Cultural Xplorer

Visiting Koreatown in London

Why K-Town?

As you may know from reading my blog, I lived in South Korea for two years from 2010-2012. During that time, I fell in love with a dish called dak galbi (닭갈비), which is composed of chicken, red pepper paste, cabbage, green peppers, sweet potatoes, and rice cake. Dak galbi became my favorite dish while I was living in South Korea. Upon moving back to New York City in 2012, I was disappointed to find out that it was impossible to find the dish in Korean restaurants around the city.

When I found out that London had a large Korean community, I thought that I might be possible to find dak galbi there. I went online and searched for dak galbi in London and came across Anne Cole’s article on The Korea Blog about A Night Out in London’s Koreatown. I was not only excited that a Koreatown existed in London, but I was even more excited to find out that DAK GALBI EXISTED IN LONDON. I was ecstatic and I vowed to make a visit K-Town a part of my London itinerary.


Getting to K-Town

Technically, Koreatown is not anywhere near central London. In fact, it is in a place called New Malden, which is located about a half an hour outside of metropolitan London in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. In order to get to KUT, you can either drive, or take the train (Motspur Park Station + 15 minute walk; or New Malden Station).


What I Did in K-Town

I wanted to go to Koreatown, but I did not necessarily want to go alone, so I headed over to the London Couchsurfing group to find out if anyone wanted to accompany me to dinner. A Korean guy named Damien, who had just moved to London, offered to go with me, so we met at You Me Korean Restaurant on Burlington Road.

Dak Galbi from You Me Korean Restaurant

The dak galbi at You Me made my night. I was so happy to finally be eating a dish that I had craved for over a year (yes, it was that serious). The food was served quickly and prepared for us before it was brought out (unlike in Korea where that provide all the ingredients and you cook it yourself).

We both decided that we wanted to explore Koreatown some more, so we went in search of a Noreabang. Koreatown in London was not at all how I imagined it would be. It was comprised of a few  shops and restaurants that were scattered around a concentrated area in a residential neighborhood. We stumbled upon a noreabang

[karaoke]/restaurant called Han, on High Street, where most of Koreatown was located. I really enjoyed belting the night away at the noreabang while drinking Hite and gulping down shots of soju.


Further Reading