Beyond Kimchi and Topokki
A cozy little Korean restaurant tucked away in the cool semisuburban neighbourhood Ari, Joha Korean Restaurant offers a fresh take on authentic Korean cuisine. It’s a chic, contemporary space combining white brick walls, warm wood dining tables, and floor-to-ceiling glass panels. Behind the glass of the open kitchen in the corner of this petite restaurant, you’ll find the two Korean chefs—Kay Cho and Junhee Cho— working their culinary magic.
A former flight attendant and chef in multiple restaurants in Australia, Kay Cho envisioned a modern, authentic Korean restaurant in Bangkok. Featuring a menu of traditional classics, the vision has come to life in this recently opened restaurant, which also offers fun dishes that are popular and hip in Korea at the moment.
Starter highlights include Mandu (B120), deep-fried Korean dumplings, which are golden in colour and in taste. The dumplings have a beautifully crisp exterior and the pork and chives stuffing within remain juicy and flavourful. We also try the Haemul pajeo (B180), seafood with green onion pancake which is best described as a Korean seafood pizza. Though grilled on a hot pan, this savoury pancake is grease-free and the edges are delightfully crunchy.
If you like cheese fondue, Kimchi bokkeum bap with cheese (B250) is a must-try. The epitome of comfort foods, this bacon kimchi fried rice is fringed with a blend of beaten egg yolks and melting cheese—and nothing beats spicy kimchi served with hot gooey cheese bubbling away on a hot pan. Another Korean classic, the Dolsot bibim bap (B220) is beautifully presented like a work of art with a festive piling of seasoned vegetables delicately arranged on top of chewy rice, sizzling in a hot stone bowl that bakes a thin chewy crust. You can select from a wide range of bibim bap here, including vegetable and tofu, beef, pork, oysters and seafood. Other than garden-fresh ingredients, Joha Bangkok also includes bracken fern in the mix, which are imported from Korea. For meat-lovers, don’t miss out on the BBQ beef (B350), where you get to grill your own thinly sliced sirloin beef on hot stones. Garnished with sautéed onions, the beef is succulent and enhanced with an underlying sweetness.
A simple dessert of shaved ice topped with sweetened azuki red beans and bean powder, the Patbingsu (B90) is both a good palate cleanser and sweet ending to your meal. As for soulful sips, go for the Soju Bomb (B110), which is one of the most popular drinks in Korean bars. The drink is a fun mix of two popular liquors—soju and beer. To those who prefer sweet cocktails, the Melona Ju (B190) is recommended. Served with Korea’s Melona ice cream bar, the creamy concoction has a teal-green hue and refreshing honeydew flavour. By Anne Wong
Joha Korean Restaurant
59/2 Soi Phahonyothin 7
Tel: 097 247 9777
Open: Mon-Sat 11.30am-9pm