Kyung Bok Kung.

Kyung Bok Kung is an absolute gem of a Korean restaurant hidden away behind the walls of the rather dubious Juliana Hotel in Colpetty. To enter, you must first tread through the Juliana’s delightfully seedy lobby. Filled with the gentle odour of smoke and ash trays, the room is a bizarre jumble of mismatched furniture, gaudy lights and tacky wallpaper; on one wall hangs an elevated flat screen TV tuned in to a wrestling channel and beneath it lies a half-broken, half-hearted foosball table. But beyond this cataclysm of kitsch lies one of Colombo’s best restaurants – Kyung Bok Kung. And the only indication of its existence is a Hangul lettered sign set above a pair of tall, frosted doors.

With no other discernible form of advertising or signage, Kyung Bok Kung is something of an insider’s secret amongst Colombo’s Korean community. While the menu is smaller than that of the city’s only other mainstream Korean dining option Han Gook Gwan, what’s served is served well. Really, really well. The food here is undoubtedly excellent, and as close to authentic Korean as you’re likely to get in Colombo.

The Food

If you’re unfamiliar with Korean cuisine, the menu may prove a bit bewildering. The angular Korean hieroglyphs, the images of hefty seafood concoctions, the unidentifiable meats swimming beneath clear brothy surfaces – how does this work? Don’t worry – most waiters are Sri Lankan and will happily walk you through your options – and most of what you order is likely to be delicious.

YAMU recommends the Korean bacon. This is served raw, to be cooked on the large hotplate discs that lie at the centre of each table. Served with sauces, garlic and an absolute feast of sides – sesame leaves, spicy potatoes, black beans, lettuce leaves, kimchi and more – the bacon is served best when made into a ‘bite’. Make sure your bacon is first dipped in the little mixture of sesame oil, pepper and salt that they put down before you, and that your garlic suitably doused in the sweetishly-spicy cup of red sauce. Then wrap the cooked bacon, garlic and desired sides snugly inside a strip of lettuce – a couple of chopstick servings of white rice can be added in to pad it further.

Once assembled, your bite can be chewed in one, or consumed in a series of munches. Either way, it produces a delightful firework of crunch and Korean flavour in your mouth. Meaty meals such as this go well with a couple of vegetable soups – not to be mistaken with the large seafood ‘event soups’ that are placed in the centre of the table, forming the main event of the meal.

The Sharing

With such a spread of food covering every reachable inch of the table, Korean cooking is meant to be dipped and dabbled in, passed about and shared; the concept of the individual portion only really works with the bibimbap (a fried rice like dish served in a hot stone bowl). And all of this makes for a highly interactive, social experience. Turning over your strips of sizzling bacon and passing round burnt bits of garlic creates a more drawn out, fun meal that you can really enjoy and laugh over. It’s the perfect venue for a date or meeting new people – all that interaction over kimchi and kongjaban can provide the smoothest of ice breakers.

The Soju

But if social awkwardness persists, it can be washed away with a few slick shots of soju (Rs. 1300 per bottle). Soju is a clear Korean alcohol, sweeter than vodka and slightly less potent at just 20%. However, be warned, the ease with which it slides down the throat can make for treacherous territory – this is easy to drink, so it’s easy to get drunk. But with a good amount of soju and Hogwarts style ever-replenishing sides, a meal at Kyung Bok Kung is going to be exciting at the most and lively at the least.

And so…

Kyung Bok Kung is one of Colombo’s best kept secrets. For a change from the usual chilli paste and fried rice dream team or a standard burger and beer dinner, go Korean and experience a completely new spectrum of flavours and tastes. It’s a whole different genre of food, and a wholly good one at that.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp

Highlights.

Latest.

KAMU.

Satisfy your Kottu cravings at KottuLabs

Located in Nawala down a little lane, Kottulabs is home to the widest and most

Highlights Kamu

A flavorful journey to the North East by Paadum Meen

An ecstatically beautiful place located down Frankfort place, Bambalapitiya has caught a significant eye for

Highlights Kamu

Hummus Festival 2022 – Graze Kitchen by Hilton

By Shamrina Carim The stunning atmosphere Walking into this masterpiece designed by an excellent interior

Kamu

A Luxury European Dining experience at 1864 Limited Edition

Ambience Intimate dining area for couples and friends Comfy lounge areas to sit and catch

Highlights Kamu

Pizza Hut – My Box Birizza Fever- review

By Sumaiya Jaleel Hurrah! Welcome back to your scrumptious feast. Pizza Hut has brought back

Highlights Kamu

The Hottest Food Fest of the Year: Eat Street Colombo

By Janani Vithanage After a 2 year (Covid induced break), Sri Lanka’s biggest, best food

Highlights Kamu

Trending.

Tom Cruise Returns As The Iconic Fighter Pilot In Top Gun: Maverick

Scope Cinemas Premieres Top Gun: Maverick Starring Tom Cruise Colombo, Sri Lanka - 26 May

Trending

Things you Should Know About Monkeypox

By Janani Vithanage As Sri Lanka navigates what seems like the worst financial crisis she’s

Highlights Trending

 Unique Burger Promotion at Hilton Colombo

Hilton Colombo is presenting five unique burgers at Café Kai, LAB and SunsetBlu from 28th

Trending

Ramada by Wyndham Colomb Wins 2022 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award 

Ramada by Wyndham Colombo is recognized with the 2022 Tripadvisor Travelers' Choice Award for the

Trending

‘Encounters’: The Second Exhibition by the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka

-  A walk through history that gives you a feel of déjà vu, especially when

Trending

Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo’s ColomBar moves to newly refurbished location

04 May2022, Colombo: Colombo’s iconic and stylish destination bar, ColomBar, has been re-located to its

Trending

Yamu Guide.

7 Restaurants to dine in June 2022

Here is a mix of aesthetically pleasing restaurants that are known for their Instagrammable background

Highlights Yamu Guide

The Embazzy – a relaxing luncheon spot

By Hiruni Herath Service and Ambience Stepping into The Embazzy, it’s clear that the restaurant

Highlights Yamu Guide

What to expect at a Yala National Park Safari

Covering an extensive area of Southern and Uva Provinces, Yala is the second largest national

Yamu Guide

Everything you need at Online Kade

Located in the heart of Rajagiriya Online Kade also has a branch in Colombo 04

Yamu Guide

5 Co-working spaces in Colombo

By Tashia Ranasinghe Here are some more interesting places for all the digital nomads out

Highlights Yamu Guide

7 Buffets to Indulge In this Easter 2022

By Janani Vithanage As the youth of our nation make their voices heard, the birth

Yamu Guide