Anyone who’s a fan of Korean cuisine knows that hidden behind Centre Point, next to Tottenham Court Road tube, is a small little haven for authentic and delicious Korean food. For our first food review we went to Assa, one of the several restaurants located in this area.
53 St Giles High Stree, London WC2H 8LH
Nearest Tube: Tottenham Court Road
Hours: Mon – Sat 12.00 – 23.00 – Pricing: Average
(About £8 for main meal, £2 side dish)
020 7240 8256
Notes – Be prepared to queue outside for a while as the restaurant is small and very popular. If you’re with a large group, get there earlier to start queueing for your table or try and book, but please note, they are SUPER STRICT with bookings, don’t be late! At weekends and evenings the restaurants is especially busy.
– Don’t forget there is noraebang downstairs! You can eat and sing till your heart’s content.
When thinking about where to go for a Korean meal last Saturday at 7pm, there was one area that came into our minds immediately – Centre Point. It’s location is super convenient in the centre of London and we know that it never fails. When we arrived at Centre Point, we peeked through the windows of a couple of restaurants to see if there were any free tables, and spotting one in Assa, we quickly went in. It was lucky we did as there were people just behind us who then had to wait to be seated.Getting settled into our table, we had a look over the menu. There’s all the traditional dishes you’d expect to see, and a good selection of special dishes too. We decided on sharing a few dishes between us. In the end we went for a side dish of kimchi (can’t do without it!), 3 bowls of rice, kimchi pancakes (pajeon), rice cakes with noodles (tteokbokki), and marinated beef in sesame oil (bulgogi). The beef we ordered came from the BBQ section, but there was bulgogi on the main meal section too – we’ll have to come back and order both to compare the differences!
It doesn’t take long for your order to come at Assa, which is good since we were pretty hungry. The flat chopsticks proved a slight difficult for some of us……or just one of us (practicing by eating more Korean food seems like a good solution).
The beef was tender and sweet, absolutey delicious, even the strands of carrot was bursting with flavour. You could really taste the sesame oil that they had marinated the beef in. We might not know what the difference between the normal bulgogi and the BBQ bulgogi is, but we do know that it was absolutely delicious.
The kimchi pancakes were filled with veg as well as kimchi, very filling and well made. They were thin and crispy, and cut into handy chopstick size pieces. Luckily, they’d been cut into 9 pieces, so there was no fighting over who’d get the last square! It also came with some soy to dip it in, very handy.
The side dish of kimchi was delicious. Slightly spicy for some of us, but still a very welcome addition to the meal.
And last but not least the tteokbokki. It was full of flavour, although a bit spicy for the wimpier member of the Korean Class MASSIVE. We got the version with noodles, which were also nicely cooked. The fish cakes in the tteokbokki were also delicious – they really add something to the dish.
Assa is our failsafe restaurant. Cheap and cheerful with a good atmosphere to boot. There is music playing in the background but its never loud enough to distract from conversation. The restaurant is also brightly lit making it perfect to catch up with friends. The service is quick and friendly, and you’re always made to feel welcome. The food is delicious, and we can’t wait to explore the menu further!