If you were driving through the unassuming quiet suburb of New Malden, you might be surprised to suddenly come across a stretch of Korean restaurants and supermarkets. New Malden is home to the largest settlement of Koreans, both Northern & Southern, outside of their home countries and it seems an unlikely home from home, but the Korean establishments certainly go towards making it seem very unlike a standard Surrey suburb.
After a morning of suburban chores (i.e. a trip to a certain large DIY store) we fancied a treat in the form of some spicy food and after some on-the-fly research done on Twitter, we descended on KJ restaurant, located smack in the middle of the high street. It’s a pleasant cafe style sitting with grills sunken into the middle of each table, but you can also order up other meals that you don’t have to cook yourself!
We start off with an appetiser of squid, not entirely sure what it is we’re ordering, and it comes out steaming hot and spicy and we’re in seventh heaven and questioning why we haven’t eaten more of this cuisine and already talking about when we can come back.
The salad, pickles and kimchi on the side are not to the husband’s taste, but I can’t seem to stop myself from picking away at these, despite the nose-wrinkling that follows after every bite of the pickled fermented cabbage.
The husband opts for the Pork Bulgogi which is rice served with some marinated stir fried pork and my Bimimbap is rice, vegetables and meat served in a hot clay pot with a classic example of gooey yolk porn on top. My Bimimbap is so mouth-wateringly tender but is lacking the bite and flavour I became accustomed to with the squid so I liberally scoop up the remaining sauce from our appetiser and make myself a new blended version of Bimimbap.
The Pork Bulgogi is pronounced just as delicious as the squid and and husband pats himself on the back for an ordering job well done.
Having moved out the Surrey way ourselves, I’m so happy to have located some new authentic finds that can accommodate us and the sprog and I’m already planning a few more trips back to New Malden to see what other authentic treats this little Korea-town has to offer me!