|Remains of yuke in the bottom right corner - this plate was picked clean before it was taken away|
|Barbecue - each plate of meat waiting to be cooked, £4.00/£4.50 (normally £8.00/£9.50)|
We were with someone who was quite au fait with the whole Korean food experience (I asked her about 10 times what gets dipped in what) who thankfully took over the ordering process. We all agreed that barbecue needed to feature heavily, of course, but we were wondering what to get. Finally enticed by their 50% off offer, and the waiter going "why not just get everything" - that's what we got. Everything on the barbecue menu. Six animals! Vegetarians, look away. Several varieties of marinaded beef, pork, chicken, ox tongue, king prawn, squid, plus some onions, mushrooms, green peppers and garlic. Chucked onto the grill with gusto, cooked by everyone at the table, shared around, eaten piping hot. 10/10 for deliciousness apart from some very bony chunks of steak which we obviously couldn't eat.
We also got yuke, (or yuk hui as it's sometimes written), not for the faint-hearted when it comes to meat, but it sent our table into paroxysms of joy. Cold, raw beef strips, with raw quail egg, sesame oil, pine nuts, and raw pear. You mash it all together, then you eat it as it is. It doesn't sound appealing, but my god, if you're at all daring, you'd want to have a go. We also ordered a swathe of little plates - kimchi, sesame cucumber, pickled bean-sprouts, vinegary shredded radish (my favourite) - which arrived within moments of ordering, around £1.00 to £1.50 on the menu each. The wonderful waiter then told us that these appetisers were on the house, and that we were entitled to as much as we liked. I have no idea if this is standard for this restaurant, or because we were a large group ordering a tonne of food, but either way, it put a big smile on our faces. He also brought us out pickled mooli - kaktoogi - something we didn't order, but he told us that it was a traditional Korean side dish, and all the rest, which was a lovely touch.
Then, the bill - get ready; for six people, all that food, rice, yuke, plus beers, and a breakaway member of the group who ordered udon noodles and a soup, the bill was £120. £20 or so each! (Without the 50% off all barbecue , it would have been closer to £155 - still a damn good deal.)
By the end of the meal, we were pretty much all dying with being full of amazing food and happiness. It's perfect for group dining, and a total delight - not quite so much for vegetarians though. This is another restaurant that has no website, but do yourself a favour and try some of Seoul's Korean food as soon as you can. Mmm.
Seoul, 289 Finchley Road, NW3 6ND, 020 7784 9099
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