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Originally published by Amy Lam. Last updated by Jen Paolini.
Let’s face it, Hong Kong will always be hot for Korean food, and with so many restaurants to choose from—ranging from fiery nibbles to KBBQs that will have you unbuttoning your jeans a little—we’ll never be short of ways to spice up our evenings. If you’re craving kimchi, fried chicken, or more grilled meat than you can handle, check out one of these sizzling Korean restaurants around town!
If you are looking for a more modern and fun Korean restaurant concept, then Bingo & Cook is the one for you. This trendy restaurant offers the best of Korean cuisine, especially those popularised by Korean dramas and idols. Our favourite combination is sliced pig’s feet ($290) with either some soju or rice wine—the meat is nicely marbled, with bits of chewy gelatin in-between. You can have it on its own or roll it up in a lettuce wrap with a dab of Korean pepper sauce or fermented vegetables. Something even more mainstream would be Korean fried chicken; at Bingo & Cook, order a honey butter chicken ($190), which also comes with deep-fried squid and deep-fried potato wedges!
Soil to Soul is a brand-new Korean vegetarian restaurant inspired by the country’s influential temple cuisine. Helmed by certified temple food master and chef Gu Jin Kwang—a protégé of renowned Korean Buddhist nun Wookwan—this newcomer to Tsim Sha Tsui’s cutting-edge K11 Musea focuses on traditional vegetarian Korean recipes using natural, organic and plant-based ingredients, a food philosophy dating back a thousand years to the Goryeo dynasty.
Spotlighting natural, organic, and plant-based ingredients, Soil to Soul presents a menu of wholesome lunch sets, six- and eight-course tasting dinners, à la carte dishes, bar snacks, and unique beverages. Dishes to look out for include the Korean ginseng salad, cold mushroom terrine with sweet & spicy sauce, and gluten-free Korean turnip dumplings.
Soil to Soul, Shop 704, 7/F, K11 Musea, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2389 9588
Offering some of the best barbeque meats in town, The Charcoal Room’s claim to fame is their specialisation in using Chinese oak charcoal in their grills. They also offer some of the best Korean beef cuts in their wallet-friendly lunch sets, which also comes with side dishes and a bowl of their signature Korean minced meat rice (which is absolutely to die for). To up their meat game, their newly-launched Wagyu katsu sando ($258) is the perfect contender to satisfy beef cravings. Using A5 Kumamoto beef tenderloin cuts, you get four juicy bites toasted to perfection. If you are still hungry afterwards, you can also order some of their cooked dishes, like beef stews, chicken soup, and Korean pancakes!
The Charcoal Room, Shop 301, 3/F, Island Beverley, 1 Great George Street, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2320 9993
If we're talking about Korean restaurants, we cannot leave out our childhood favourite—Jin Luo Bao Korean Restaurant. This is one of the most traditional Korean restaurants on this list, and the reason why they are still relevant is because of how stunning the food still is. People usually opt for the BBQ experience here, but you can get all sorts of cook dishes, like stone pot rice, Korean fried chicken, and speciality dishes like marinated crabs—but we definitely recommend the KBBQ to start with.
Unlike other places which tend to give you a choice of three side dishes, you get at least ten different sides here, including fermented kimchi, fresh kimchi, cucumber kimchi, sweet potato dipped in syrup, bean sprouts, and much more. We love everything on their menu, but items that stand out are the marinated beef ribs ($188), beef tongue ($140), and the eel ($198). Be nice to the Korean aunties—if you make good conversation, they might even throw in something nice for you!
Jin Luo Bao Korean Restaurant, 6/F, Island Beverley, 1 Great George Street, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2895 6398
Presented by ZS Hospitality in collaboration with chef Mingoo Kang of Mingles, Hansik Goo offers a dining experience that is meant to be shared with friends and family and showcases the essence of Korean cuisine with a youthful and creative twist. Hansik Goo offers an eight-course tasting menu ($780) with signature creations like Samgye risotto (a ginseng chicken rice with kimchi) and the delectable yukhoe (Korean-style beef tartare with Korean pear and quail egg), as well as add-on side dishes like Korean fried chicken and the stunning galbi-jjim (braised short beef ribs with homemade ganjang sauce).
