Last night Mr. Red and I met up with friends for a meal in my favorite restaurant in town. Located on Bromsgrove Street, Miss Korea is located directly opposite a good car park and close to Sobar, (in the Arcadian) a really nice place to meet up for pre dinner drinks.
A funny start to the evening, as I had arrived at Sobar just before our agreed meet up time, I got a text from my friend to say she was sat outside, I stepped outside onto the terrace and she was not there, so I called her phone. “Look to your left” she said, my friend and her husband were sat outside the wrong bar! It gave us a laugh and no damage done. Another round of drinks in Sobar, which is a really lively bar later on but was quite for our meeting. They have a lovely cocktail menu and also do great coffee (I’m told, I never drink coffee in England) then a five minute stroll over to Miss korea .
We ordered one tray of each of the gyoza to start with. The gyoza come in three varieties, chicken, prawn and vegetable and we all agree that dumplings of any kind are always a firm favorite. These glorious little fried dumplings of joy are delicious, packed full of flavour and they never disappoint.
We also shared two portions of kimchi. If I try to describe Kimchi to someone who has never tried it I know I’d be doing this finest of Korean foods a disservice but I will try to convey the sheer delight this simple vegetable dish gives me. Kimchi is the national dish of Korea and for good reason. It’s jam packed full of flavour, slightly spicy, crunchy and just so gosh darn delicious to say it is made with cabbage. Packed into jars alongside kimchi spices the cabbage ferments and somehow magic takes place in that jar and the simple ingredients transform into what I consider to be one of the greatest foods I’ve every had the pleasure to try. The cabbage retains a delightful crunch yet is soft. The spices add loads of flavour and a little warmth, there is a heat to this but not a violent aggressive heat, this is gentle warmth. All I can say is, if you ever get a chance to try it then you’d be missing out if you said no just because pickled fermented spiced cabbage sounds nasty, you’re right, it sounds nasty but it tastes sublime.
Drinks included three Korean beers for everyone and a glass of wine for me. I started with something from the Wines from Asia part of the list. I wish I could tell you what it was called, it was white and fizzy. Not at all unpleasant but certainly like nothing I have ever drunk before. I like trying new foods, new flavours and anything I’ve never had before is always an adventure. This drink was ok but it was nothing special. I moved on to a regular white wine for my next drink.
For my main dish I opted for Pork and kimchi. I did tell you kimchi features very highly in Korean cuisine and it is delicious. The pork was mouth meltingly tender, the thinnest slivers of really tasty pork which had been very well cooked. Mr. Red opted for one of my favorite dishes at Miss Korea, the Bimibap. Bimibap is served in a hot bowl with rice, vegetables and Mr. Red had gone for the seafood. My friend also plumped for a Bimibap but with beef. The beef Bimibap has raw beef and a raw egg yolk on top, you simply add your portion of spicey sauce to suit your personal preference and stir, the heat from the bowl cooks the beef and egg, once again a delicious meal that tastes one hundred times better than it sound.
The bill for four adults, which include two drinks each, main courses and starters came in at under £100. I think that is jolly good value, service was good. ( service started as great, but they seemed to forget us for a while and we did struggle to catch the eye of anyone to order a second round of drinks)
Mr. Red and I have been enjoying this fabulous cuisine for a number of years now, Miss Korea has undergone a few facelifts over the years but the food stays consistently good. Korean is my favourite food. When people say they have never tried it and ask me what is it like, all I can say is Korean is like no other cuisine, but it’s packed full of fresh flavours, mildly spiced and much underrated.
I know I’m lucky enough to have a terrific little Korean restaurant on my doorstep here in Birmingham.