Last week, I went to a restaurant called Tohbang with some friends and was seriously impressed. The food was excellent value, and exactly the kind of salty, sticky, Asian cuisine my boyfriend Dima loves - so this week I took him along for a Korean feast.
To start, we had some on the house tidbits - crunchy vegetables and potatoes. This was a nice refresher before the avalanche of food arrived, we may have ordered a little bit too much! The menu is huge and as it is very traditional can be a little overwhelming, but I had my previous order to hand and our lovely waiter was very patient and explained everything for us.
We had korean (barley) tea which was amazing, and some Sake in this cute little pot!
Out first came Dima's favourite - Mendoo - dumplings! Fat, crunchy little things stuffed to the brim with pork and vegetables. These are some of the best I've had in London.
And my favourite - Pajeon! This can best be described as a 'seafood pancake' however it is so much more than that. Absolutely massive, it could be a meal on it's own and it tastes like yorkshire pudding. With squid. Odd mix, but it works - so well.
Glass noodles with beef, very addictive and will have you shovelling hard to grasp noodles into your mouth quite fast.
Ox Tail broth - the meat in this is so tender, it tastes like it has been cooking for three days on a spit roast. The soup is a little bland until you put in the accompanying salt, which instantly transforms it to a warming, meaty broth.
This was the pork belly, something I knew Dima would love. Basically just a big bowl of fried, salty fat and bacon, it is incredibly flavourful. We were recommended to get the lettuce and spring onions, then you make little wraps out of it!
So, we ended up with quite.. a bit.. of food. More than we could fit onto the table.
But that's what winter is for! Stuffing yourself with as much hot, good food as you can before venturing back outside into the cold.
And good company, of course.
Dima wanted ice cream (?!!??!?!) which came in green tea form and was very good.
Tohbang is a lovely date restaurant. Oriental music plays as the incredibly lovely staff buzz around you serving steaming plates of food. Their service is so impressive - I dropped my chopstick (not a seasoned chopstick user over here) and before I could even reach down to grab it (three second rule!) they had zoomed down, retrieved it and given me a new set.
The place was packed out on a Friday night, rightfully so, so it is worth booking ahead (though we booked 30 mins before, so not un-bookable at all). Great atmosphere, staff and food.
Find them here.