of traditional Korean food – Kimbap (Korean style sushi), Japchae (Korean stir fried glass noodle), Namul (seasonal vegetable), Jeon (Korean pancake), Ggul tteok (Rice cake with honey), Mujigae tteok (Rainbow rice cake), YangNyum Galbi (Marinated beef), Ddeokbokki (Spicy rice cakes), dumplings and a range of deep-fried vegetables.

The Hottest K-food in London 2016

The final programme of the event was the award ceremony of the top 10 hottest K-food in London and to showcase their winning dishes.

The Hottest K-food in London 2016

Congratulations to all the winners listed below and in no particular order:

As well as showcase of the 10 winning dishes we got to sample the top 10 Korean drink – Morning rice drink, Green plum drink, Milkis, McCol, Aloe Vera drink (Original), Corn silk tea, Vilac rice punch, Vilac Cinnamon Punch, Pororo soy drink (Banana flavour) and Black bean & Calcium soy drink.

The Hottest K-food in London 2016

Cafe Damoa (Bingsu – shaved ice dessert)

Cafe Damoa is a casual cafe located in Golders Green (north west London), that serves Korean and Japanese food. It is also a place for Bingsu (Korean shaved ice dessert).

Cafe Domoa

For those who follow me will know what is bingsu (also known as bing) because it is actually not ice but milk that is turned in to snow that you can eat. You expect a light fluffy texture that goes creamy like ice cream when it melts in you mouth.

Domoa offers a variety of bingsu and in two sizes – small and large. Options of flavours includes Red bean, Strawberry, Blueberry (£7.90/£12.50), Oreo…etc

The Matcha (£8.90/£12.90) bingsu comes with red beans, mochi, corn flakes and a scoop of matcha ice cream. If you do not want a particular toppings the cafe is happy to exclude them or serve them separately.

Cafe Domoa

The Mango (£7.90/£12.50) bingsu is my current favourite at Damoa. The shaved ice is made up of fresh mango pieces, a scoop of mango ice cream and sprinkled with mango sauce.

When you compare the bingsu with the one at Shibuya, then Shibuya bingsu lead. That is why they are known for their bingsu in London.

I felt that Damoa’s matcha bingsu lacked green tea flavour. It was just the matcha ice cream that had the green tea flavour. May be they could had sprinkle matcha powder over the shaved ice. However, Damoa’s mango bingsu was delicious and the flavour was better than the mango bingu I have had at Shibuya.

Cafe Domoa

As well as bingsu for dessert the cafe also serves waffles which can be ordered on its own or as a set which come with coffee or bubble tea. Yes you heard it! Damoa also sell Bubble Tea (£3.40) with a choice of topping (tapioca pearls and popping boba).

Cafe Domoa

Damoa does not only serve drinks and dessert. They also offer a range of savoury dish such as sushi, noodle soup and bibimba dupbap (rice and salad). I have not yet had the chance to try their savoury dishes to be able to share with you.

(Not Sponsored. Menu and price correct at the time of visit)

Cafe Damoa
32 Golders Green Road,
London,
NW11 8LL,
UK

https://en-gb.facebook.com/Cafe-Damoa-170800179961870/

Naru London

Naru is a small Korean restaurant located near to Tottenham Court Road station. Fortunately it is not located on the same road as what use to be known as London mini Korean street, so it hasn’t been affected by the centre point and crossrail regeneration.

We started off with some starters including the tradition Korean pancake, Pa jeon (£7.30). I thought this was okay but probably not the best pa jeon in London.

Naru

The calamari in batter (£5.60) was a nice snack dish but it was nothing special.

Naru

Dak gang jung (£6.50) is deep-fried crispy chicken with light soy & red wine sauce. It is not as nice as the sweet and spicy chicken. But an alternative of a fried chicken that is not spicy.

Naru

When you come to Naru I recommend their soup pot which is served with steamed rice. But unusual that it was multigrain rice or what is known as black and white rice on their menu.

A favourite soup pot of mine is Kimchi jjigae (£8.50) which consist of spicy kimchi, sliced pork and tofu. It is one of the traditional Korean soup pot that goes well with rice and this spicy soup which is suited for the colder season.

Naru’s Kimchi jig was good as the soup was not too watery and more like a stew. There was a good amount of thinly sliced pork and tofu. The portion size was just right for one person.

Naru

There is a small selection of casserole which are larger version of the soup pot and is serving for 2-3 people. These do not include rice but for additional charge you can add rice, ramen noodle or potato glass noodle to go with the casserole.

The kimchi, sliced pork and dumpling stew is one of the casserole which can be served for 1 person (£13). The only thing missing from this was tofu otherwise it would had truly satisfy for my tofu loving friend.

