South Korean food near the bus station 9 Reviews
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It could be argued that, as far as dining is concerned, South Korea is the forgotten man of Asia. It certainly can’t be easy residing between Japan (probably the most fashionable fodder in the region) and China (the largest variety of cuisines). For the uninitiated among you, Korean cuisine is a rambunctious affair, as notable for its spicy treats as for its communal fun, and Hankook – a rare example in Abu Dhabi – is a great place to start.
At first, we thought we had arrived at the wrong establishment. With its painted glass doors and sensible interior, Hankook looked like the office of a Korean travel agent. But we were happy to remove our shoes and get filed away into a little dining compartment, as is traditional in Korean restaurants. We knew we were in for a fun night from the site of the gas stoves set into each table. Bulgogi – a popular meat dish – requires that you cook the raw meat yourself with long silver chopsticks.
First, though, came the kimchi, a spicy cabbage that is the staple dish at any Korean table. It gives off quite an odour, and Hankook’s tasty offering was no exception. Accompanying the complimentary finger bowls, we ordered a bowl of dukguk, a rice cake soup, which soothed the palate after the bitter cabbage, along with a bowl of bibim-guksu, which was probably the most underwhelming thing we sampled – cold noodles lose some of their ability to refresh when eaten in a small, air-conditioned room.
The kimchijeon (a kimchi pancake) was fairly harmless, with most of the fire extinguished in the batter. However, top marks went to the steaming bowls of bibimbap, which is to Korean cuisine what bangers ’n’ mash is to the UK – nothing out of the ordinary, yet glorious. Cooked in still-sizzling stone bowls, this hodge-podge of rice, mountain vegetables and mince tasted all the better when doused in the red sauce that hid at the side of our trays. We recommend you allow it to fry in front of you, and then dig in to one of the more surprising dishes you’re likely to find in Abu Dhabi. Thank goodness for well-kept secrets.
The bill (for two)
Orange juice Dhs10
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