On Tuesday night I had dinner with my good friend Ed to celebrate the end of his exams. "I fancy Korean" came the text and why not when you work close to London's own K-Town, a small strip of Korean restaurants located just behind Centre Point?
Ed arrived first and chose Po Cha on the basis that it looked the busiest restaurant, filled with young Koreans eating dinner. As we stepped into the restaurant we feared we'd be turned away, but luckily they had plenty of space in their basement dining room.
Sadly the cheap and cheerful Po Cha doesn't give away selection of pickled dishes to snack on while you look at the menu so we had to order a couple of our own. I found the picked raddish / daikon (£2) addictive. The daikon still retained some crunch and was enhanced by a quick dunk in the chilli sauce which accompanied the bibimbap.
We also ordered the classic kimchi (£2) a generous plate of fermented cabbage. It wasn't as spicy as I expecting from the large pieces of chilli I could see in the kimchi.
The health and safety police seem to prevent the serving of raw eggs, as our Bulgogi Bibimbap (£8.50) came served with a fried egg rather than the traditional raw yolk. We should have been braver with the amount of the smokey chilli sauce that we stirred through the bibimbap, but it was still pretty good.
Spicy pork and tofu
The fearsome looking spicy pork and tofu (£9) came served on a sizzling hot plate. Despite it's bright red glow the dish wasn't as hot as I expected, a recurring theme of the evening. (A quick search tells me Korean chilli is actually a milder kind.) The tender pork and soft tofu wasn't quite as exciting as I expected it to be. Perhaps it did need to be a little hotter?
Washed down by a Korean beer Po Cha was fun, cheap and fast. Definitely worth remembering if you are in the Tottenham Court area and need a quick feed.
56 Saint Giles High Street