Naru

Dolsot bibimbap (£9.60) which is steamed rice served with seasoned vegetables, egg yolk in a hot stone pot. It comes with a choice of beef, chicken, tofu or for £10.50 with mixed seafood.

Naru

Naru
230 Shaftesbury Avenue,
London,
WC2H 8EG

http://www.narurestaurant.com

Superstar BBQ – Snowball Dessert

In visiting Superstar BBQ this year I discovered they are now serving dessert, including the popular Korean’s shaved ice dessert (Bing), which are known as snow ball on their menu.

There are four different snowballs to choose: Original (£5.95), Honey quince (£6.95), Ice cream (£7.95) and Baileys (£7.95). All them come with sweet red beans, mixed dried fruits and nuts, drizzled with condensed milk.

Superstar BBQ

I had the Baileys snow ball which is the original snowball with a separate shot of Baileys. You don’t drink the Baileys separately, instead you pour it over the snowball. This turn the original snowball to an alcoholic snowball. 

Superstar BBQ

Superstar BBQ take of Bing is not the same as Shibuya in London Soho. The one in Superstar BBQ is as it described on the menu, shaved ice. Whereas at Shibuya, their Bing is made out of milk which gives it that creamy texture and the milky flavour. Shibuya’s bing is a winner as the best bing in London I have tried so far and it is resonable price for what you get.

The snowball at Superstar BBQ is expensive as the portion size is small. Especially when you compare to Shibuya. I am not sure the snowball would be a dessert I will consider to order again. Unless I wanted dessert and did not want to move on to another venue.

As well as sharing with you my new discovery of snowball dessert, I also want to share with you the Ginseng Chicken at Superstar BBQ. It is a traditional Korean soup, where a whole chicken is stuffed with glutinous rice and cooked with Ginseng. It is probably not a soup a lot of people in UK will choose to order, as Ginseng has a distinct taste that is not to every one liking.

The Ginseng Chicken (£19.50) at Superstar BBQ is one of my favourite I have had in London. It uses a whole stuffed corn-fed baby chicken to give you a mild chicken soup. But as from the price tag this soup is expensive. It is probably smaller than ones I have had at other Korean restaurants in London. But the one at Superstar BBQ taste the best.

Superstar BBQ

For my full review of Superstar BBQ you can find it here:
https://chechemui.wordpress.com/2015/09/05/superstar-bbq

(Not sponsored. Menu and prices correct at the time of dining)

Superstar BBQ
4 central Saint Giles Piazza,
St Giles High Street,
London,
WC2H 8AB

http://superstarbbq.co.uk

Jubo – closed its door

While writing this I found out the sad news that Jubo has just closed its doors. I have found out over the last few weeks many established restaurants around London have or will be closing their doors. It shows how difficult to run a business to become successful, no matter how good an idea or how tasty we consider their food to be.

I did not expect my recent and first visit would had been the last opportunity to dine at Jubo. Although it now has closed its door, I have decided to still share with you all what they did once serve in London.

Jubo

Jubo is a small restaurant located in Exmouth market and specialise in Korean fried chicken (Yangnyeom Tangdak), which come in the form of chicken wings or chicken strips. There are four different flavours to choose – soy garlic, hot, honey butter and volocanio.

I thought the hot flavour was the one that tasted more of the original Korean fried chicken, which is coated in a sweet and spicy sauce. This was my favourite flavour out of all the one I tried that evening. My least favourite flavour has to be the honey butter which was very sweet and buttery. The taste reminded me of caramel sauce or a toffee sweet.

Unlike many places in London, where Korean fried chicken are served in small pieces. The chicken pieces are large at Jubo, regardless if you have the chicken wings or chicken strips. The chicken are crispy outside coated in one of the sticky sauce and moist inside.

You can order the Korean fried chicken as a portion or as a chicken dinner platter which comes with 3 sides (kimchi slaw, crispy lotus roots and gunmandu dumplings)

Jubo

Jubo

Although Jubo is all about their chicken wings, they also serves a small selection of BBQ meat.

Beef Galbi (250g) is chargrilled short ribs which according to the menu has been marinated for 24 hours. It was the the least driest BBQ meat I tried, but I would not consider it to be the best beef galbi in terms of its flavour and tenderness.

Jubo

Pork ribs (350g) was a slow roasted baby back ribs in a Korean barbecue glaze. We had ordered two portions and one of them the ribs was too dry.

Jubo

Jubo had a selection of rice and noodle that can be ordered to accompany the meat or even to have its own.

Bulgogi rice bowl comes in a choice of skirt beef, spicy chicken or sweet tofy stir fry. Either choices would come with cabbage, red onions, carrots and beansrpouts.

