Oh lord! As a food lover there are few things worse than leaving a restaurant and being so disappointed that you could actually cry. Well this happened to me last night and I am still trying to dry my tears.
My crew are into Asian food in a pretty big way, we are always on the lookout for little hidden gems that no one else knows about. We have on the whole been pretty successful and found a few beauties in Asian Gourmet and Master Suns. But sometimes in my quest to find cool places that I can tell you guys about I find a few damp squibs and this is one of those reviews. SIGH!
Last weekend we accidentally found Seoul Restaurant on Miller Street, it’s located inside an office building with only a small sign outside alerting people to it’s presence. Naturally we immediately set about arranging a date to go.
This week we all scoured the internet and could not find anything about this place – no twitter, no facebook, no reviews nothing. So we went along with no big expectations but excited to try somewhere new.
My first thought upon walking into Seoul was shock, I was expecting it to be a bit of a rough and ready dive style restaurant – it’s not. It’s really lovely, a nice sized dining room, good natural light, comfortable seating, pretty asian inspired looking bar, funky lighting. It was cool and I liked it.
We went on a Thursday night and at 8pm it was rammed, so we had a little 5 minute wait until we were seated, no biggie. I was just excited because it was so busy – surely this was a sign that we had discovered yet another gem.
The service were brisk and to the point. There were a couple of staff members who were a little friendlier, but on the whole the staff didn’t really interact with us at all other than to take our order and thank us for coming.
Okay so let’s talk food – they advertise themselves as Korean but I would say that they are more of an asian fusion place with Sushi, Teriyaki, Udon and Yaki Soba all on the menu alongside the Korean BBQ, Hot Pots and Bibimbap.
We decided to order up some appetizers to share, the first thing we noticed was how eye wateringly expensive they were. Let me take you through what we had
Kimchi Pancake (£8.60) – easily the best dish of the night by a mile, it was flavourful and crispy and we loved it, but it wasn’t even close to being worth almost £9.
Chicken Gyoza (£6.90) – 6 pretty nice lightly fried dumplings, they had lots of filling and a nice enough flavour. It was another favourite dish at the table.
Crispy Chicken Korea Style (£8.70) – the chicken I didn’t hate, it was a good sized portion but it was pretty small pieces and chewy, I ate it but a few at my table didn’t do back for a second piece. It reminded me of deep fried shredded chicken from a chinese take away.
Deep Fried Aubergine (£8.60) – This was by far and away the dish that annoyed us most cost wise. We were expecting maybe cubes of battered Aubergine….but it was literally half an aubergine which had been deep fried, and some sweet miso sauce squirted across the top for nearly £9.
Let’s take a second to think about that – Half an Aubergine and a drizzle of sauce for NINE of Queen Elizabeth’s British pound sterling. Shockingly over priced.
Unfortunately things did not improve with my main and I genuinely could’ve wept when it arrived.
I went for the Teriyaki Duck Breast (£10.60) this arrived as a small portion of overly fatty flavourless duck breast, sliced thinly with a tiny bit of greasy watery sauce and a side salad leaves – no veg, nothing. The rest of my table looked on at me with sympathy as I ate my dry duck and boiled rice which I had to pay £2.50 for.
Everyone’s mains were pretty poor. My buddy Austen was particularly upset because he loves Korean food having been to Korea last year, and went to great lengths to assure us this was not even close to an authentic Korean restaurant.
As you can tell I was utterly unimpressed with the value for money and at £25 per person I felt it was obscenely over priced for the food we were served. Especially given that I came home and had to have something to eat because I was still hungry. I am actually still really disappointed by the whole experience this morning as I write this.
Sadly this isn’t somewhere I would visit again even if other people wanted to go, I feel like I was seriously fleeced for this meal and that is not a feeling I enjoy or wise to repeat.