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Long before Korean food became a “funky” fixture of the London dining scene, Asadal was already spreading the gospel of kimchi – though you might easily walk right past its unassuming entrance hidden next to Holborn station. "Descend the steps and you could almost be in Seoul", notes one reader. The key to genuine Korean cooking is balance, and the extensive menu in this softly lit, wood-panelled basement dining room is “still delivering”, with bags of choice from savoury pa jeon (seafood pancakes) to sweet-and-sour tang su yook beef or spicy pork and beancurd hotpot. We’re also partial to hands-on favourites, including the sizzling bibimbap (layers of steak, vegetables and rice that you mix together in a stone pot) and the deftly marinated pork belly cooked barbecue-style on the hotplate at your table. Good-value lunch box deals are a great way to explore what's on offer. It may not be “cutting edge”, but Asadal’s food has “authenticity” in spades, concludes one convert.
The first thing that hits us in Asadal is the smell. We had barely been in this Korean restaurant a minute and the warm inviting aromas were already making our stomachs rumble. It felt so secluded downstairs, I could hardly believe that only moments earlier I was jostling my way through the peak hour moshpit around Holborn station. It’s dimly lit and simply furnished, I get the sense that they care more about practicality than style which suited us just fine.If we were here with a few friends in tow, we probably would have tackled the a la carte menu. With more mouths to feed, you can get away with carefree over-ordering,...
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