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If you’re looking for a Korean restaurant to check out this weekend, we’ve got you covered. The immense increase in Korean pop’s (K-pop) popularity is drawing attention to Korean culture worldwide. Sure, K-pop and Korean dramas are cool, but there’s no denying the delicious lure of the country's cuisine.
Hong Kong is no exception when it comes to falling for Korean BBQ, Bibimbap, kimchi and other Korean staples. From basic – yet essential – dishes to the drool-worthy foods seen in K-dramas, you can find a Korean restaurant in Hong Kong that replicates both the flavors and atmosphere of restaurants in Korea. If you aren’t sure which Korean restaurant to check out, we’ve curated a list (in no particular order) of the best options in Hong Kong.
Korean street food isn’t easy to find in Hong Kong, but O’Taste nails it with various sets and lunch boxes at an affordable price (around HK$50 to $130). The O’Taste menu reflects common combinations of street food in Korea.
The kimbap set is a classic – you can pair your kimbap with spicy rice cake or sweet and spicy boneless fried chicken for a combo of savory and sweet flavors. Of course, you can’t go wrong with the Bibimbap, where you choose a type of meat (or tofu for vegetarians) to pair with seasoned vegetables, rice and savory sauce. Available for dine-in, take-away and delivery, O’Taste will hit the spot if you are craving Korean food.
Arirang is the place to go if you’re looking for Korean BBQ in Hong Kong. The first Korean restaurant to open in the city in 1964, Arirang is famous for its timeless Korean BBQ and offering “not only [the] most popular traditional dishes, but also some modern innovative presentations.”
According to Arirang, their approach to serving authentic Korean food has been successful. “Being the first Korean restaurant to open in Hong Kong, we have developed our own style of presenting Korean cuisine that is partly HahnJungShik whilst bringing under one roof many specialty cuisines of Korea, offering a range of side dishes to introduce the flavors of Korea. It must have worked, since this format has been followed in almost all Korean restaurants that have opened in Hong Kong since.”
It’s hard to argue with that.
Address: 3F, 314-324 Hennessy Rd, W Square, Wan Chai,
Already a well-known franchise in Korea, BHC Chicken has expanded and successfully operates two locations in Hong Kong, with the spot in Mong Kok being particularly popular. You might recognize Jeon Ji-Hyun, a famous Korean actress, in their ads as well.
Be sure to try the Bbu-linkle chicken, fried chicken with cheese seasoning, or the half and half, a mix of original fried chicken and sweet and sour chicken. Side dishes part of the Bbu-linkle series include cheese balls, cheese sticks and fries (who doesn’t love some cheese?) For the most authentic Korean experience, don’t skip out on pairing your chicken with a cold beer.
Address: 43 Dundas St, Mong Kok
OBP, standing for Old Bailey Pocha, is a Korean bar in Central. In Korea, a pocha, short for pojangmacha, usually refers to a street stall selling popular Korean comfort foods well into the night. OBP in Hong Kong mimics the atmosphere of a Korean pocha, accepting walk-ins only and focusing on being a comfortable spot for people to casually drink, eat and hang out together.
Some crucial combinations to try are Soju and hong hap tang (mussels in seafood broth), makgeolli (Korean rice wine) and jeon (fried pancakes) or somaek (Soju and beer) with bossam (slow-cooked pork belly).
“We didn’t do anything to cater necessarily to the Hong Kong market,” explains OBP founder Daniel Eun to TMS. “The target audience was definitely Koreans and people who have been to Korea or to KoreaTown.”
Address: LG/F, 3-5 Old Bailey Street, Central
Soil to Soul
Soil to Soul presents the amalgamation of palatable and healthy with their Korean vegetarian menu. This Korean restaurant offers Korean temple food inspired by the culinary approach of Buddhist monasteries so that you can enjoy the vegetarian versions of Korean food. Although the dishes run at a higher price point, the fresh take on classic Korean cuisine is worth every dollar.
Soil to Soul explains, “the brand advocates the philosophy of living a simple and harmonious life with Mother Nature.” From the “farm-to-table” treatment of raw ingredients to constant variations in ingredients according to changing seasons, Soil to Soul embodies and presents nature as is in the form of food.
Address: Shop 704, 7/F K11 MUSEA, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Kelly’s Cape Bop
Known for its healthy Korean “home-cooking” style, this Michelin pick is currently the only kimbap recognized by Michelin in the world, being listed six years in a row since 2015. Run by Una Yoo and named after her daughter, Kelly, the warm atmosphere of Kelly’s Cape Bop invites friends and family to enjoy their time together at the dinner table.
“My passion is to share Korean ‘home-cooking’ which is not only delicious, but also healthy for the body and soothing for the soul," explains Chef Yoo.
Starting with their kimbap, Kelly’s Cape Bop has extended its menu also to serve tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), fried chicken and bibimbap. Along with a variety of main dishes come popular sides like their acclaimed seaweed dumplings and egg rolls.
Address: 55-61 Johnston Road, Wan Chai