4/5

Kyung Bok Kung

Juliana Hotel, 316 Galle Road, Kollupitiya, Colombo 3


Kyung Bok Kung at Hotel Juliana does a pretty authentic take on Korean cuisine. The setting might be slightly dubious, and the DIY style might not be for everyone, but order the right dishes and you'll be glad you dropped in.



Kyung Bok Kung at Hotel Juliana does a pretty authentic take on Korean cuisine. The setting might be slightly dubious, and the DIY style might not be for everyone, but order the right dishes and you'll be glad you dropped in.

The Food

Korean cuisine is quite scarce here in Colombo, which is a shame since it has so many interesting elements to it. Kyung Bok Kung, along with Han Gook Gwan are the only real Korean restaurants in Colombo (besides KBQ, which does fried chicken).


Korean eating is best with a group, it's family style and you get to experience more variety that way. All the dishes come in one portion size which is usually enough for 2-3 people. Prices vary greatly depending on what you order with dishes priced between Rs. 800 - Rs. 2500.

For a casual visit Rs. 1500 per head should suffice.


The style here is that you can BBQ your own food on the table, there's a heating element provided. You order a meat and a bunch of sides and then combine.  A safe bet is the BBQ pork (Rs. 900 for 4 large slices), which comes with an array of sides - kimchi, bean curd, bean sprouts, cuttlefish, beef, Korean pancakes and of course the lettuce.

You can either let the waiter cook the meat for you (if you're not quite sure how you want it cooked) or you can opt to do it yourself. We opted for the latter, and it came out quite decently, specially when wrapped with the lettuce, bean curd, cuttlefish and kimchi.

One thing to note is that this particular dish can get quite messy. Trust me, it's not easy to get off pants.


Korean restaurants are also known for their 'event' soups. Don't be fooled by the word soup though, the portion is huge and it's pretty much a meal. We tried the yukgaejang (Rs. 900), a spicy beef and vegetable soup. The main elements here are the beef, mushrooms and a plethora of vegetables along with soy sauce and  a good amount of chili. While we loved the kick of the chili, we felt that needed a bit more salt.

All in all we'd say this was a pretty good take on a yukgaejang.


Finally we tried the dolsot bibimbap (Rs. 1000). If you want a simple meal in a bowl this is a good bet. It's like the elements of a very generous fried rice in separate portions.

Ours came with carrots, daikon, bean sprouts, egg and diced beef, topped with a hefty layer of diced lettuce. As far as signature Korean dishes go, bibimbap is pretty much as iconic as it gets. While the overall presentation was on point, this did have one flaw that dragged the dish down. That being the diced beef, which was under-seasoned and diced too finely to really experience any texture. This is a shame since the other elements of the dish were just right.

Ambience & Service


Kyung Bok Kung is hidden away in Hotel Juliana. The Juliana has a reputation as, well, it's a nice hotel but some people might feel awkward going in there. In our experience, however, this seems to be where the Korean expats are at. Kyung Bok Kung is at the back of the hotel, through the lobby.

The restaurant itself is very simple in terms of ambience with wooden furniture and folding screens. It'ss well lit, clean and has it's own rustic charm with the customary BBQ in the center of each table


The service was actually very impressive and the local waiters were friendly and very helpful when we asked about certain dishes. One thing that this place really needs though, are napkins. Right now all they've got is paper serviettes which just don't cut it with all the kimchi in the dishes. It's also quite possible that I'm just a total clutz.

Conclusion

If you haven't had Korean cuisine yet, Kyong Bok Kung is a good place to give it a try. It can get a bit messy if you aren't careful, but it's definitely a unique experience.


TIP

In the true spirit of Korean sharing, all sides will be replenished for free - just ask.

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Address

Juliana Hotel, 316 Galle Road, Kollupitiya, Colombo 3

Directions

Head north on the Galle Road, the Hotel Juliana is just before Colpetty Junction. From Duplication road you can turn down St. Anthony's to join the Galle Road. The restaurant has no street signage, just walk directly through the hotel.

Contacts

Report Inaccuracy

Open until 11:00 PM

Cuisine

Korean

Ratings Breakdown

Overall Rating
4
Quality Rating
4
Service Rating
4
Ambience Rating
4
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User Reviews
A
1

1/5

0

Annika

I went there on friday, but the service was rubbish! Due to their bad service we didn't have a very good experience. The waiter didn't speak English so, I switched to Sinhalese realising this, but he continued in english and consequently screwed our entire order up! The dumplings were terrible. Very slimy and it was falling apart. I do really like Korean food and was very disappointed. The best part of our meal was the steamed rice.

A
1

1/5

0

Annika

I went there on friday, but the service was rubbish! Due to their bad service we didn't have a very good experience. The waiter didn't speak English so, I switched to Sinhalese realising this, but he continued in english and consequently screwed our entire order up! The dumplings were terrible. Very slimy and it was falling apart. I do really like Korean food and was very disappointed. The best part of our meal was the steamed rice.

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