When it comes to dining in Islington, most people immediately gravitate towards restaurant-heavy Upper Street, which is home to big names such as Chick ‘n’ Sours and James Cochran’s 12:51. Just a few minutes’ walk down the road however, is the slightly grittier Chapel Market, a parade that boasts plenty of hidden gems, often offering great value for money.
One such restaurant is Ogam, which opened its doors in December 2019. Ogam is a rather unique proposition, billing itself as a Korean tapas bar – that is, serving classic and contemporary Korean dishes in the traditional Spanish small-plates style.
The intimate restaurant only has room for a handful of diners, most of whom sit up at the counter. Ogam is a minimalist space featuring a central bar flanked with stools, as well as some counter seating by the window if you are in the mood to people watch. Otherwise, the dining room consists of dark wood accents and a slate-clad wall.
On the food front, you can expect to find three set menus for under £20, each of which includes a cocktail. You will begin your meal with a green salad with yuja or omija dressing. Next up, you can choose between rice cakes or sweetcorn with cheese on top, or an assortment of jeon (a fried potato cake that also includes kimchi and courgette). Your final course will see you tuck into either Korean fried chicken, pork shoulder or kimchi jjim with pork ribs.
The set menus change with the seasons, but you can always expect to find both traditional and contemporary Korean dishes to choose from. It’s not all about the food though, as Ogam also takes its drinks list very seriously. Owner Tae Yeol Kim is passionate about traditional Korean alcohol, so expect to find plenty of intriguing spirits and innovative cocktails.