Koba

11 Rathbone Street , London, W1T 1NA

  • Koba London Bloomsbury restaurant Japanese barbecue
  • Koba London Bloomsbury restaurant Japanese barbecue

SquareMeal Review of Koba

Popular with local big-hitters, Koba’s upscale decor makes it classy enough for swish clients while offering the showtime of cooking ‘at your own table’. Start with yook hwei (Korea’s answer to steak tartare, combining strips of raw beef with slivers of sweet pear and an egg yolk stirred in at the last moment), goon mandoo (pan-fried veggie dumplings, not unlike gyoza), or a casserole/broth with mushrooms and gnocchi-esque rice-flour dumplings. Then sit back while efficient staff fire up the hotplates and BBQ pieces of sirloin steak or ‘to die for’ pork belly – perfect with kimchi (chilli-hot pickled cabbage) and a bottle of cold Hite (Korea’s favourite beer). At lunchtime, perching at the bar is a favourite pastime for solo diners.

Are you the restaurant owner?

Click here for Links & Logos

6.3

Food & Drink: 7.3

Service: 5.8

Atmosphere: 6.5

Value: 6.0

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Amy M. platinum reviewer 12 September 2017

This was my third visit to Koba in circa 6 weeks. Firstly, food, as always wonderful. BUT. We always have the Koba BBQ Selection as it's an excellent way to sample all the flavours on offer and have something lovely and varied. However, I personally, don't like beef and there are 3 types on the platter, with only a tiny bit of chicken. So, we asked for one of the beef options to be switched out for more chicken. Point blank refused. No discussion. Not happening. Chicken is cheaper on the a la carte options than beef and so they would have been up. As we were in literally 2 weeks before, you would think that the brain would compute that potentially we are a little pot of gold who will just keep spending! Their argument is that the selections are all made up, but unless this is the only restaurant in London with second sight and can anticipate every patrons’ order before they have sat down, I am still not clear on why this isn’t possible. Secondly, the service. Considering it was a Monday night and the restaurant was really not that busy, they were incredibly inattentive; verging on bloody elusive. They "man the hot plates" ensuring that you don't manage to give yourself food poisoning by undercooking things or generally burning yourself through ineptitude, also to clean it between cuts. We were left to it. The server looking genuinely surprised when we finally managed to catch his attention that we needed something. I have to admit that I drew the senior man on the floor’s attention to the deficit and we were apologised to with three reasonably terrible, but heartfelt cocktails. I won’t not go, but some of the flavour has been drained from the experience.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Hannes H. 08 August 2012

Had a great time , will be back for sure !

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Mark M. 04 May 2012

I normally do not write reviews, but Koba seems to have some bad reviews, which it really does not deserve. Judging from the amount of customers in there, there are plenty of people who love the food, service and atmosphere and are very happy with the price and value for money. Went there last night with my girlfriend for her birthday. We had the Korean BBQ, which was fantastic. The food was great, high quality, fresh and yummy. The service was excellent, very attentive but not in your face! We ordered lots of food and drink without looking at prices. We probably had 3 portions between the two of us and 5 beers in total and the bill came to £92 incl. the service charge. I have been to Korea many times on business and Koba can easily compete. If you are looking for a cheap eat, this is not the place to go. If you compare Central London prices to Korea, you are also mistaken — after all you would not compare London prices for Thai food with Thailand either. If you are looking for a great night out, with fresh healthy food, great service and good value for money, this is definitely the place to go. Highly recommended!

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 0.0

Value: 0.0

Yu L. 15 July 2011

I took my boyfriend there to celebrate his 30th after reading good reviews online. However, the food, service and price were not as expected. The portions are a lot smaller compared to other better korean restaurants in London but more pricey, which is fine if it's a high end korean restaurant but it's not. Not only the portions are smaller they charge higher than other korean restaurants. I thought I would go to Koba for a change since I've been eating at my regular korean places for the last 5 years. They don't serve you the usual stuff like other korean places, such as 2 or 3 different dips for your BBQ and complimentary side dishes (kimchi/cucumber/sprouts etc) that comes with the BBQ. The spring onions were not enough for two people. Quality of good was not great; glass noodles and stone bowl rice were cooked differently and rather tasteless and missing some usual ingredients. This place is packed with tourists and locals who probably don't know their korean food very well. You don't really see many oriental people there coz surely they know it is not the korean place to be!

 1