I don’t remember when I became obsessed with Korean food or what was the first Korean dish I had a taste of. All I know is that I’ve constantly had a bibimbap craving from time to time even when I was still living in the Philippines.
Korean food is getting a much-deserved hype these days – thanks possibly to the rise of K-Pop bands to fame and the Korean telenovelas and movies. There are loads of Korean BBQ restaurants in the Philippines and whenever I see a food spread in my Facebook feed posted by friends, it just makes me drool automatically.
Thankfully, Korean Town of London is just right at my doorstep – a good 20-minute bus ride and I’d be in the middle of New Malden’s High Street flanked with a variety of restaurants and bars (some with karaoke in-house even) all serving authentic Korean dishes to choose from.
Many Koreans settled in New Malden in the 70’s due to the fact that the Ambassador of South Korea to London used to have their residence here and the Korean brand Samsung used to have its head office here.
The restaurant that I’ve been to the most in New Malden is K-Town BBQ – it is an all-you-can-eat buffet of meat and seafood that you’ll cook on the grill on your table. Appetizers, side dishes and condiments are also included in a very pocket-friendly price of £22 per person. The only things that you’ll have to pay extra are the drinks and for some reason, lettuce which I think is so random but not gonna complain about that! Lol.
They’re open for lunch from 12 to 4pm and then dinner from 6 to 10pm. They don’t accept reservations so you’ll just have to be patient and wait in line outside for your turn, it goes quite quickly as long as you’ll follow their seating timings which are 12nn, 2pm, 6pm and 8pm.
Service sometimes is non-existent (depending on how busy they are) but that’s something I can easily overlook since most of the things that you need are already on the buffet section (unless you’re going to order drinks or lettuce :p). I always leave K-Town BBQ with a smile on my face and big fat belly.
The last time I dined at K-Town BBQ with friends, we decided to have a walk around New Malden High Street to search for desserts (like what we ate in K-Town BBQ wasn’t enough). We found Cake & Bingsoo Cafe which serves, well… cake and bingsoo.
I’ve never tried bingsoo before so it was great that my friend who’s a Korean food connoisseur was with me to guide me through it. :p We decided to share one bingsoo among the four of us because it looked big but to be quite honest, I feel like I could have finished it all by myself. Maybe next time. Lol.
Bingsoo is a shaved ice dessert topped with fruits and icecream. The ice shaving was so soft and creamy – I think the shaved ice alone is a meal on its own but combine it with the fruit toppings and icecream then what you get is this heavenly concoction of all things good that isn’t too sweet for my sensitive teeth.
We paid around £8 for the bingsoo but you can get it for only £5 during the weekdays! Yay! My friends also had a cake to share which I skipped because I was too busy gobbling up the bingsoo. :p
I’ve always told myself that I’ll try different restaurants in New Malden next time but who am I kidding? I’m pretty sure I’d still go to K-Town BBQ but at least now I discovered a new place to have my dessert. 🙂