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Naru restaurant review

September 19, 2011

I’ve been to this restaurant many times and instantly loved the atmosphere, the food but not the service as much. I went again recently because craving and a friend demanded it.

The exterior or  interior did not seem to change much, with the exception of the cute paper lanterns, it was still a cosy and bright atmosphere with a real Korean feel. I always find it suspect when I go to a Korean restaurant that plays contemporary English music. The whole point is to experience some culture and that does not just apply to the food. Anyways, so thumbs up for Naru for playing Korean music and up-to-date at that because I recognised 2pm’s ‘Put your hands up’ and CNBlue’s ‘You’ve fallen for me.’ I was ecstatic at the latter as I had just finished watching the drama.

Usually when I come here or any other Korean restaurant, I always eye up the Korean classics such as Yuk Hwe (raw sliced beef), Korean pancake and ddukboki (rice cakes). A fan of this place, I decided to try some other dishes on the menu. Dishes I ordered that I’ve never had before were:

  • Ke Sal Ssam (Pancakes with crab, mixed salad, sliced courgettes, carrots, mushrooms with mustard honey sauce)

  • Yuk Gye Jang (Spicy soup made from shredded beef, vegetables simmered for a long time with steamed rice)
  • O Sam Bul Go Ki (Soy & chill sauce marinated sliced pork and calamari with lettuce)
  • Kal Bi Koo-Yi (Beef Ribs Barbeque) Roast of thinly sliced beef rib marinated in a special sauce with lettuce

The Ke Sal Ssam (pancakes) remind me of traditional Chinese duck wraps but the wrap itself was much smaller, thicker, more fragile and soft. You have to put a bit of everything and then mustard on top before wrapping up to eat. Let’s just say you can be as generous with this as you want but that you should always include the mustard or exclude the cabbage portion because I found it was quite bitter.

The Yuk Gye Jang (spicy beef soup) was divine alongside everything else, with a sharp taste that just tied it all in.

The O Sam Bul Go Ki (marinated sliced pork can calamari) was also very nice with the lettuce though I found the sweet sauce overpowering after several mouthfuls but that may just be because I can’t stand sweet things for long.

The Kal Bi Koo-Yi (Beef Ribs Barbeque) were delicious and came in a mini-sized wok heated by one of those white cubes. It was adorable to say the least. This dish is also funny because there was a piece of large bone with meat around that that was very hard to bite, or chew! I can safely say caution because it’s the chewy part of the meat. You can avoid or try to tackle it as I did. Good way to ensure some good laughs.

The Yuk Hwe (raw sliced beef) is a Korean delicacy that time and time again, I’ve always eaten because…it’s so yummy! The dish itself was superbly arranged and unlike other restaurants you get that have the same dish, this one did not come partially frozen (a danger you face with this dish).

I’d like to say the service was great, that everything was as it should have been and so forth but it was just not so. The food arrived in a moderately, timely fashion but marks off for the small things the service missed out on, such as forgetting to bring a napkin after taking the other way (this was essential for wiping your mouth whilst eating spicy food!). The waitress was always courteous and apologetic for such things but you did notice you were forgotten amongst other customers.


Food: 5/5

Service: 3/5

Atmosphere: 4/5

Pricing: 4/5

Verdict: Excellent Korean food and moderately priced though service sometimes is a downer.

Restaurant can be found at 230 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8EG


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