Many have heard of London’s Chinatown but far fewer will be aware that the capital also has its very own Koreatown. Tucked away in the borough of Kingston-Upon-Thames and just a 20 minute train journey from London Waterloo is the town of New Malden.
Known for having the largest Korean expat community in London, the area is full of Korean-owned businesses with everything from Korean estate agents and Korean newspapers to bubble tea and, of course, Korean food.
Many will go out of their way to try famous Korean dishes in K-town and thousands of positive reviews can be found online – some even from famous YouTubers such as the “Korean Englishman”, Joshua Daryl Carrott.
So, without further ado, here are some of the most popular Korean restaurants in New Malden which you yourself could try this weekend.
READ MORE: ‘The London restaurant where people queue for ‘at least 1 hour’ for the ‘best Korean BBQ’
1. K-Town BBQ
This buffet restaurant offers all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue for £25 a person and can be found opposite the New Malden overground station. It boasts an impressive 4.4 star rating from more than a thousand Google reviews.
Unsurprisingly, the place is in high demand so visitors often end up having to wait for more than an hour although this queue is virtual meaning you’re free to explore the area whilst you wait.
One reviewer wrote: “I think this is the best Korean barbecue restaurant in the whole of London. The price is very affordable and reasonable as it’s all-you-can-eat. There are various barbecue meat, salads, sushi and other Korean dishes.
“It took me two hours by bus and train, and also one hour wait as they didn’t have a table available at the time we arrived. But I am sure I will definitely visit again”.
2. Jin Go Gae Restaurant
Situated just a few minutes away from the high street, Jin Go Gae Restaurant has earnt itself a stellar 4.2 star rating with more than 1300 Google reviews. Just like K-Town, people are willing to wait in queues if it means getting their hands on the restaurant’s barbecue grilled meats.
One visitor wrote: “Amazing food! I’ve truly been transported to Korea eating this gem! Beautiful seafood pancakes were a particular highlight! Highly recommended!”
Another said: “What a fantastic place for food. A little off the beaten track, away from the main restaurants on the High Street but well worth going to if you fancy having some of the best Korean food you can get in the UK! They also use a traditional charcoal grill which gives the food a distinct, tasty flavour”.
Many recommended making a reservation in advance especially on weekends to avoid disappointment.
3. Yami Restaurant
This high street restaurant describes itself as a “casual” Korean and Japanese restaurant serving traditional barbecue dishes and Sashimi. More than 650 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.2 stars.
Many recommended the restaurant for its “great tasty food, friendly staff and good atmosphere”.
Another went as far as to promise the food will make you never want to have KFC again, saying: “Visited on a Saturday afternoon and had amazing Korean food that’s much better than other Korean restaurants, even those in central London! All the dishes were perfect: the kimchi pancake, noodles, tempura, and last but not least their fried chicken (you will never want to eat chicken from places like KFC ever again!)”.
With another 4.6 rating from hundreds of reviewers, this family-run restaurant is loved for its traditional Korean dishes and affordable prices. One person was particularly impressed with the restaurant’s atmosphere, saying the staff were so friendly “you almost feel like home”.
5. SCJ BIBIMBAP&CHIMAEK
Lastly, with 4.5 stars, SCJ BIBIMBAP&CHIMAEK also comes highly recommended by the visitors of New Malden. Named after two of Korea’s most popular dishes, Bibimbap and Chimaek, it offers a variety of traditional dishes and even uses halal meat.
One diner said the restaurant stands out amongst the other high street restaurants because it “focuses on popular street foods”.
They wrote: “If you’re new to Korean food or love watching Korean drama and want to try it out, this is the best place to start”.
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