The very first time that I came across Korean food was through a mukbang video, on the social media platform, Instagram. This video genre which was picking up steam rapidly featured the host sitting in front of the camera, interacting with the audience, and devouring an ample amount of food. Mukbangs turned out to be surprisingly fascinating to me. Scrolling down to the related videos lead me to a deep cave of an unexplored cuisine and I am ever grateful for that.
Mukbang or meokbang, is a portmanteau word, an amalgamation of two Korean words, “muk-ja” for eating and “bang-song” for broadcast.
The trend started in South Korea during 2010, later made its way to the USA in 2015. Although, the audio-visual popularity of the cuisine can be owed to the mukbangers or Kpop and Kdramas, Korean food found its way into our country back in 1996 after the establishment of Hyundai, a Korean automobile manufacturer. Their arrival in Chennai could be marked as the outset of Korean cuisine in South India and then fanning out to other metropolitan cities subsequently.
Deborah Carter, a British travel writer says, “You have to taste a culture to understand it.” I would absolutely agree that there isn’t a better way to get a hang of a different culture. Being the capital of the nation, Delhi shelters a vast diversity and it is applicable when it comes to food as well. Therefore, enjoying a taste of Korea back home is made attainable and trouble-free by the widespread Korean restaurants in the city. K pop (Korean music genre) and K dramas (Korean TV serials) deserve massive credit for introducing us to the best of Korean food. Watching a Kdrama character indulge in a scrumptious bowl of Ramyeon aka Ramen makes our stomach growl and that’s undeniable. Most of us would agree to googling the nearest place to get a bowl of this Korean noodle. To understand the nation and its culinary art beyond their pickled dish Kimchi (fermented vegetables), which is the heart and soul of Korean food, without burning a hole in your pocket is possible. And visiting these following restaurants situated in Delhi would be totally worth it.
1. Gangnam Korean restaurant
A hidden gem (quite literally) would be a little difficult to find inside the alleys of the dimly lit area of Majnu-ka-Tilla. The entrance of the place showcases the pride of Korea, a few pictures of some K pop bands. The cozy and curtained cabins of the restaurants make the experience of private dining more enjoyable. Resting your keens on the floor and gobbling down the Samgyeopsal, grilled pork barbeque (which you’ll be allowed to cook by yourself) is an experience you never knew you needed. Although the place doesn’t boast of a prodigious space, the quality of food makes up for it. The highlight of the restaurant is its pocket-friendly menu. A perfect place to have a Ramen date.
Address: 1st floor tara house, New Aruna Colony, Majnu-ka-tilla, Timarpur, Delhi, 110054
The Korean Cultural Centre India (KCCI) is a house to a restaurant, Dal-grak, which provides the authentic taste of the Korean cuisine and serves its patrons who are mostly Indian. Dal-grak, situated in the heart of South Delhi, provides an ambience with Kpop music playing in the background which makes the food a bit more delectable. A visit to this place calls for a spread of the variety of Gimbap (Seaweed rolls), Tteok-bokki (stir-fried rice cakes) and Japchae (a sweet and savory glass noodles dish) on your dinner table.
Address: A25, Vikram Vihar, Lajpat Nagar IV, New Delhi, Delhi 110024
3. Gung- The palace
Run by a mother-son duo from Korea, Gung might be a slightly high on the bill but everything about this place from the food to the ambience will make the dining unregretful. Korean cuisine is big on meat and seafood and you can get access to the finest of barbeque here. This three storeyed restaurant in Gurugram earns brownie points since it avails the customers more than just Korean food, that is Karaoke. Anyone who knows a little about Koreans would know that they love Karaoke as much as they love their food. Kdrama fans, it’s a chance to party in ‘Seoul style’.
Address: No: 27, Sector 29, Near Signature Towers, Haryana 122001
4. Restaurant De Seoul
With a warm and homely vibe, this place provides a dining experience that is not at all pompous. Even though the eatery is basic the same cannot be said about the range of dishes they provide. One unmissable delicacy of Korea, Sundae (Korean style sausage), a street food, is served here with its equally delicious counterparts Bulgogi and Bossam. To begin with, your meal a wide range of soups have been included in the menu, among which the Mandu (dumpling) soup could be something to try out.
Address: 3rd Floor, C Block, Ansal Plaza Mall, Khel Gaon Marg, New Delhi.
5. Busan Korean restaurant
Another quite underrated spot to dig into a platter of Korean fried chicken (which will definitely make you forget any other fried chicken you have had so far), is the Busan Korean restaurant. Their elaborate menu involves Bibimbap, Kimchi jeon (pancake), Korean egg roll, Korean coffee, and much more. The variety of Banchan (side dish) served before the meal is an added bonus, which you’ll get at all these restaurants. A bottle of Soju (popular liquor in Korea) is something you should surely go for while you are there.
Address: 9B, Ground Floor, Block 10, New Aruna Nagar, Majnu Ka Tilla, New Delhi
Discover the food culture of Korea in the heart of India and mani-deuseyo (Have a great meal).