Hang Kang Korean Barbeque – London
Wandering around London post visit to British Museum I managed to find my way to Hanway Street near Tottenham Court Road and came upon the Han Kang Korean Barbeque. Outside, a friendly woman who I took to be the owner was changing some signs on the window but ushered us in. Inside was quite a small room furnished in dark lacquered woods, our table had a large metal disk in the centre and a small metal door to the right of it. How exciting! Fiddling with the top it opened to reveal the barbecue inside each table and the little door led to a gas tap to get things going. Sadly, I was told that the barbecue is only available during the evening so we would need to stick to the main menu. I’ve only had Korean food once before in Las Vegas. I think I enjoyed it. One thing I do remember was the smell in the restaurant which was quite pungent. ‘Kimchee’ my uncle informed me. It was a very heady smell. Mouth watering but also somehow dirty and wrong, like a truffle. I watched a programme showing how they made Kimchee a year or two later and they appeared to be burying a kilner jar containing cabbage into the ground. I was intrigued.
Kimchee was on the menu and I ordered a side portion of that along with a beef bibimbap for me and a beef and mushroom rice dish for my friend. I was advised to upgrade my bibimbap to the dolsot bibimbap as it is served in an oven hot bowl which crisps the rice up whilst it is being served.
A range of Korean beers were available along with wines and sake but sadly the wines weren’t available by the glass but on request I was given a western wine menu. Whilst we waited for the food to arrive we started becoming more and more annoyed by the two Americans on the next table. Their voices started loud but got louder and louder as they feverishly discussed their fellow work colleagues for the benefit of the whole room. Glaring didn’t help, neither sadly did the arrival of food as they somehow managed to keep up the same pace of shouting while eating their food.
Food arrived shortly after, my bibimbap was amazing, beef, rice, raw egg, spinach, mushrooms and cucumber sizzling in the stone bowl.
The waitress insisted on finishing off the preparation and stirred the mixture together mixing the ingredients thoroughly. The egg remained semi raw and added a nice glossy feel to the rice. All in all it was very good though the outside of the rice could have been crispier but perhaps this is due to the temperature of the stone bowl.
Next time I will go back in the evening so I can play with the gas taps.
16 Hanway Street, London, W1T 1UE
Telephone: 020 76371985