Korean food has always been one of our favourite cuisines. Unfortunately there is no Korean restaurant in Cardiff at the moment and so when we were in London, we went to Assa for authentic Korean food.
Assa has always been my favourite Korean restaurant in London since I first came to the UK. I was glad to find out that their quality of food has not changed over the years. Assa is strategically located in central London near Tottenham Court Road tube station. The restaurant opens at 12pm and we were there for lunch.
Shortly after placing our orders, we were served with two complementary side dishes (반찬), pickled seaweed and bean sprouts. The pickled seaweed was sour and appetising which provided a good start to the meal!
It did not take long for our first dish to arrive. Priced at £6.40, the kimchi pancake (김치전) was absolutely delicious! The pancake was very well pan-fried and the use of ripened kimchi provided a sourish taste to the dish, which we thought was very appetising. Definitely something that is worth a try!
One of our regular orders was the ddeokbokki (떡볶이). Priced at £6.50, the Korean rice cake in chili sauce was excellent! It was spicy and sweet at the same time and generous amount of rice cakes, fish cakes and noodles were served. The fish cakes were exceptionally good when it soaked up the spicy broth! We would highly recommend anyone visiting this restaurant to try this dish out!
Priced at £5.50, we also had a soondubu jjigae (순두부찌개). Served piping hot, the spicy soft tofu broth came with a bowl of rice. The broth was moderately hot and the tofu was very soft and silky. If you love hot soups and tofu, this would be the right order for you!
Lastly, we had a kimchi bokkumbap (김치볶음밥) for £5.50. More commonly known as kimchi fried rice, Assa’s version was cooked with lots of kimchi topped with a sunny side up garnished with sesame seeds. The rice was very moist, fragrant and flavourful. Mix the runny egg with the rice and you will get a very smooth and silky texture of the rice. We enjoyed every bite of it!
Although food was remarkably good, service was rather average and the restaurant was quite small and can be very packed during peak hours, not an ideal restaurant to sit down and chat for a long time. Nevertheless, we will still return to this place for more mouth-watering Korean food!
53 St. Giles High Street
London WC2H 8LH