Bulgogi beef steak – succulent, delicious, top-quality, Scottish beef, marinated fresh every day, and served pink to rare.
Korean – Japanese fusion (but mainly Korean)
Bulgogi beef steak. (£7/£10). Their signature dish is bulgogi beef steak. (Literally, it means fire meat.) Bogna and Aga use bavette – reputed to be the tastiest beef cut of all – and they cook it on a griddle until it is pink or rare. (Bavette should not be cooked more than that.) They buy the beef in the market early in the morning.
Vegan bulgogi. (£5/£9). This is cooked with the same bulgogi marinade as the beef version, but in place of beef you get organic tofu or soy chunks, mushrooms, and seasonal vegetables such as courgettes .
Korean barbecue chicken. (£5/£9). Chicken thighs cooked in gochugaru chilli and gochujang.
Avo and kimchi. (£5). Half an avocado and kimchi (standard or vegan), and edamame beans.
Rice and salad are included in the price. All of them include
Sushi rice (or brown rice, or sometimes kimchi fried rice),
Danmuji, which is a yellow pickled radish
Rainbow slaw (seasoned with toasted sesame oil vinegar brown sugar)
Kimchi, standard or vegan. They make their own vegan kimchi.
You can order extra portions of most constituents for an extra £1 each.
All dishes come with
gochujang chili sauce – fermented chilli sauce, which is very flavoursome, sweet, and unique among other chili flavours
miso sauce, which is Korean doenjang sauce
mixed toasted sesame seeds.
They serve everything in biodegradable packaging. The utensils are made from potato starch and corn starch and they are compostable.
Bulgogi marinade is the basis of most of these dishes. It is a specific Korean marinade made with soy sauce, spring onions, ginger, sesame oil, black pepper, pears, brown sugar, garlic, and a splash or two of gochujang
Who your chefs are
Their names are Bogna and Aga, and they are not Korean, they are Polish. Why would Polish people be attracted particularly to Korean cuisine? Easily, Bogna explains to me. Korean and Polish cuisines both widely use fermented food. So, it is very natural for Poles to turn their hand to Korean cooking. Bogna also studied sushi, so she has a talent for Japanese-style cooking to contribute.
Bogna and Aga have known each other since they were teenagers. They went to art college together where they studied woodcarving. Aga became an antique restorer, specialising in painted furniture. Bogna went into lacquer and gilding work, and eventually specialised in mending clavicles and harpsichords. From there, the obvious next step was into bulgogi marinades and rainbow slaws.
Aga and Bogna are uncompromising on doing everything to the highest standards and in a completely authentic way. They start very early in the morning. The first stop is at Smithfield Market to pick up choice cuts of bavette steak. The erect their stall by 7.00 am and begin marinating the steaks for the day.
They begin serving at around 11.30 am, and you will be giving yourself a real treat if you stop by their stall for your takeaway lunch.