I am back again with another restaurant review for, surprise surprise, another Korean restaurant! My friend Brittany and I went about a week ago to celebrate the end of her trip to the UK with some food reminiscent of where we first met! I had been to Topokki before and loved it so much that I wanted to take Brittany there.
Location: Topokki can be found on Hurst Street near The Arcadian and just down from the Birmingham Hippodrome theatre, in the Chinese quarter of Birmingham. Just a few minutes walk from both Birmingham New Street station and the Bullring, it’s very quick and easy to get to from the city centre and is difficult to miss as it’s set on the main road.
Atmosphere/staff: Walking into the restaurant we were greeted loudly and cheerfully by a member of staff, making us feel very welcome, and were quickly shown to a table. The male waiter (whose name I should have gotten, as he was really great!) was very attentive, helpful and even complimented my Korean accent (yay for me!) and our female waiter was equally as wonderful. The atmosphere and décor of the restaurant is very relaxed and easy-going which made me feel very comfortable. They even have recent popular Korean pop music (K-Pop, for those of you in the know) playing which makes it feel all the more authentic! I couldn’t help but sing along to a few that I knew…
Food: Again, the most important part! To start, Brit and I shared a jeon, a seafood pancake, which was served with dipping sauce and was super tasty. For mains, I ordered dolsot bulgogi bibimbap (a hot stone bowl of rice, vegetables and marinated beef) with a fried egg to go on the top, my go-to meal at a Korean restaurant (because it’s so much effort to make at home! It was absolutely delicious and a very generous serving. Depending on your tastes you can have it served with or without the gochujang (spicy red pepper paste), or even have it served on the side. I had Korean cider (사이다) to drink with it – a soft drink, believe it or not – something that had not been available here before. All in all, the food is exquisite and the real deal. All piping hot and perfect, authentic flavours.
Price: I find Toppoki to be very reasonably priced considering it is one of two Korean restaurants in Birmingham (and the better one, at that). I paid just under £20 including tip and left fulle and extremely happy. Possibly not for someone on a student budget (it was a special occasion, OK!) but it is definitely worth the price you pay.
Next time I go, and there will definitely be a next time, I would really like to try their Korean BBQ! My last visit was the first time I realised they do BBQ and am insistent on taking my housemates to try it. They also have a notice at the back of the menu announcing that they have patbingsu (shaved ice with sweet toppings) coming soon, something that I am very excited about!
I would definitely recommend Topokki to anyone looking to satisfy a hunger for Korean food and also to those looking to try something new! Just invite me along with you, will you?
Unfortunately, Topokki no longer has a website, but you can find them on on Facebook.
As always, feel free to contact me on Twitter or find me on Instagram at @hlou14!