Arirang is one of my favourite restaurants. I stumbled upon this little gem while trying to escape the bustle of Oxford Street and was drawn by its bright pink sign and its excellent value lunch time deals.
Claiming to be London's first Korean restaurant (since 1975), Arirang is a small family run place serving traditional Korean food, which must be pretty authentic judging by the mostly Korean clientele. The staff are efficient and polite, but not particularly friendly. However, the food is certainly worth giving into.
You can order A La Carte. However, if you are new to Korean cuisine I would recommend the set menus which are particularly good value. Included in a set meal are an egg and spring onion soup, several dishes of pickled vegetables, your choice of about 10 main dishes, and some artfully carved fruit for desert – all for about £8.
My favourite dish is the Dol Bibim Bap, a combination of rice, vegetables and strips of beef topped with an egg and served in a hot stone bowl that keeps the food piping hot as you are eating.
The place has recently been refurbished and it has a lovely, relaxed vibe which makes it popular with families and groups of friends. The downstairs room is fitted with extractor vents directly over the Korean BBQ tables and I’m told that their BBQ is particularly good.
Address: 31-32 Poland Street, London, W1F 8QT
Telephone: 020 7437 6633
Opening hours: 12 noon- 3pm, 6pm-11pm (Mon-Sat), 6pm-11pm (Sun)
Tube:Oxford Circus (Bakerloo, Central, Victoria); Tottenham Court Road (Central, Northern)
Bus: Too many to list! see the TFL web site for more info
Car: Parking in the west end is usually tricky but there is a Westminster Council car park on Poland Street