Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Korean Kitchen (Soru) review - Undiscovered gem in London's Piccadilly Circus

Korean+Kitchen+Soru+review+LondonUnlike the many Chinese, Japanese, South East Asian eating establishments sprinkled across London, I came to realise that Korean eateries in London maintains a certain level of standard. Thus far, I have not come across the Korean equivalent of £4.90 Chinese buffet or corner store peddling packs of sushi masquerading as serving Japanese cuisine.

Generally, if you step into any Korean eateries or restaurants in London, you can expect a certain level of staff service and taste. However, there are some that is a cut above the rest.

Korean Kitchen, which is tucked along Great Windmill Street, a stone's throw away from London's Piccadilly Circus is one of them. Its unpretentious facade and outlay, undeservingly overshadowed by Melati - directly opposite, is perhaps the only reason why there's no need for reservations even during peak hours.

Korean-Kitchen-Soru-LondonThe service offered by the staff (all Koreans) is almost impeccable. Always with a smile, they will provide a short introduction to every dish to the uninitiated. If you are unfamiliar with Korean cuisine, just ask for recommendation and I can assure you that you won't be disappointed.

Spanning two floors, the place is surprisingly well ventilated despite a number of tables having Korean barbercue when we were there. If given a choice, ask for a window seat on the first floor. Although its not much of a view, it's much better than having curious passerbys staring at you while you're enjoying your barbercued beef fillet.

For all it's worth, the dishes at Korean Kitchen, though not the cheapest, are worth every penny. Ginseng Chicken (£13), which requires 20min of preparation time, is enough for two. The ginseng taste is not overpowering and seeps through the chicken just fine.

Korean-Kitchen-Soru-LondonFor a small party of four, I would recommend going for the Meat and Seafood barbecue platter (£25). Also recommended is the Spicy Fried Chicken (£7.90) - number 14 on the menu. Tucking into that with a portion of steamed rice (£2) while a staff barbecues the platter spread on a portable stove makes a perfect setting for a nights' out with pals.

Incidentally, a quick search online for "Korean restaurants in Central London" fails to show it as one of the top links. That is certainly set to change when the word gets out.

Author's note: Korean Kitchen has been rebranded as Soru.

Address: 32 Windmill Street, Picadilly Circus, London, W1D 7LR
Tel: 087 1961 2129
Nearest Tube station: Piccadilly Circus (5 min walk)

Ratings (out of 5 *)
Price: below £20 pp
Taste: ****
Service: ****
Ambience: **
Suitable for: Gathering with pals on wintry nights

Soru (Korean Kitchen) on Urbanspoon

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SheR. said...

Hee.. CK. Are you going to visit the restaurants I used to work in? ;)

C K said...

Where's that? Just give me the name and I'll be there.

SheR. said...

Ok.. here it goes.
Le Pont de la Tour. Butler's Wharf.
Quaglino's. At Piccadilly.
Bluebird. King's Road.
Have fun! They all used to be under Conran restaurants (yeap Sir Terence Conran's) but the chain has been sold to D&D London.

C K said...

Got that. Will add that to the list. Thanks!

Martin in Bulgaria said...

I can't recommend an eating place, just here to wish your new site good luck. :)

Thanks for the ads and follow by the way

Joerup said...

Am Back! Tried the food - not as tasty as Arirang or RAN resturants but def authentic Korean food. Great ventilation that doesn't make my clothes smell after the grill, very attentive service and I totally agree with you, they should have more people in the resturant!!! Is the reason of it being a young resturant (1 year odd) that's why not a lot of people know?

C K said...

Glad that you like the food! I'm not quite sure about its lack of popularity. I spoke to the owner the other day and he was telling me that he's looking for a website designer to do up a site for Korean Kitchen. Also, he's changing the name to Soru.

Will check out Arirang the next time round. Thanks for the heads up!

Lina said...

I ate here recently and they served me a kimchi chigae with a hair in it. I told them nicely and they took it away. Ten minutes later they brought me another chigae with another hair in it. When I told them, they asked me to wait for a third bowl. I mean, come on, that is just beyond rude. Was a bummer, too, because the place seemed nice.

C K said...

lol, sorry to hear about your experience. The place has undergone a change in name but the food is just as good. Check out the lunch menu if you're there the next time round (till 4pm), quite a good value, I would say.

Anonymous said...

i took a friend that hadnt tried korean before but i was so ashamed to say it was korean food. one of the staff was really nice but the other one didnt even look like she knew what she was doing and also it was so expensive. not going back again. worst korean ever.