Sunday, 15 April 2012

Arirang Korean Restaurant - London Poland Street

As a big fan of Korean dramas I watch a lot of the actors enjoying the food from preserved vegetables to soups to grilling your own meat! Argh! I so wanted to try it out since I have never been to a Korean restaurant before, so I asked Miss Pinky if she wanted to try out Korean food on Easter Monday, and she said yes... Yay!

I decided I wanted to try out traditional Korean style food, so I looked on the internet to see what kind of places there were  in London... and we ended up in 
Arirang, the very first Korean restaurant that opened in London in 1975! :D
Outside Arirang
When we got there it was almost full on the ground floor and it was only 1pm (but there's also a lower ground floor dining area). From looking at their website, I had already decided what I wanted to eat, however the prices on their menu seemed to have increased (they haven't updated their website)...
The menu - prices are not the same as mentioned on the website 

I ordered one of the set menus - K1 - the Kimchi Chige (kimchi soup) and dumplings. Miss Pinky ordered a set menu too - K6 - Ojingo Dop Bap (squid with hot sweet sauce and rice). We also got Korean beer :)
Korean beer - hite - tastes a bit like the Chinese beer Tsing Tao beer 
Our side dishes came out first. I have to say, although they were a bit cold, which I'm sure they're supposed to be - they were absolutely delicious! I liked the pickled cucumber and the seaweed :D
Pickled side dishes and sauces - yummy!!! ^^
Next came Miss Pinky's miso soup (which was warm, and not spicy to her liking). Then came her squid and rice... spicy and nice - but I'm afraid my friend said it was only warm. She was disappointed, but it did taste nice!
K6 - Ojingo Dop Bap (squid in hot sweet sauce and rice) 
Up next (after about 10 minutes or so) came my Kimchi Chigae and rice. Mine was piping hot. It came with 3 long pieces of tofu, kimchi and bits of pork - I enjoyed mine. (^.^)v
K1 - Kimchi Chigae - It was spicy and hot ^^

Kimchi Chige and Rice
The dumplings I'm afraid were a bit cold - but they were nice...
Pork Dumplings
Finally, the food that I was waiting for... the grilled meat! Wow! Miss Pinky decided to turn the meat over whilst the waiters were bustling about before they got cut up for eating...
Marinated Pork and Beef before they were grilled 
Grill Time (BBQ for Koreans!)
I think I could've have had more of this grilled meat :D Mouth watering still...
Beef done, now for the pork
I think I liked the beef more!
Then the final items were the oranges - it was actually half an orange and then cut into quarters. Smart way of a fruit display!
My free half orange ^^
Total cost came up to £59.30 - which included a compulsory £7 service charge! Wow, expensive!!

Well it was worth it – but I think I’ll only be going there once in a blue moon… 감사합니다 (gamsahapnida), that’s THANK YOU in Korean (I said that to the waitress who seemed a bit surprised), and then she said 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo) which is “hello” in Korean – I think that was for the other guests that just arrived or maybe she said 안녕히 가세요 (annyeonghageseyo – meaning goodbye – she’s staying and I’m going), but I had replied back annyeonghaseyo… which I had meant to say 안녕히 계세요 (annyeonghigyeseyo – goodbye – I’m going she’s staying)! – Anyway, that’s a geeky Korean language lesson for you! ^^


My geeky rating: 4/5 (lost a mark because of some cold food and the service charge)


Good Points:

  • Grilled meat is done in front of you
  • Love the pickled side dishes
  • My kimchi chigae was nice and hot!
Bad Points:
  • Slow service - I know I went on a Bank Holiday, but I think they needed an extra hand with service
  • Some food was cold (dumplings, the squid dish and the miso soup)
  • Compulsory service charge
  • Website needs to be updated with their menu prices
Website: http://www.ariranglondon.co.uk/index.php

Address:
31-32 Poland Street, Soho, London W1F 8QT
Tel: 0207 437 6633

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