Corean Chilli – London China Town

Aaah. I have passed Corean Chilli in China Town so many times and I was destined to try this place out at some point in my lifetime. This restaurant actually used to be a Chinese bakery called Garden Bakery. It was one of the most popular Chinese bakeries and restaurants in China Town until it suddenly closed down – I think it was faced by high rents and shortage of customers etc… My favourite bakery closed down!

Well, Corean Chilli took over. It’s been around for years and I’ve been dying to try it out!

Corean Chilli from across the street

Corean Chilli is notoriously infamous amongst the public and Internet. (This is why I wanted to try it out). To be honest restaurants that have a bad reputation tend to have a good turnout of customers. For example Wong Kei on Wardour Street which is well known for bad service (and unfortunately it might lose that special feature in a couple of weeks time due to new management). For me, you have to think about culture and where these people have come from… I’ve watched too many Korean dramas so I know what to expect with service.

I sat here

I dined alone that day. I was craving for kimchi jigae which is a stew. I had this before when I dined in Arirang two years ago, and have made my own in the past. So I ordered the kimchi jigae, pickled cucumber and a Diet Coke.

I got a free side dish of beansprouts and seaweed.

The kimchi jigae came. It was piping hot as I expected it to be. The rice came in a tin bowl (but I didn’t take a picture of that). It had kimchi cabbage, tofu and pork as expected. The stew had the kimchi taste, salty and spicy. But it wasn’t as thick or sweet as I wanted it to be. If it had a bit of sugar or honey and maybe a bit of miso paste (if it doesn’t have it already) then I think it would have been perfect. The pork wasn’t as tender as I wanted it to be, but I ate the whole thing anyway. I could taste some tomatoe substance in it too… hmmm…
Kimchi Jigae

My meal

The pickled cucumber was not too bad. It had chilli all over it. I think if they had added a bit of vinegar to it, this would have been perfect.

Pickled cucumber

Total price came to £14.70. That isn’t bad. But of course there’s service charge! They ask for a discretionary 12.5% service charge and I was actually expecting a 10% service charge!! Bad!!

My bill

I will come here again another time in the future when I’m bored to try out their jajangmyeon (black bean noodles).

p.s. I thank the waiter in Korean, who was surprised, heheh.

My geeky rating: 3.5/5. It is a fair rating compared to other people’s experiences but I think lots of people have different expectations with different restaurants.
Good points:
– Cheap Korean food
– Piping hot food 
– There is a karaoke part in the upstairs area
Bad points:
– Seasoning and ingredients of the foods (read above comments)
– Service was ok but they probably needed an extra hand… Was waiting for my bill to be taken away but had to go to the desk myself
– Service charge of 12.5%!

Address: 51 Charing Cross Rd, Leicester Square, London WC2H 0NE
Phone: 020 7734 6737