All reader reviews by Steve


Descending into Asadal you are plunged into an ambience of such bland modernity, that piped music from Murph and the Magic Tones or 1970s ELO would not have been out of place. I don't know, perhaps this décor is all the rage in modern day downtown Seoul. Although it was barely 6:15 PM the restaurant was already busy, and momentarily I panicked because I had not booked a table.

The menu is a mighty tome, but includes pictures of the dishes, which turned out to be most helpful. After a decent interval the head waitress approached us, and very politely helped with our selections. We ordered a jug of ice water, which arrived promptly - always a good test of a decent restaurant.

The dishes were served one by one, which meant we could concentrate our energies on one dish at a time. Only the Kimchi set (pickled cabbage) was our constant companion. Each dish appeared as if by strange magic; perhaps sitting right next to the serving hatch had something to do with it. The Chap Che (vegetables and glass noodles) is to die for, and is the best we have tasted in any London Korean restaurant. Mandu (meat ravioli) were fried and all the more the tasty for that. The pajeon (omelette/pancake) disappeared in an instant; the barbecued Bulgogi (marinated beef) was good, the Kalbi (spare ribs) was indistinguishable from the Bulgogi, yet we remembered them as two different cuts of meat. The order that the dishes were served made the meal, and ending with a cleansing Twen Chan Chigge (tofu stew) was a masterstroke.

The waitresses giggled helplessly but politely at our futile attempts to make small talk in Korean. We drank beer and water, which we think best suits Korean food, but red and white wines are available.

We were left to relax over a post prandial soo jong wha – very sweet cinnamon tea with pine kernels- which surprisingly, was off menu; it makes a refreshing change from coffee. The switch under the table to light the dot matrix didn't seem to work, but they soon cottoned on that we wanted to pay.

With service included, the bill came to £90 for 4, which we thought very fair.

We will eat here again, and recommend you eat here too.

Monday, September 18, 2006
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 8

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