Hansik Goo, 2/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central | (+852) 2798 8768
Sorabol has become something of a “home away from home” for Hong Kong’s Korean contingent; you’ll often hear the language being spoken as you tuck in, which is as good a recommendation as they come. Sorabol is famed for its generous portion sizes, so arrive hungry and leave enough room for dessert to try the amazing patbingsu (shaved ice topped with sweetened red beans and syrup) at the end of the meal. If you are part of the aforementioned Korean community and are missing goodies from home, you can also purchase authentic Korean groceries to take away!
Maru & J48 is a modern Korean restaurant serving pub food to go along with your drinks. Most people will be familiar with soju as the go-to Korean drink, but different brands of soju have different tastes, too. We prefer fruit-flavoured soju ($70), either peach or apple, mixed with Sprite or beer. Be careful with this classic combination though, because the sweetness will cover up the taste of alcohol but you can also get drunk twice as fast! You can always go with some classic draught beer if soju is not your thing, or try the Korean rice wine ($108), which is served in bowls—as any authentic Korean place ought to!
Maru & J48, G/F, 48 Staunton Street, Central | (+852) 2559 5288
Originating in Seoul in 2001, this popular Sai Ying Pun eatery is usually packed to the rafters, thanks to their wide range of finger-lickin’ chicken and tasty sides like odeng fishcake soup ($68), grilled corn cheese ($58), ddukbokki & cheese ($78), and egg rolls ($68). We always order the half & half chicken ($208) with original spicy and ranch sauces. Uncle Padak also offers Korean alcoholic drinks such as makgeolli and soju to wash the food down. Try their bargain weekday lunch combo, which serves fried chicken, salad, pickled radish, and rice balls for a piddly $98.
Uncle Padak, 59 High Street, Sai Ying Pun | (+852) 2117 9792
When asked about good Korean barbecue joints in town, Mr Korea BBQ always deserves a mention. It’s a cut above the rest by virtue of its relative authenticity, from the round tables to the individual smoke vents—it just nails the feel of a typical Seoul eatery. Mr Korea BBQ is so much more than authentic aesthetics, however, as the quality of meat is immense, with the hanger steak and marinated short rib as stand-out orders. Don’t miss out on the pork belly and kimchi pancakes, either!
Mr Korea BBQ, 1/F, Surson Commercial Building, 140–142 Austin Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2907 6678
If you’re on the hunt for a belt-busting barbecue that won’t cripple your wallet, then this is definitely your spot! New Korean offers an all-you-can-eat buffet where you can enjoy a night of grill-it-yourself beef, pork belly, assorted seafood, and all your usual KBBQ favourites, as well as some Japanese food thrown in for good measure.
Believe it or not, this all comes at a very reasonable $188 per person! Another strong plus is that their air conditioning is set on strong to stop the smell from lingering on your clothes too much—Korean food enthusiasts, if you know, you know. It can get pretty hectic in the evening, so book ahead to avoid disappointment.
This isn’t a completely Korean joint, but we’re willing to look past that little fact for the quick and no-frills food fix that Seoul Bros provide. Get stuck into kimchi fries ($35) and sweet & spicy chicken ($53) while you wait for the beef bibimbap ($53). the bibimbap rice also comes with tofu or shrimp instead. But the cherry on top? Seoul Bros’ social responsibility initiative happier hour ensures that for every dish purchased between 2 pm and 5 pm, the same dish will be given to underprivileged children in the local community through Foodlink. Now, how’s that for food with heart?
With more appetisers, hot pots, and barbecue sets than you can shake your tongs at, Myung Ga has more than earned its spot on our list. Offering authentic Korean cuisine without MSG (yep, you read that right) and quality meats and seafood sourced from pollution-free regions, this restaurant is also understandably a firm favourite among health- and environmentally-conscious diners. Grab a table at the iSquare branch in Tsim Sha Tsui and you will have a view as stunning as your dinner.