The best Korean restaurants in London

From central London through to the UK’s own ‘Little Korea’ in suburban New Malden, here’s our pick of the top nine Korean restaurants in London, serving up the best bibimbap, bulgogi, Korean barbecue and more


Ah, Korean food. Home of bulgogi and bibimbap, kimchi and tteokbokki. With a distinctive flavour profile that differentiates it from its neighbours, Korean cuisine has developed over the years into a distinctive group of influences. Take, for example, the proliferation of cheese in various dishes – along with sausages and spam, cheese became an integral part of the cuisine in the wake of the war in the 1950s, an American influence left behind long after the Western troops returned home.

Whether you’re after a heaping bowl of noodles punctuated by a lightly-melted, vaguely flaccid slice of American cheese or simply want to plumb the depths of a joyous bibimbap full of the zingy, funky kimchi hit, London is resplendent with incredible Korean restaurants. From the centre of Soho to the south-west Korean-immigrant hub of New Malden, the best Korean restaurants are only ever just a hop, skip or jump away.


Unit 1, 8 Melior Street, SE1 3QP

Sollip is a Michelin-starred restaurant by husband and wife duo Woongchul Park and Bomee Ki who met training at Le Cordon Bleu in London before working in some of the finest kitchens around the world. The duo deftly splice classical European cooking with the flavours of their Korean heritage to create a truly original nine-course tasting menu (with wine pairings available), serving up dishes like daikon tarte tatin, sourdough with dashima butter or skate with gat-kimchi romesco. The restaurant is located in London Bridge close to the Shard and flaunts an effortlessly cool and contemporary interior, down to the crockery imported from Korea. Aside from exceptional food, Sollip has an extensive wine list with 82 different labels to choose from.

On the Bab

Various locations

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Now a two-strong force of restaurants (soon to become four), On the Bab has cracked the formula for crowd-pleasing Korean street food serving up delicious Korean anju (snacks to be eaten with drinks) in Shoreditch and St Pauls. It’s a bit of a no-brainer why it's a hot lunch spot with baskets of perfectly crispy Korean-style fried chicken on the menu, alongside other highlights like soft, fluffy buns bursting with bulgogi beef, spicy pork and mushroom fritters, all accompanied by lip-smacking sides like kimchi, toasted seaweed (gim) and seasoned bean sprouts (maool). It’s reliable, tasty and casual Korean food that always hits the spot.

Jin Go Jae

272 Burlington Road, KT3 4NL

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New Malden is home to Europe's largest South Korean community, making it the epicentre of great Korean food in London. And with an abundance of Korean restaurants, Jin Go Jae might take the crown as one of the best in the neighbourhood. Located on a rather unassuming residential road next to a gargantuan B&Q and level crossing, you might not feel an instant magnetism, but all it takes is the enveloping smell of smokey Korean barbecue at the door to seduce you immediately. Start your meal with an-joo (starters), like kimchi pancakes, mandu (Korean dumplings) and Yughoe (beef sashimi with egg yolk), before moving on to the star of the show – the barbecue. Throw slivers of marbled beef, pork belly and marinated squid onto the searing hot grill while piling your plate high with ban-chan (pickles) and pouring your glass full of soju.


Various locations

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It doesn’t take too many brain cells to work out what Bibimbap specialises in making. And for those who don’t know the titular food, bibimbap is a Korean mixed rice dish served with meat and vegetables. Although don’t be fooled by that bland-sounding description because bibimbap is far from mundane – a warming bowl of rapture filled with sizzling or raw pieces of meat, crunchy julienned vegetables, and often topped with fried egg, the yolk oozing into the rice. At Bibimbap, you’ll eat your bibimbap from a large, hot stone bowl piled high with plenty of toppings like fillet steak, chilli-garlic chicken, mixed seafood, shiitake mushrooms or kimchi, and served with a side of fiery gochujang and miso for dipping. It’s a great value bowl of savoury warmth, and with sites in Soho, Leadenhall Market, Cannon and Spitalfields, and the option for office delivery for corporate events, there are plenty of spots to satiate those bibimbap cravings.


