We may (finally) have the weather for barbecuing but there’s a new spot in Soho that’s firing up the grills come rain or shine. Korean BBQ restaurant Chungdam, named after the Cheongdam-dong district in Seoul and residing on the corner of Greek Street and Romilly Street in London, is the latest venture from the team behind Shibuya and Hongdae Pocha. It’s light and bright thanks to all the windows, and with green marble tables and gold cutlery, it feels elegant. There are premium quality ingredients on the menu too, including chateaubriand filet mignon, A3 Wagyu, short ribs and Iberico pork ribs amongst the options for the BBQ.
It’s a more concise offering than some of the other Korean BBQ joints I’ve been to before but Chungdam does have something that I’ve not seen anywhere else with its Pyeonbaek steam boxes. Made from Hinoki wood, the three-tiered box includes one filled with beef brisket, ribeye and veggies, another with mixed seafood and veggies, and broth at the bottom used to steam the food, which then gets turned into hotpot with the addition of seasoning and noodles. That’s a full meal in itself, so unless you’re in a group you’d have to choose between the box and the BBQ, and being a big BBQ fan, I went for the latter.
First there was the obligatory kimchi, along with radish and beansprouts, an excellent japchae (that’s glass noodles with beef & veggies), and a seafood pancake stuffed with chilli and squid. The waiter then fired up the BBQ and began grilling – they cook the food for you here, which is slightly less fun than DIYing it – starting with a lovely marbled round of chateaubriand, which he also sliced up for us, and following with really well-marinated beef bulgogi.
There were all the classic accompaniments, including a moreish soybean sauce and spicy spring onion salad, to make ssam lettuce wraps, as well as wasabi and garlic soy to dip the meat into. A generous slice of homemade strawberry cake (which wouldn’t look out of place in a patisserie), with an impossibly light sponge and fresh fruit, was the perfect way to finish off.
I stuck to the non-alcoholic rice punch but there’s a good selection of soju on offer at Chungdam if you fancy something a little stronger, and a private karaoke room downstairs if that gets you in the mood to belt out some K-pop.
35 – 36 Greek Street, W1D 5DL