London,  The Food Diaries

The Food Diaries // 013

First things first – I hate being misled. If you’re offering all you can eat KBBQ for lunch AND dinner, that is what I expect to have when I turn up for lunch. It even advertises this fact outside the restaurant, too. I should have really taken a picture of the poster outside as evidence, but whatever.

Despite this misfortunate event, I still had a somewhat enjoyable experience at Kalbi Korean BBQ & Sushi.

Kalbi Korean BBQ & Sushi restaurant is situated in Islington and was fortunately only a one bus journey from where I live. From my research, it is also one of the very few places in London that do all you can eat KBBQ. Understandably, I was disappointed when I didn’t get to experience it but I will for sure be coming back in the evening to try it out.

We were lucky to catch their special 3-course lunch which included a drink, appetiser and main. The waiter also served as kimchi and kongnamul-muchim side dishes, which were so yummy! Depending on what you order, the lunch deal can be as low as Β£9.90! Kalbi has quite a selection to choose from, so I’ll start with the appetisers.

kimchi can leave me on read, m8


You can choose between: mandu, kkanpunggi, agedashi tofu, salmon & avocado roll, California roll

I opted for the mandu. Mandu are dumplings that can be grilled, fried, steamed or boiled. They are usually filled with minced meat, tofu, green onions, garlic and ginger and served with kimchi and a dipping sauce made of soy sauce, vinegar and chilli. The ones I were served were absolutely delicious and although it did take a while for them to come out, actually arriving AFTER my main, it was worth the wait.

My friend went for the kkanpunggi. Kkanpunggi is spicy garlic fried chicken stir-fried with vegetables and a sweet, sour, spicy sauce. She let me try a piece and I absolutely fell in love. It was delicious and the flavours in my mouth were delectable. Something tells me this dish would go great with an ice cold beer ?

kkanpunggi :: photo cr; sharmayne


It was quite difficult deciding what we wanted for our main as they several things to choose from including hotpot, bibimbap, and katsu curry. We had to send the waiter away several times because we still hadn’t decided what we wanted! 

Eventually, I ended up going for the sizzling bulgogi, specially marinated top side beef, and my friend went for the chicken teriyaki, grilled chicken thigh with teriyaki sauce. Both dishes came with a side of rice, which definitely made my day.

check out the smoke on that bad boy ?

My dish was so tasty – I especially loved that when it arrived you could hear the sizzle of the beef indicating it was freshly cooked. The beef was tender and I loved the onions and vegetables that came with it. Paired with the rice, it was the perfect lunch. 

My only gripe, of course, is the advertisement of lunch KBBQ when in fact there was none. The service was also a bit slow. Other than that, the food definitely made up for these things, and I will definitely be coming back again!

36 Rosebery Ave

T: 020 7278 0008


  • Tara

    Ahahaha, girl, get your butt to Korea, and I’ll show you a ball with real Korean food XD Sucks about the false advertising, though. I don’t get why businesses will do that. It’s just annoying on so many levels.

    The kkanpunggi sounds yummy! The sizzling bulgogi also look super delicious. The banchan on the other hand . . . really? Just two things? I guess I’m used to seeing at least three different things at the more upper-scale Korean restaurants XD;;

    You know, seeing posts like this reminds me that Korean food will not be the same outside of Korea, so I should really take advantage of what they offer here and enjoy what I can πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your Korean food adventure, Chynna ^_^

  • Pauline

    Ugh, false advertising sucks! πŸ™ I would’ve complained a lot – it really isn’t cool being disappointed like that. But as long as you got some awesome food in return it’s not that bad.

    Oooo, this looks amazing! Your friends Chicken teriyaki tho ?? I’m not a beef fan but that smoke tho! kkanpunggi though too ahhhhh! <3

    Looking forward to meeting you soon fo sureeee πŸ˜‰

  • Amy

    It’s a shame there offer was wrong on the sign. I’d have been annoyed too, especially considering you’d travelled to get there. Although, I don’t know what they could’ve done, even if you complained, so I think you made the right decision in just ordering off the other menu.

    The food looks delicious though, so at least that’s something. The Kkanpunggi looks so lovely, and I agree, I bet that would have gone well with an ice cold beer. The beef looks great too, and anything arriving on a sizzling plate is a winner!

    Glad you had a great time!

  • Nancy

    Chynna, did I ever tell you that you’re the perfect person to go on foodie adventures with? I’m sorry to hear that you couldn’t do the AYCE KBBQ :(. They should’ve accommodated to you though. They did say AYCE for lunch! Even then, their food looks delicious! I love it when the food is brought out in a stone pan because it’s still sizzling = extra crisp! Now you inspire me to go crave for some KBBQ XD.

  • Georgie

    I have only been to Korean BBQ a couple of times! Of course I go for all the veggie options ? I have started to like kimchi despite really hating the smell a few years ago. The taste is really not bad at all and it goes well with some dishes.

    Sometimes buffets and specials are advertised only at certain times which kinda makes things confusing. And they have all the requirements like number of people, etc. I like a good deal but just give me the deal, bro. πŸ™‚ And it’s a bit annoying when they are not consistent with the advertising they do across different mediums.

    I love when dishes come with rice! It makes more sense to me. Because I don’t think anyone would just eat a plate of meat! πŸ™‚

  • Shanae

    Though it sucks that the advertising was off, and you didn’t get what you were expecting to go get, the food looks delicious. I love authentic Japanese and Korean food, and while it is extremely hard to come by here, there is ONE restaurant in town that I will visit knowing the food is going to be good quality!

    However, it doesn’t change the fact that I want to go visit Korean and Japan and experience food there as it should be. I’m sure it tastes much better in the countries that food favourites come from! Have to admit, while a good yakisoba is amazing, beef bulgogi is one of my favourite items ever to dine on. Sadly, the US is known for “authentic” cultural foods not actually being authentic, so I simply HAVE to travel elsewhere soon to experience good food.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: