by Khushboo Khanna
One of the many advantages of living in the cosmopolitan jungle of Shanghai is the availability of global cuisine with relative ease. You’re spoilt for choice but one of the pre dominantly loved regional food by most, is Korean. Continuing on our quest to find the best Asian food across the city, here’s a list of Korean dishes you must try and where to find them.
With multiple outlets around the city, none of which disappoint, this treasure house of a chain restaurant offers lip smacking Korean bbq options with a bustling kitchen vibe. Some great pairings of soju make a visit here memorable while being pocket friendly, albeit with long queues so make a reservation or reach 30 min before dinner time.
Particularly enjoyable are the noodle bowls, and the seafood pancakes. The staff is helpful and take over the job to grill your meats and veggies to perfection.
By far the best kimchi as a side with pickled radish on this list.
Tootoo x Jolie House, Jin Xian Lu.
A fine dine Korean restaurant from the Izakaya umbrella, there are seasonal menus for spring, summer, autumn and winter. To elevate the dining experience, when reserved in advance, your menu comes customized with your name and you can take some freebies home. The food is exquisite and beyond what you’d expect at a Korean eatery, making it a holistic experience that tantalizes more than just your taste buds. Highly recommended for celebratory occasions and date nights.
While the seasonal rotation of menu means you’re likely to miss some fan favorites like the Jeju Hairtail from the summer menu, our top pick from the currently served autumn menu is the Perilla Leaf Chicken Cordon Bleu with Kimchi. Do not miss the wine/tea pairing and make sure you save space for their wonderful desserts!
Jeju Sagye, 1095 Yu Yuan Lu.
With two outlets in the city, this newly opened joint near Jing’An Temple is cooking up a storm. Hard to miss with its attractive dim lit display, the food here uses Spanish Iberian black pork and Australian Angus beef ensuring high quality. While this joint is best skipped by vegetarians, the Chef’s specials do have a couple of meatless items. Recommended by staff is the mustard octopus and volcano pupu chicken cake. The Gin Pork Fruit Wine is surprisingly refreshing and a must try! The eponymous butterbeer is also a staple fan favorite while they have a selection of soju available as well.
Gin Pork, 50 Wan Hang Du Lu
Having featured on the Top 10 most recommended restaurants in Shanghai list few years in a row, Sura is a hole in the wall small kitchen that smells great every time you pass by. It is hard not to be tempted and get yourself their ever-famous Bibimbap and honestly, you shouldn’t even try to skip it. Our mantra is simple- ‘You only regret the things you didn’t eat’ and so we insist you give this a go. A super simple menu of limited items, with very short span of window time to order them, make it hyper exclusive among its fans.
Surprisingly, they remain closed on Sundays so you better get there on weekdays between 10:30 am and 4:30 pm when they close kitchen… unbelievable? I know right!
Try the beef or vegetarian bimbibap, they’re equally good, fried cheese rice cake and the tofu rice bao.
Sura, 29 Jiao Zhou Lu.
In collaboration with Shanghai’s most famous Korean Chef, Chef Tom Ryu, the Genesis Restaurant was created under the guidance of the Korean cultural research institute and Michelin star restaurant, Onjium to bring the essence of Korea’s past, present and future in a culinary dining experience to the people of Shanghai. As the luxury wing of the Hyundai group, Genesis offers its customers the rarity of trying an 800-year-old Korean Royal Cuisine as part of one of its tasting menus. The second menu is a creation of Chef Tom Ryu himself.
Recommended dishes include Ojingeo Muguk a recipe passed down in Chef Ryu’s family, it’s a hearty soup ideal for autumn and winter and Sanjeok from the Onjium selection that elevates the traditionally served roast beef with sesame oil. An ala carte menu is available and there is also a 10-course w/beverage pairing menu for RMB 1288.
Genesis Restaurant, 288 Huaihai Zhong Lu
Largely unknown to many, this is actually a chain restaurant with 3 outlets around the city. The most exciting part? It is a DPRK restaurant that offers an intriguing insight into the cultural and culinary traditions of Pyongyang. Every evening at 7 pm, there are half Chinese, half Korean cultural performances where in women take on various roles of singing, dancing and playing musical instruments in traditional attire while engaging the audience with their mesmerizing acts. The food is actually really tasty with traditional options such as Pyongyang Cold Noodle to Bibimbap although a personal favorite on their menu is the sizzling tofu with chili sauce. Another reason to visit is the rare Taedonggang beer which even though pricey at RMB 70 for a small bottle is an experience not to miss. The soju can get very expensive here depending on your selection although it only adds that much more allure to your visit.
Shanghai Koryo Pyongyang Restaurant, 1088 Gu Bei Lu.
Do try these out and let us know which one you like most!
Fun fact: Did you know N. Koreans receive part of their monthly rations in beers? Each household is entitled to 5 litres worth of beer per month!
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