Archive for the ‘Korean’ Category

Resto 65 Yori, Piccadilly

November 17, 2017

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Panton Street is the go-to place (see Kanada-Ya) for a quick, cheap lunch in this part of town and with winter in my bones I felt like something warming. Korean food usually does the job and at Yori they had a tempting offer of £7.99 for a set lunch.

You can choose from any number of grills, pots and stirs so I went for a pork bibimbap, hoping for a bit of heat. I got it – succulently fatty chunks of park in a pleasingly spicy broth and plenty of veg hit the spot. Once I’d sticked the lumps I chucked in the rice and finished the whole thing, broth and all, tempted finally to stick my face in it and lick the bowl clean. They throw in a few pickles as part of the package so that was my five a day taken care of. If you’ve a big appetite it might be a bit of a small portion but it was enough food to keep me going till dinner time.

Service was swift and friendly. A plus is that the tables are a good size (not always the case when you’re going to a budget place) so that you don’t feel cheek to jowl with your neighbours. For about 12 quid for food and beer Yori offers good value if you don’t want to spend too much but feel like going somewhere superior to a chain place for lunch.

8/10

#food #London

To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016/7 check out my GoogleMap

Korean Art in London

January 23, 2017

There’s a welcome return for Park Seo-Bo at the White Cube Gallery, this time with a move away from the pale tones of his previous exhibition to the seething blacks of his ‘zigzag’ paintings.

Their seething, shimmering intensity doesn’t really come across in my photographs. canvases that have been primed with reds have thick, dark paint applied and scored across with diagonal gestures that give a metallic tang  reminiscent of industrial flooring.

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The large landscape at one end of the room is interesting but my favourite was a small canvas to one side. Fiery red patches are glimpsed between thick smodges of black impasto that has been torn and twisted, gouged and thumbed into shape. There’s a violence in the application that is far from the serenity of the work I’d seen by Park before.

Such expressionistic intensity is in marked contrast to a smaller display up the road at the British Museum. While visiting the South African exhibition (a disappointment that wore its politics too overtly on its sleeve for my taste) my attention was drawn to a small case by the rear entrance to the museum.

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It houses art from North Korea – two canvases, one celadon vase and a medal.Of the four pieces the vase was the most interesting to me. It depicts a modern city using ancient techniques in  curious mash up of modernism and traditionalism. The paintings on the other hand are good old fashioned socialist realism; unintentionally kitsch propaganda that is quease-inducing given the misery meted out to its own population by the DPK and the threat posed to its neighbours.

The art in each of these exhibitions seems to embody the difference between open and closed societies – the one engaged with the world and emotionally charged while the other is false and unconvincing. It’s one of the strengths of the British Museum that it acts as a cultural link with less open societies than our own, and its policy of encouraging loans from places difficult to visit really underpins its mission as a museum of world culture.

#Art #London

Review #79 Bibigo, Islington

September 21, 2016

After a very long day of walking and meeting people I was absolutely ravenous on arriving at Bibigo. It was a rare outing in Islington, which to my thinking is neither local enough to pop out to or in town enough to be worth a night out to itself. Which just shows that however clever I think I am in reality I’m as stupid as I’ve always been. We had an excellent evening.

Bibigo, a Korean (I seem to have been doing a lot of Korean lately) is in the new-ish development between Angel and Sadler’s Wells, within sneering distance of Jamie’s ‘Italian’.* It’s a big, high-ceilinged room with a view one way to the chefs working over their grills and the other way out onto the High Street. The music was gratifyingly discreet, a rare thing for this kind of place.

It’s a pretty long menu with small plates, grilled stuff and then stews and bowls of things to peruse. We went for three small plates of battered cuttlefish, a salad and red chicken, followed (we thought) by mains of Tong-Dak and Bossam (chicken and pork to the layman). In fact, everything came pretty much at the same time which necessitated a fair amount of tessellation at the table. It would have been wise to have been forewarned and we could have done a couple of rounds of orders.

However, the food was excellent. The cuttlefish (which I haven’t had before) was perfectly cooked in its crispy batter, the red chicken was hot and spicy and the salad was tasty. And they were substantial. With the mains on top we struggled manfully to finish everything as it was all yum. With plenty of wine for under £30 a bottle and very good service Bibigo makes for a very civilised evening out that won’t break the bank.

Afterwards we dropped in by chance to Angel Comedy at the Queen’s Head in Packington Street and caught five great acts. How serendipitous.

8/10

To see where else I’ve eaten in 2016 go to the GoogleMap here

*If there was any real justice in the world Jamie would be arraigned before the International Criminal Court at the Hague for crimes against national culture. He’s a disgrace to Essex.

Review #71 Bi Won, Bloomsbury

August 24, 2016

After a quick look at the Sunken Cities exhibition (recommended … also featuring an unexpected familial connection on the sponsorship side of things!) we were looking for hearty food. Bi Won delivered.

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Bi Won is right next door to Cocoro (where we went last week) and so making a comparison between the two is inevitable,. But that would be slightly unfair as while they both offer Asian food they do offer distinctly different menus, which is not always the case with Japanese and Korean restaurants. For example, Bi Won doesn’t offer sushi/sashimi on its starters, although the battered starter selection was reminiscent of the tempura next door but a bit on the heavier side. Which wasn’t such a bad thing as I was ravenous.

Being early arrival they plonked us at a table for four in the window from where you get a good view of people milling around on Coptic Street or hurrying down New Oxford Street on the way home from work. The menu was all in English so despite my inexpertise at Korean food even I know that their stews are bibimbap but I guess this is tourist central and there’s a menu for the regulars and a menu for the visitors.

Well, I took the spicy kimchee pork stew and it was perfect. Fierce heat and good sour cabbage interspersed with strands of porky good stuff. Seaweed on the side was a bit overpriced for what it was, as was a kimchi to share. With a good portion of rice after a starter you really only need the main course. Max beer was good and malty and helped mitigate the heat of the stew.

With good service (included in the bill) I was happy to pay around twenty quid a head. It reminded me that I must go back to Dotori in Finsbury Park this year, which in my experience is yet to be improved upon for this kind of informal Asian cooking.

7/10

To see where else I’ve eaten in 2016 go to the GoogleMap here


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