Bokman in Bristol is a casual Korean restaurant with eye-catching red and white branding, offering up creative dishes for a steal. Widely considered one of the best places to eat for under £30, this restaurant is so trendy that it doesn't even have a website - just an Instagram.
The signature dish here is the Tongdak: rice-stuffed, rotisserie-smoked chicken - not to be missed. The braised beef short rib is so popular that customers refuse to let Bokman remove it from the menu, while soondubu stew (soft tofu in a spicy mushroom broth with bacon, Cornish mussels and a poached egg) is similarly popular. There are always plenty of plant-based options too, including dubu jorim (spicy braised tofu) or cold wheat noodles with kimchi, fermented white radish, cucumber and watermelon. Other streetfood-style creations you might see at Bokamn include pork and kimchi buns, served piping hot and steaming, stuffed tempura chillis, savoury beef with marinated quail's egg and padron peppers, oysters with kimchi ice or even coriander kimchi, made using the whole plant (including the root).
Specials typically include something pretty out there, like fresh mackerel braised in three-month-old kimchi, or a whole braised sea bream with radish, padron peppers, enoki mushrooms and beansprouts. Occasionally you might even see 'loaded tteokpokki', which is essentially a Korean-style fondue of spicy sauce with sausage, fish cakes, mozzarella balls and quail's eggs for dipping. This dish comes bubbling hot, so be careful not to burn yourself.
Bokman is also a restaurant that focuses on fermenting and pickling where possible. This includes Turkish black fig or nectarine and mango kombucha, kimchi, pickled garlic and even soy sauce seasoned with mushroom stock, macerated onion syrup, brown rice vinegar, clementines, jujubes, garlic, chilli and kelp.
Desserts at Bokman are just as creative as the mains, featuring unusual dishes like matcha tiramisu.