Monday, October 21, 2013

London Guide: Tohbang

I am relatively new to Korean food, having only eaten it now a handful of times, but I have really enjoyed the Korean that I've had in London.  The other day, I had dinner with some friends at Tohbang on Clerkenwell Road and was very happily overwhelmed.

According to its website, "Tohbang" literally means "larder," with the restaurant's mission being to unlock the rich store of Korean cuisine, using only authentic and fresh ingredients.

Both inside and out, Tohbang looks like your average London Asian high street restaurant, but the food far surpasses anything that you expect from first appearances.  The small size of the restaurant also adds to its comfort.

The menu at Tohbang is extensive, and the staff is very friendly.  The set menus are for a minimum of two people, so we ordered the vegetarian set menu and the spicy set menu for four of us, which was definitely more than enough food.  The friends that I was with have been to Tohbang several times and think they have finally figured out that the set menu is the best value for money (over the a la carte).

Each set menu came with kimchi, modum namul and pa jeon.  The vegetarian set menu (£18 per person) then came with yachae bokum, yachae twigim, jabchae and bokum bap, and the spicy set menu (£20 per person) came with goon mandoo, kanpoonggi, o-jing-o bokum and bokum bap.  The food was all very good, but my favourites were definitely the kimchi, the dumplings, and the spicy squid.

Tohbang also does a really nice lunch menu (with most specials priced at £6.90) and does take away.  Located conveniently close to where I work, I foresee eating here many times in the future.

Ratings: (numbers out of 10, £ out of 4)

Food: 8
Atmosphere: 6
Service: 8
Price: ££
Overall experience: 8

(Photos from Tohbang)

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