Jubo

Japchae Bokkeumbap is fried glass noodles with rice, spinach, carrots, red onions, oyster mushroom with soy and sesame seeds. I thought this was an intersting combination wih the mix of rice and noodles, which gave it a range of texture to the dish.

Jubo

Kimchi Bookeumbap is kimchi fried rice with bacon, sesame seeds, spring onions and topped with a sunny side up. It was a nicely cooked kimchi fried rice with the bacon giving a smokey flavour.

Jubo

It is a shame that Jubo has now closed because I thought their Korean fried chicken was tasty and a good size for each piece.

Jubo
50 Exmouth Market,
London,
EC1R 4QE

Superstar BBQ

I back!! Yes, I am back blogging and I want to start with a recent new opening, Superstar BBQ. It is a Korean restaurant located at Tottenham Court Road’s Central Saint Giles Piazza and a neighbour to Ippudo. It is good timing with the disappearance of the cluster of Korean restaurants at Centre Point, due to the regeneration of Tottenham court road and Crossrail.

SuperStar BBQ

The restaurant has taken over what used to be Jamie Oliver’s Union Jack. I did visit SuperStar BBQ the second week it opened and came out thinking whether I would visit again. However, they did a one day 50% off for food and I took the opportunity to revisit. It was wonderful to see the improvements that had been made in the food and the staff seem to be better trained.

SuperStar BBQ

The KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) in sweet chilli sauce is one of my favourite on the menu. You can order in either 5, 10 and 22 pieces. The first time we ordered the five pieces but only counted four pieces. We had more people in our recent visit and ordered a bucket containing 22 pieces (hopefully it did!).

SuperStar BBQ

There are other sauces (special soy, kimchi mayo) you can choose but I feel it’s never the same if it not the sweet chilli sauce. Both time it was cooked beautifully, succulent chicken pieces with a slight crispy coating wrapped in a sticky sweet spicy sauce.

The pa jeon I was greatly surprised to find had improved since our first visit. The texture and the taste of the batter was definitely much better. Even when it arrived to the table it looked more comparable to the par jeon you would find at other London restaurants.

SuperStar BBQ

The jap chae is served with or without beef (additional £1.50), which gives you the option to cater for vegetarian or non-beef eater. The dish was full of flavour but I felt the glass noodle was a touch too soft. Also the portion was small for £6, compared to others places.

SuperStar BBQ

The chilli squid was nice with a crispy batter and a chewy center, but it needed slightly more flavour.

SuperStar BBQ

As the name suggested we had to try the BBQ at Superstar. Although the menu is simple there are still a wide variety of choice. There is a section for beef, lamb chicken, seafood and vegetables.

SuperStar BBQ

Each table has a built-in BBQ stove and the design is much easier to control the heat with the touch screen pad. I’m sure this is all so common in Korean but not in London! The only observation we made was there was no obvious fan extractors. But it didn’t feel smokey at all, so may be there is some hidden extractors.

We ordered both the rib galbi (£7), as well as the sesame & garlic sirloin beef (£8.50). I would recommend the bolgogi rib galbi beef which is much tender and full of flavour from the marinated sauce.

SuperStar BBQ

SuperStar BBQ

Belly pork (£7) was served thinly slice which is how and it should be served. The pork had a good consistent of lean and fat meat.

SuperStar BBQ

SuperStar BBQ

If you not are familiar with Korean BBQ, than it is common to wrap your meat with some bean paste in lettuce. The light and refreshing way to have BBQ!. You will have to order the lettuce separate and you will find them on the menu as Mixed lettuce, which will come with the bean paste.

SuperStar BBQ

The kimchee soup at Superstar BBQ is good which is served in a traditional Korean soup bowl and comes with a separate bowl of rice. The soup is like a stew which consisted of tofu, Kimchee and sliced pork. It was spicy but not burning for me. It’s defintely a dish that is great for the cold winter season.

SuperStar BBQ

Superstar BBQ also serve Bimbimbap in the option in “Hot Stone” or “Traditional”. We tried the “Hot Stone” which is the version where it is served in a sizzling hot stone bowl. I was not quick enough to take a photo before we started to mix it up, but it did arrive beautifully presented as you expect from a bimbimbap.

SuperStar BBQ

I am glad to have revisit Superstar BBQ because the improvements has made a different. It would be a place I would consider to recommend if you looking for Korean food. The range of dishes that is offered in the menu give you a good overview of Korean cuisines.

It does depends what you order, but you could easily spend over £20 at Superstar BBQ. There are set menu ranging from £25 to £35 (excluding drinks and service charge) which looks great if you not sure what to order.

(Prices correct at the time of dining)

Superstar BBQ
4 central Saint Giles Piazza,
St Giles High Street,
London,
WC2H 8AB

http://superstarbbq.co.uk