353 Kennington Lane, SE11 5QY

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Jihwaja, located just a few minutes from Vauxhall station, serves up filthy delicious Korean food with a hearty side of karaoke. This winning formula means the likelihood of stumbling out in the early hours after several ear-splitting K-pop numbers, many glasses of soju and buckets of Korean fried chicken are high. The menu here is comprehensive (we’re talking ten pages), although there are set menus for those who feel overwhelmed by the choice. Many of the dishes cover the territory of delicious when-drunk-but-medically-necessary-when-hungover, including five different types of Korean fried chicken (we recommend the padak), Korean-style cheesy corn, kimchi fried rice and haemul pa jeon (crispy seafood pancake). Beyond these devilish fried morsels, there are lighter options like the dainty crescent moon-shaped mandu (dumplings), soups and noodle dishes.


35-36 Greek Street, W1D 5DL

Chungdam is one of the latest additions to Soho, opening its doors in April on the corner of Greek Street and Romilly Street. It’s named after Cheongdam-dong, an affluent foodie district of Gangnam in Seoul and is headed up by restauranter Jay Choi, who was the brains behind Shibuya Soho and Hongdae Pocha. A big draw to Chungdam is its Pyeonbaek steam boxes, hotpot and Korean barbecue on the menu, which includes some serious cuts of beef like chateaubriand, filet mignon, prime Angus ribeye and beautifully marbled A3-5 wagyu cooked on state of the art grills. The Pyeonbaek are must orders – a three-tiered wooden box made from hinoki wood, which has stock at the bottom used to steam the above boxes containing mixed seafood, beef brisket, ribeye and vegetables. The private karaoke room is also worth a recce.


316-318 Kennington Lane, SE11 5HY

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Daebak means big win in Korea, and a meal here will certainly make you feel that way. It’s a Korean restaurant in Vauxhall that attracts a jumble of local residents, businesses and ravenous cricket watchers from the nearby Oval stadium, primarily because of its legendary Korean fried chicken. There are five different types to choose from, including sweet soy garlic, sweet cheese powder, Korean sweet chilli and our favourite – the pa dak doused in a honey mustard sauce and topped with a plume of thinly sliced spring onions. Beyond the chicken, there are other classic crowd-pleasing dishes on the menu, like warming jjigae, Korean ramen, bulgogi, dumplings and bibimbap. We love the set menu A, which includes miso soup, chicken dumplings, KFC nyeum chicken and bibimbap for just £20.


11 Rathbone Street, London W1T 1NA

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Korean barbecue has taken the capital by storm, and Koba has been singing its praises since 2005. It’s a swish spot serving up high-end Korean food in Fitzrovia, complete with futuristic above-table extractor fans, so you won’t leave smelling like steak you just sizzled. The novelty of barbecuing your dinner 30 centimetres from your face never gets old, whether it’s your first visit or your tenth, and the meats you’ll eat are seriously tasty – think melting slivers of marinated pork belly, rub eye, ox tongue and bulgogi beef. Aside from barbecue, we recommend ordering plenty of accompaniments like plates of crispy pajeon savoury pancakes, steaming stews, goon mandoo (pan-fried dumplings) and took hewi – Korea’s answer to steak tartare.


169 High Street, KT3 4BH

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Among the throng of great Korean restaurants in New Malden, Imone goes down in legend as one of the best. It’s a family-run spot with a sunny yellow exterior, serving up no-frills Korean food from the heart. Head to Imone with your friends and embark on a Korean feast, ploughing through plates of ban chan, stews, buns, dumplings, bulgogi and bibimbap like a locust. Some of Imones signature dishes which should be on your radar include the saengseon Jjim (a spiced braised fish dish,) the kim malee (crispy fried seaweed rolls stuffed with vermicelli noodles) and the bossam (a tender steamed pork enlivened with a kick from white kimchi). Pop by for lunch, and you can capitalise on the set lunch menus, which start at a tantalising £13 per head.