I have no idea if all the Korean BBQ dishes and meals I have eaten recently are at all authentic, but I do like what I have been eating. One day I might need to visit Korea for the actual experience, like that will ever happen.
My most recent Korean BBQ experience was at Itsu where I went with their Korean BBQ Chicken Rice Bowl.
Lean chargrilled chicken with wholegrain brown & red rice, fresh seasonal greens, gochujang chilli, thai & teriyaki sauce.
Now mine didn’t look the picture on the website, mainly as the pot it arrived in was not as wide as the one on the website.
The chicken was chicken, the greens were fresh, I liked the rice with the Thai sauce. The gochujang chilli added heat, but not excessively so.
I haven’t been to itsu for a while now, since I stopped working in Oxford, I made quite a few visits there for sushi and pots of noodles. I haven’t been to the branch in London (too many other choices) however in December a new branch opened in Bristol.
As on my previous visit, there was a lot of choice and within the different types of food on offer lots of variation. I found it difficult to decide on what to have.
There is a big choice of salad and sushi in the fridges and then there are the hot options, pots of soup, rice, noodles or dumplings.
In the end I went with the Vietnam beef salad. This was roasted beef, hard boiled egg, spicy sauce, sushi rice, greens & ginger, roasted seeds, chives, red ginger, `no lettuce´ salad and salad seasoning.
It looked really nice and was well presented. I found the beef tender and actually quite tasty. The salad and rice was also really nice. The overall combination was delicious and I really enjoyed the salad.
I hadn’t heard or seen an itsu restaurant or shop before, but I was out in Oxford and found their branch on Cornmarket Street. They have been in London for a while, since 1999 according to the website.
The blurb says
The early pioneers of Pret are the creative force behind itsu.
Years of listening and reacting to customers encouraged us to build a new type of food place dedicated to skinny but delicious food; sixty two dishes- light, green and good for you.
Apparently the secret to Pink Floyd’s breathtaking music is as much about what they left out as what they put in; a bit like itsu, less fat, more bounce.
There was a lot of choice and within the different types of food on offer lots of variation. It was quite difficult to decide on what to choose.
The salads looked great, well presented, as did the sushi. The food looked fresh and inviting. The shelves were well stocked and there was a lot of choice.
I was tempted by a box of sushi, but as the weather outside was cold and wet, I went with the chicken and rice “potsu”. It is described as chargrilled chicken, ithai sauce, kombu relish, brown + wild rice & seven veg.
It was rather nice, filling and tasty. The chargrilled chicken was full of flavour, and the vegetables were fresh and had a nice crunch. The sauce was very spicy and in some ways I could see how some people might find it overpowering, but I did like it. It was nice to eat something very different for lunch, something that wasn’t a sandwich or the ubiquitous panini.
It was an interesting environment in which to eat, there were raised communal tables with high stools. It certainly is a good place to go if you are in a group, and I am sure in a place like Oxford with lots of students they are trying to attract that market. The decor and colours are best described as bright and colourful, very different from the dark and wood you find in coffee shops.
I enjoyed the food, quite liked the environment and was inspired by the menu. I will certainly go again.