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451 Edgware Road
A superb location awaits at this Little Venice local, with one side of the restaurant open onto the Regent’s Canal and a ‘distinctly cool’, clubby interior living up to
Gogi’s billing as a ‘bar and grill’. Exposed brickwork, red strip lighting, black seats and a funky dance/R&B soundtrack set the mood, while the menu offers a reasonably priced, 60-dish jaunt
through the mainstream Korean repertoire. Generous earthenware pots filled with spicy bibimbap provide ‘invigorating stimulation for the nose and palate’, bulgogi BBQs are a table-top fixture, and
the pictorial menu also covers various soups, noodles, salads and appetisers such as bossam (slow-cooked pork belly with punchy daikon and cabbage leaves for wrapping) – not forgetting the
obligatory kimchi. Lunch focuses on one-dish picks from the full-line-up, and there’s Korean beer to slake the thirst.
Best Korean Restaurants in London
Best restaurants in Maida Vale
451 Edgware Road
Warwick Avenue Tube Station 529m
Edgware Road Tube Station 702m
Cockpit Theatre 473m
Lord's Cricket Ground 534m
Mon-Sun 12N-3pm (Sat-Sun -3.30pm) 6-11pm (Sun -10.30pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 3
When it opened in 2014, Gogi offered something different amid the rather staid Little Venice dining scene. With its exposed brick walls, low-lighting and pumping soundtrack, the restaurant would not have felt out of place in New York. And, the food was amazing - well cooked and very authentic takes on Korean cuisine. Based on how busy the restaurant was on a recent Friday night when my comrade and I visited, Gogi must clearly still be doing something right as the place was packed, with new diners arriving even after 9pm. However, we could not help feeling that food standards had slipped, the place was poor value for money and the service little more than perfunctory. Begin with the food. Yes, there is a wide selection of dishes, but I would rather see a smaller number done better. My spicy squid starter had been liberally doused in some MSG-heavy sauce, obliterating any hint of delicacy. Meanwhile, the problem with the sauce that accompanied my comrade's vegetable dumplings was the opposite, namely that it was so bland as to be irrelevant. Onto our mains and we both settled for bibimbaps. To the uninitiated, this is an iron hot pot comprising rice, vegetables, meat (or tofu), enhanced by a fried egg on the top and the addition of chilli paste. Trust me, a good one tastes excellent. Here, the dishes were not actively bad, but our distinct sense was that Gogi had taken a few shortcuts and scrimped on the exciting bits, substituting them with rice, rendering the whole dish less satisfying. To pay close to £90 for the experience (which included an over-priced bottle of NZ Pinot) seemed unfair, particularly when the serving staff were broadly indifferent to our presence. Maybe Gogi has enough of a following for it to remain full, but there is absolutely no way the place can afford to rest on its laurels; rather, it perhaps needs to up its standards
Food + drink: 4
Gogi is a welcome addition to the somewhat staid Little Venice/ Maida Vale dining scene, operating since February on a site formerly occupied by the mostly average and somewhat atmosphere-less Chinese, Hsing. The contrast is evident from the moment one enters the building. The location had always been superb, with one side of the restaurant open onto the Regent’s Canal (the short straw would be facing towards the front, onto the much less glamorous Edgware Road), but gone are the anaemic whites of the past, replaced by exposed brickwork and metal, minimalist black seating (with some nice booth options) and judiciously placed red strip lighting. Accompanied by a dance/ R&B soundtrack (at a relatively discrete volume), Gogi feels distinctly cool, how a modern restaurant ought to be. That the restaurant was also more than half full on a Tuesday evening was also an encouraging sign. The food is Korean and the place staffed by mostly Korean personnel, friendly and engaging. The menu is extensive (60+ dishes), well-laid out and caters both to the carnivorous and the more vegetarian-oriented. Prices are also reasonable, with starters in the £5-10 range and mains located between £10-15. There are also extensive sides, mostly at around £3-5. Kimchi (pickled cabbage) was a great dish with which to begin, just the right quantity and a wonderful chilli-kick, which left me salivating ahead of my main. Rather than opting for a grilled option (and there is a slightly incommodious grill placed in the middle of each table), I went for a Bibimbap, a traditional Korea dish served in a beautifully presented earthenware pot. The premise is beef (although one can opt for chicken, tofu, etc.) mixed with rice and sautéed vegetables and then seasoned with a raw egg and a generous quantity of red chilli pasty: overall an invigorating stimulation for the nose and palate. The portion size and spiciness were ideal and left me comfortably satisfied. A Koran beer topped the experience off. Will definitely be back.
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