My first Korean Dining Experience at Assa in China Town, London

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Last month during a weekend in London I met up with some friends for dinner, one of which is a really good friend of mine who moved to the US but was back here on holiday for a week. She asked me if I could organise the restaurant which is always slighting dawning with there are a group of us, many of whom I didn't know very well.
I was a little selfish and decided I really wanted to try Korean. I'd never had it before but recently I've become so fascinated with all things Korean and Japanese all thanks to CrazyPopLock...I'm talking asain skincare, cosmetics, food and general culture. I even came across this really awesome YouTube channel called EatYourKimchi where this super fun and quirky Canadian couple who live in Korea talk about K-Pop and show us around Seoul to all these cool places and restaurants. They are soooo fun to watch and they do this freaking awesome series where they go to a new restaurant each week trying a different type of Korean food and explaining it to us....oh my god...the foooooooddd....soooo drool worthy!!! So after watching all these vids I reeeeally wanted to try Korean food!! After tonnes of research...yeah I know what your thinking...tons really?! yeah I found lots of cool food blogs (check out The London Foodie and The Skinny Bib) and after reading through lots of restaurant reviews I finally decided on this place called Assa in China Town.

There were 7 of us and because we were all new to Korean we picked a bunch of different dishes and all shared between us.

Here come the (slightly blurry) sexy food shots...

No Korean meal would be complete without a bowl of the Korean the staple kimchi (spicy fermented cabbage) ...I wasn't a fan
Mandou which are Korean Fried dumplings (we picked the pork filling) and some picked garnishes
Big kinda hot pot of yummy goodness brough to our table on a mini gas ring! Lots of veggies and tofu in a spicy stew with raw pork belly slices on top which you stir into the stew and cooks at our table.
Pork barbecue...this was my favourite! Spicy but a little sweet..I can't describe was just so damn good!
Soba noodles with veggies
Chicken barbecue...slightly sweeter than the port but still good with a nice kick
Doesnt it look good?! Just based on this one experience, Korean food is definitely very different to Chinese. It is more spicy, I feel like it has more depth of flavour and complexity of ingredients. I absolutely loooved it and I'd serious recommend this restaurant! The restaurant itself and the ambiance is nothing special and not be honest we did find that we were feeling cold inside but the food was really great so this wouldn't stop me from going fact I really can't wait to make another trip there! Also all this food plus a few rice bowls, about 10 alcoholic drinks and complimentary tea in tap came upto just £120 inc service!! Split between the 7 of us that was just £ cheap for London! It might not look like a lot of food for 7 people but with rice it was a alot...we all were so stuffed we couldn't even finish the hot pot.

It was also my US friend's birthday so I baked this cake for her to celebrate and we ate it in the restaurant for dessert...
On a side note...check out this very random (but beautifully painted) full sized dude who was staring back at me while I did my business lol..,

So if you're in London and fancy some unpretentiousness good asian food check out Assa Korean Restaurant at 23 Romilly Street, China Town near Leicester Square tube station. There is also a branch in St Giles Street in Soho but I went to the China Town one.

Cherry Lane xoxo


  1. I LOVE Korean food!!! - BUT I am most amazed by your baking skills!! okay so i have no idea what it tastes like but it looks amazing!! :)

    1. hahaa Its just a simple chocolate cake with choc buttercream, its one of Lorrain Pascale's easy to make but looks kinda fancy lol! Ah its soo cool to know someone who also likes Korean food!! Can you recommend any places in London??

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Gauri!! Its amazing how a few Cadbury's fingers and some fruit can glam up a cake haha! :-)

  3. lol for an indian that total price tag is A LOT!! lol. Aww u did not like kimchi? I love kimchi!! lol. Now thanks to this post I wanna eat korean food lol.

    1. When I was searching around for Korean restaurants I was expecting to pay around £30-40 inc drinks and service in London so the paying less than £20 was a shock! If only we could pay indian prices lol. I didnt really like the kimchi but I'm thinking its more of an acquired taste lol