*The restaurant has permanently closed down*
Hearing that there’s now a halal Korean restaurant, I immediately added this restaurant at the top of my list. Located in Bricklane, Kinkao was originally a Thai restaurant that has now changed into a Korean one.
When I first walked into Kinkao, the decor really took me off guard. It has retained all of its Thai decor, and has pretty much nothing actually Korean-looking. If they didn’t specify at their doors and menu saying it’s Korean, I would’ve walked out with confusion.
KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) (£5.95)
Ordering KFC is definitely a must at Korean restaurants. You can pick either sweet chilli or honey & garlic sauce for the KFC. We chose the sweet chilli.
The chicken was crispy on the outside and very succulent on the inside. Each piece was pretty big and meaty. And as you can see, it’s for sure really saucy. We absolutely loved it and would definitely recommend it.
Kimchi Jeon (Kimchi Pancake) (£6.95)
The pancakes were already sliced up upon serving. But the funny thing is how big the plate was in comparison to the actual amount of pancake slices in there.
That aside, we really enjoyed these pancakes. As you can tell from its vibrant colour, the pancakes certainly had a distinct touch of kimchi. It has a piquant flavour with a nice hint of spice. We also loved its light crispy texture. It’s easy to have soggy bottoms so we find this absolutely delightful.
Kimchi Dumplings (£5.95)
While the kimchi pancake impressed us with the burst of kimchi flavours, the dumplings didn’t. The dumplings were deep fried and really crispy on the outside. However, the inside was a bit hollow in my personal opinion. I couldn’t taste much of the sharp tangy and spicy flavour of kimchi in there either.
Yukhoe Bibimbap (Raw Beef Bibimbap) (£10.95)
One of my favourite Korean dish is Bibimbap. We had a long debate of whether to get the Beef Bulgogi one or this Yukhoe raw beef one. At the end, we went with the raw beef one.
The bibimbap was served in a heated stone bowl, with the sauce and a raw egg served separately on the side. Basically what you do with bibimbap is to mix everything up. The heat from the stone bowl helps cook the raw beef and the egg. Flavour-wise, it was pleasant and decent. Though I wouldn’t say it’s outstanding.
Soondubu Jiggae (£8.5)
Soonbudu jiggae is basically a spicy silken tofu soup with mixed seafood, vegetables and topped with an egg.
The soup was okay but it was a bit too eggy. There’s generous amount of fillings. It included lots of tofu, mussels, clams, etc. I just personally expected a richer touch of flavour and perhaps a bowl of steam rice to go with it.
Japchae is stir-fried glass noodles and vegetable. I’ve always loved Korean glass noodles. They’re just somehow so much more al dente and generally thicker as well.
The dish was decent. I liked the mild sesame fragrance and savoury flavour. Though I thought the vegetables could be sliced into much thinner pieces.
…we thought Kinkao was a decent spot. We felt the starters were in overall better than the main dishes. If you visit, we recommend you getting the KFC and Kimchi Pancake! One thing though, I couldn’t get over how mismatched the decor and food was. Other than that, it’s worth giving it a try.
Everything is halal at Kinkao Restaurant.
Tel: 020 7247 1030
Nearest Underground Station: Shoreditch High Street