Korean Restaurants in St. Petersburg
18 May, 2016
Korean restaurants in St. Petersburg
There are many Korean restaurants in St. Petersburg. Being half-Korean and having lived there some time, I am a Korean food addict. In every city I visit I look for the best-rated Korean restaurants and try at least one out. I was happy to find that there are plenty of Korean places here in St. Petersburg, too, as well as a lot of classic Korean products available in almost all supermarkets – like gim (roasted and salted seaweed leaves to eat with rice), instant ramyeon (usually “Doshirak”), and Choco-Pie. Anyway, from basically the second day I arrived in Piter I have gone through almost all the restaurants listed on Google and Yandex, and have drawn up a classification of them for those who might be interested in trying – or already know and are craving – some Korean eats.
- Korean Café “Nan” – Kazanskaya Ulitsa 7
This place is hard to find! I could give you the instructions but honestly I didn’t find it worth it in the end. They don’t have kimchi!* It is, in fact, what amounts to a student café with cheap lunches inspired by Korean food – but the flavor doesn’t come close! Still, you can get a roll of cheap kimbab (pictured right) to snack on on the road – it was ok.
*Kimchi (pictured left) is the staple side-dish of Korean meals – we eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner! It consists of cabbage leaves fermented at least two weeks in salt, hot chili pepper powder, garlic, green onions, ginger, rice flour, and fish sauce. It is an absolutely essential component of the Korean spread, and if the kimchi at a restaurant isn’t tasty, you know the rest of the menu won’t be either!
- Restaurant “Miga” – Lermontovsky Prospekt 6
This was actually the first restaurant I tried because it was next to my old university. I brought two of my friends and ordered a bit of everything – in Korea we like to have lots of different dishes on the table, so that every bite is a different flavor. I was pretty disappointed, I must say: there were Koreans eating there and the rating online is quite high, but I found it very Russianized (there was cabbage in each and every dish) and not really authentic. The kimchi was just average, and the side-dishes were improvised variants with the more common ingredients available here: carrots, potatoes and other boring stuff.
- “Koreana” – Gorokhovaya Ulitsa 17
When I found Koreana I thought: aaah, this is a right one among Korean restaurants. Sure, some items on the menu are not really Korean, but Japanese or Chinese, but overall the flavour is right (sweet and extra spicy!) and the portions are as generous as they should be. My favorite dish there is the dubukimchi – tofu slices accompanied by stir-fried pork and kimchi (pictured right).
I died and went to heaven when I discovered that they also do delivery! Now I always have some Korean food in my fridge, and that makes me happy. In fact, I eat more Korean here than anywhere else I’ve lived outside of Korea – another of my favorite things about living in Piter.
- “Mashita” – Kamennoovstrovsky Prospekt 38
The name means “It’s Tasty!” and it definitely is. This little café near Petrogradskaya metro station serves quick and cheap meals for students – think ramyeon, bokkeumbap (stir-fried rice) and donkatsu (breaded pork cutlet with signature brown sauce and rice.) It’s minimal, but authentic and satisfying – a great place to go with friends after class.
- “Bab Jjib” – Kuibysheva Ulitsa 7
After six months I finally found my favorite restaurant! 150 meters away from the Peter and Paul Fortress on Petrogradskij, Bab Jjib (Food/Rice House) is the real deal! It is, however, a little pricier than the others listed here (about 800-1000 rubles per person) so I save it for special occasions, but if you want to try real Korean food you have to visit this place. The ddeokbukki (chewy rice-flour cakes in spicy sauce) are just the right consistency, the kimchi is excellent, the beef marinade (bulgeogi) just right. It was almost like being back in Korea… They even make my favorite side-dish, myeolchi (tiny, fried and glazed fishes)! And they have a selection of snacks, instant ramyeon and bori-cha (barley tea) for sale. Heaven!
Alright dear people of Liden & Denz & beyond, I hope this post will inspire you to try some Korean dishes – you won’t regret it! приятного аппетита, 잘 먹겠습니다!
Esther, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz St. Petersburg