by Sarah Geard
Hidden just outside central London, in the borough of Kingston-Upon-Thames is New Malden, a small town known for its large Korean population and abundance of Korean restaurants. It’s long been off the radar, but well worth the trip for anyone interested in Korean fare.
If you have time to take a stroll down the high street, there are some interesting gems hidden amongst the usual Boots and Poundlands. Seoul Plaza, a supermarket selling mainly Korean, but also Japanese and Chinese, food and products are worth stopping by. With its seemingly unending rows of ramen options to frozen dumplings of every kind, fresh vegetables, condiments and snacks, time stands still as you wander the aisles, picking up wares you hadn’t been looking for but somehow now definitely need.
Cake & Bingsoo, a tiny cafe across the street from Seoul Plaza, offers exactly that- cake and bingsoo, a Korean dessert made of tiny ice shavings that oddly resemble coconut. There are a variety of different flavours to choose from, such as oreo, green tea, mango and strawberry. The flavour of the bingsoo itself is sweet, akin to ice cream, but the texture is much lighter, due to the ice shavings. Cake & Bingsoo also offer several cake options, most notably their tiramisu cake, with layers of fluffy cream and coffee-spiked cake.
While New Malden is home to many different Korean restaurants, it boasts one that is almost always full (outside of the lockdown closures), even when the rest of the street is quiet. K-Town is a buffet-style Korean BBQ restaurant, now delivering meal boxes and set menus with Deliveroo. Their delivered options offer a selection of the buffet menu and are quite large portions, meaning they can easily be eaten over several meals. With over 20 years experience serving Korean BBQ, the line that often stretches out the door and round the corner, suggests K-Town is pretty damn good at it.
Treestone Restaurant and Kitchen offers a different take on Korean BBQ. You can select your preferred cuts of meat from Treestone Butchers next door, then cook it yourself on a Korean BBQ in the restaurant.
If chicken is what you’re after, look no further than Chick & Beers. Enormous Korean Fried Chicken pieces smothered in either a sweet and sticky soy or chilli glaze, these aren’t your ordinary wings. Chick & Beers have a tiny restaurant on the high street, however, during lockdown they are offering delivery through Uber Eats and Deliveroo. When you can’t eat another bite, continue your stroll along the high street. If bubble tea is more your style, Ding Tea offers a multitude of options in a sweetly decorated cafe.
As restaurants start opening up again and restrictions easing, New Malden is definitely a place to explore, try new foods, and enjoy.
Sarah Geard is an Australian writer living in London. After growing up in Tasmania, she loves writing about food, thinking about food, baking, and of course, eating. She combines her love of food and Disney films by running food-focused Disney Instagram account Popcorn & Princesses and blog
She loves London and all its restaurants and is reaching out for her dream to be a professional food writer.
This article is the work of Le Cordon Bleu Online Learning 10-week Food Writing for Publication course participant Sarah Geard Le Cordon Bleu is not responsible for the content and the opinion and view is that of the author.
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