Monday 11 May 2009


3 facts about Kokuryo:
1. It was an ancient Korean empire whose brilliant history flourished on a vast expanse on land in East Asia.
2. It is also the name of the only Korean restaurant in town
3. According to a friend of our who lived in Tokyo for 6 years, and therfore having some expertise in the matter, it is where to get the best sushi in Glasgow. Some might say that's not saying much but beggars can't be choosers.

We ate there years ago when it first opened and found it to be tasty although a bit on the un-healthy side with a lot of deep fried items on offer. However, a lot of time had elapsed since then, so we though it time to go back. We went with Choiti and Chris which is always a good bet as they have large appetites and like to share their food. Some of the food seemed vaguely familiar and that when I realised that one of my favourite places in New York-Ssam bar has Korean roots with a major modern American twist.

Anyway I digress, we ordered lots and most of it was pretty good.

Panchan- pickled vegetables. I think the waiter was surprised I knew what this was.

lightly fried dumpling stuffed with minced pork, tofu and spring onion. These were great primarily because for once they were large and stuffed full, so the proportion of filling to dumpling was just right. So good we ordered two portions. Excellent dipping sauce too.

this was rice cake and fish cake in a chilli sauce. Very good textures. I had a rice cake dish in Ssam bar that was similar but better.

Chargrilled chicken skewers, safe and tasty but boring compared to the others.

and then mains:

Bul Go Ki chargrilled marinated beef in rich soy sauce served with lettuce and boile drice, you make up little parcels with the lettuce and try to fit them into your mouth in an elegant fashion.

so gal bi
finely marinated beef ribs, these were tasty and tender

stir fry monk fish with bean sprout and spicy sauce, complete with spinal column which Choiti took great delight in sucking out.

Kimchi, of course, unfortunately a bit disappointing.

I can't believe I forgot to take a photo of the deep fried chicken in spicy and hot sauce which was decidedly moreish.

So, never having been to Korea i can't say if it was authentic but it was tasty. It is a world away from Ssam bar but even in a place like New York, Ssam bar is place that pushes the boundaries to much acclaim, so it's not much of a criticism. What I will say was that it was a lot more expensive than i was expecting, coming to £100 for four. We had 6 beers and one Appletiser and then the food. Granted there was a lot of food and we didn't finish it all, but I was still a wee bit surprised. Despite this i shall go back, maybe refining what I order, just a little.

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