oh ee kim chi (pickled cucumber seasoned in red chilli powder)

There’s been a lot of talk lately about one of my most beloved fruits, the durian. And let me tell you, it hasn’t been so kind, this talk about my durian. It seems that more and more people (even Asians, dammit, you call yourself Asians?) are starting to take offence to its smell, which by the way wikipedia so lovingly describes as “pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock”.

Ok but you know what? Love is blind anosmic, so bite me.

I’m not so sure if it’s about “growing up” with smelly food vs an acquired taste. Most people seem to think that unless you’re born knee deep in stink, you will never love stink, but I disagree. I totally acknowledge the combined smartness of my friends and all that – and by no means am I any smarter, I mean, seriouslyΒ – but if there’s one thing I do know about, it’s what’s yummy.

Another smelly food is kim chi, right? If you don’t believe me, try keeping a tub of kim chi in your fridge a week and see. Just see. In my obviously misguided youth, kim chi used to make me near retch but now? Honestly? I can order a large serving of mixed kim chi and hoover the whole thing myself.

But mostly, I share. Because I’m nice like that.

Like last week, when I met the quirky and gorgeous Yasumi for dinner at Asadal, we shared mix kim chi – cucumber, cabbage and radish. No Korean meal is complete without kim chi and speaking of Korean, I’m off to Koba for dinner tonight! As good as Asadal was, somehow nothing in London compares to Koba – my one true Korean love!

kim chi (pickled chinese cabbage seasoned in red chilli powder)

yuk hwae (thinly sliced raw beef seasoned with soy sauce, salt & sesame oil
served with julienned pear & egg yolk)

bin dae dduk (traditional pancake made from ground green beans and beef)

sam gyup sal kui (fresh slices of pork belly)

hyeuh kui (slices of ox tongue meat)

cooking the ox tongue

BBQ’d gal bi (marinated cuts if beef rib)

ps. another smelly food I love? Fish sauce!!

pps. speaking of smells, one thing Asadal does well is the management of smoke stink, considering it is a BBQ joint. They have these awesome IN-GRILL vents that pull the smoke back down, so you don’t go home smelling like something your dog might want to lick all over!

229-231 High Holborn,
Holborn, Wc1V 7DA
0207 430 9006

Asadal on Urbanspoon

17 Thoughts on “dinner at Asadal: kim chi and the love of smelly food

  1. Sigh…I will miss you Catty!

    You are right….Koba is the best but Asadal is totally smell free!

  2. Haven’t been to Asadal for ages, must go again soon. Never been to Koba, will have to try. Thanks for the tip!

  3. I love Korean BBQ! Kimchi is OK, if it’s in moderation. Durian….ya….sorry, I’m not very Asian on this one. I will not try it again! πŸ˜›

  4. Smelly food? You just inspired an idea I’ve been knocking around… I like “smelly” as in Blue Cheese, and Parmesan cheese. But durian? Might as well go with what the Japanese scientists are doing;turning poop into ‘meat’. What do you suppose Soylent Green tastes like? (Monsanto needs to get gone.)
    The pickled cucumber up top this post looks delicious, even if I did mistake it for zucchini, at first. On the other hand, zucchini would be good, too. What do you think?

  5. gastromummy: Try Koba!! It is honestly my favourite Korean place, possibl EVER.

    Kung Food Panda: LOL, you are one of the crappy Asian peepz I was talking about! I hope you like fish sauce πŸ˜‰

    Linda: Ooooh I love blue cheese and parmesan cheese too! That’s definitely cucumber but yeah zucchini could work!

  6. Ha I’m on the other side most definitely Catty! I can’t deal with the smell of durian. Do I have to give up my Asian citizenship? πŸ˜›

  7. “Love is anosmic” – brilliant!

  8. jenny c. on July 22, 2011 at 12:32 pm said:

    Oh i love durian, haha but I know so many people who don’t! I also love kimchi, fish sauce and all the foul smelling foods!

  9. Lorraine: You are totally revoked of your asian citizenship! what is the matter with you people!? πŸ˜‰

    meemalee: πŸ˜€

    jenny c: hi^5!

  10. can’t believe wikipedia’s description. that needs to be changed! durian does not smell like shit or socks… smells rich and sweet and durian-ny. i’ve been eating durian the last 2 weeks, yummy.

  11. Im going to London this weekend, with by bf who LOVES korean BBQ! Any tips for best place?? And yeah, they must have bulgogi, kimchi, and all those lovely korean dishes ;)!

    Thanks! πŸ˜€

  12. My* πŸ™‚

  13. Dear Catty,

    I am now living in London and my flatmate is from Korea; she recommended me Asadal and I would like to taste korean food next week. But, after reading your article and I am not sure if it would be better try Koba first -it will be a surprise dinner for my boyfriendΒ΄s birthday-. It would be great if you could recommed me in this sense. Thanks so much and congratulations for your webside -very tasted!!!!-

    Best wishes,


  14. Hi Catty πŸ™‚
    thanks so much for your reply; then I will try
    koba this time and I am sure I will enjoy it.

    Best wishes,


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