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Assa restaurant review

February 14, 2011

Went out again Sunday, this time for a friend’s birthday and we had Korean. Assa – the Romilly Street branch is actually one we frequent quite a lot as they provide good Korean food for affordable prices. They do have another branch on St. Giles High Street, which was the first and more well known albeit smaller. However, saying that, the branch I go to is quite small too, alright for small sized parties up to 8 I would say. If you have a larger party, they can still accommodate you as I have done so with a party of around 15, we took up three long tables and just managed to fit!

That night we ordered a variety of Korean staple dishes, rice cake in chilly sauce (or ‘ddukboki’ – I like how it sounds), seafood kimchi pancake, BBQ pork belly and sliced ox tongue, spicy stir fried squid, spicy deep fried chicken gizzard, sliced egg roll and steamed rice. We also got some soju and sake – the ‘Chungha’ sake is very delicious, very smooth, light and deceptive because it doesn’t taste much like alcohol though be wary as it’s still 14% alc.

The food was very delicious, my first time having rice cake here though I’ve eaten it elsewhere and it surprisingly surprised me as it also had noodles, thinly sliced rice cake as well as the normal long kind.

The seafood kimchi pancake I’ve had before, in just seafood and just kimchi versions – together they made a lovely combo. Whilst the pork belly was nicely cooked, the ox tongue was more thickly cut than how I have eaten it in the past so I had some trouble chewing it. Still lovely but just takes time.

A bizarre new favourite for me is the spicy deep fried chicken gizzard, they looked like Chinese sweet and sour chicken but with the variation that it was spicy and once you bit into it, there was a noticeable difference in the texture. Bit chewy but very delicious. Couldn’t fault the sliced egg roll or the stir fried squid…or the steamed rice.

The dinner was very spicy all in all and the free, cold green tea (they don’t serve tap water which I think is great!) was drunk heavily. Service was decent though you may have trouble with the waiters not being able to speak English properly. I thought it was enough for communicating our orders though.


Food: 4/5

Service: 3/5

Atmosphere: 3/5

Pricing: 4/5

Verdict: Very good Korean food and great value for money – something you definitely would want when dining in London.

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