Honey and
food and travel

Wednesday, 19 March 2014


Until a few months ago I had no idea what Korean cuisine consisted of. If you'd have asked me I'd have probably guessed rice, chopsticks, and then got stuck. Gochujang was not part of my vocabulary. Now I have a pot taking up a significant amount of space in my very small fridge.

Korean restaurants are popping up (and, thankfully, not popping back down) all over East London. Lucky for me, one of these is round the corner from home. 

Hurwundeki is a restaurant/hairdresser/cafĂ©/vintage clothes shop/whatever else you want it to be. I have yet to go for coffee and breakfast. But I will do soon, maybe even this weekend. All reports that have reached me have awarded an A+. 

The mystical garden outside a railway arch at Cambridge Heath Station doesn't reveal much about what's insisw. Random chairs are scattered, tables sporadically tumbled around, some metal railings, and black and white head shots of two models. The words on the photos show that it's a hairdresser, but peering through the railings you'd have reason to doubt this and carry on by. B decided one day, to believe them, and go on in. He came back out with a very smart short back and sides. I'm building up the courage to get my hair cut too. It's affordable (for girls, £14 for 15 minutes, and £1 a minute after that. Same formula but starting at £9 for men), for one thing, it's nearby for another, I don't have to book, and I don't have to have my neck yanked around in the washing basin. But it's been over a year since I last got my haircut so it may take a little while to persuade myself to get back in the chair with someone snipping around my ears.

Anyway, what I really want to talk about is dinner. It's a short menu. There are choices, but we ignore them. Bibimbap every time. Ginger tea to go with. (On our most recent visit B was very brave and branched out to a Chinese Quince tea. It was delicious, but I wouldn't be surprised if he reverted to Ginger next time). Maybe some little dumplings to start. The dumplings are crisp and gentle. Dipped in a soy sauce for an umami buzz. The bibimbap comes in a highly understated serenade, in a sizzling hot ceramic pot, lid on, gochujang balancing on top. The gochujang is placed gently on the table, the lid removed, and the bright, colourful bibimbap is finally revealed. A rainbow meal. The spicy, red miso that gochujang is, is then stirred in, combining all the ingredients together, cooking the egg yolk in the heat, until you're left with a rather spectacular rice filled bowl.

It never takes me long to finish this. What slows me down is my battle with the final few rice grains which do not want to be picked up by chopsticks, as they hide at the bottom of the bowl. It's super moreish, perfectly spicy, fluffy rice, crunchy veg, and sweet, fresh ginger tea to wash it all down. I always leave feeling rather healthy, virtuous, and so satisfied. 

Highlight: Ginger tea. I'm a little obsessed
Lowlight: The queues for the haircuts. Makes it less likely I'll get these split ends sorted any day soon.

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