Ever watched your favourite K-drama character eat something and had the insatiable urge to try it right. this. second. but neither have the time nor funds to sponsor a trip to South Korea? Or perhaps you are unable to navigate the recipes despite having all the right ingredients from your local K-mart?
Bringing to Koreans a taste of home and K-drama watchers a taste of the mukbangs of their Unnies (언니 older sister) and Hyungs (형 older brother), these restaurants are sure to fulfil all your Korean food cravings.
1. Romantic Baka
Serving the classics like Japchae (stir-fried glass noodles), Gimbap (seaweed rice roll), and Bulgogi (stir-fried meat), this newest joint has the Korean look and feel of the restaurant down to a T with the familiar smoke extracting system you've seen in shows and videos. The rose gold pipes cascade from the ceiling onto a sizzling hot barbecue grill where all your charred meat dreams turn into reality.
The restaurant serves unlimited Banchan (반찬 side dishes) and Bap (밥 rice), and while it doesn't house alcohol, it stays true to providing the most authentic experience with drinks served in a kettle replacing the Makgeolli (rice wine).
Despite being a hotspot that often requires prior reservations, the Romantic Baka has ample and well-spaced seating to provide each diner with the comfort to enjoy their meal within their personal space with privacy.
The restaurant has an industrial finish with its classic pipes and neon signs topped off with wooden seating. If you’re looking to step outside Dubai without truly leaving, this is the place for those escapades.
Location: Al Ghurair Center, Dubai
Timings: Open daily 10 am - 11 pm
Approx cost for two: AED 120
Contact: +971 52 394 4364
For more information, visit Romatic Baka.
Known for its classic Chimaek (치맥 ‘fried chicken with drinks), this joint is frequented by those wanting to try Korean food with a twist.
Aside from the standard after-work snack, Kimpo brings to the table a chill atmosphere to unwind with your friends and takes it a step forward with its ladies' night every Friday. Featuring neon lights, and references to artists, this is the perfect spot for Instagrammable shots for the stans in us with its diverse murals.
Some of the dishes on their experimental menu include their famous Kimpo pizza made with salmon, Kimchi mayonnaise, sesame seeds and Yuzu jelly, the good ol’ Kimchi fried rice, and Seoul’s unique corn dog, dubbed NYC! Hot dog and fries.
Location: Conrad Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
Timings: Open daily 5 pm - 1 am
Approx cost for two: AED 320
Contact: +971 4 444 7444
For more information, visit Kimpo.
Nothing beats a home-cooked meal, and that’s where HYU comes in. Owned by a Korean, this restaurant is home to authentic Korean flavours cooked with love.
From Teobokkki (rice cakes) to Japchae (glass noodles), this hidden gem serves a wide variety of known Korean dishes. While the restaurant's interiors don’t feature neon lights or fancy arrangements, the owner brings to the diner a homely feel with a cosy joint and friendly interaction while you enjoy your meal.
Jjampong (black-bean sauce noodles), Jiggaes(stews), and Jeons(pancakes), their menu is just the right companions for your K-drama binges.
Location: JLT, Dubai
Timings: Open daily 11 am – 3.30 pm | 6 pm – 10 pm
Approx cost for two: AED 240
Contact: +971 50 227 3004
For more information, visit Hyu Restaurant.
4. Manna Land
With 15 years of experience to back them, Manna Land is a name we’re familiar with if we've ever looked up ‘Korean restaurants in Dubai/Abu Dhabi’
This joint expertly prepares all the classics to perfection, bringing you the best dishes from the peninsular region. Vegetarian and vegan-friendly, Manna Land offers more than just a single variety of your favourite dishes.
The interior is reminiscent of lively Korean spots and even has comfortable Korean Pang Sok’s (방석 floor cushions) that allow you to make yourself at home.
Serving Tangsuyyuk (sweet and sour meat), Kalguksu (seafood noodle soup), Jammpong (hot and spicy seafood noodle soup), and Mul Naegmyon (cold buckwheat noodle soup), Mannaland is the place to be if you’re in need of some quality Korean food that you can keep coming back to.
Where: Al Mina korean Restaurant in Dubai
Timings: Open daily 11 am - 11 pm
Approx cost for two: AED 190
Contact: +971 4 345 3200
For more information, visit Manna Land Korean Restaurant
For more information, visit Manna Land.
Satisfy your cravings without a double take on the menu with an all-you-can-eat buffet that goes beyond just Korean cuisine. Including unlimited desserts and drinks, the set is sure to be a value for your money.
The restaurant has a cosy ambience and is known for its delish ice cream and BBQ grill room.
Location: Al Safa, Dubai
Timings: Open daily 12pm – 3 pm, 6pm - 10.30pm
Approx cost for two: AED 170
Contact: +971 4 380 7888 | +971 50 584 5022
For more information, visit Sobahn.
Kung Korean Restaurant
Location: Barsha Heights, Dubai
Timings: Open daily 10.30 am - 2 am
Approx cost for two: AED 350
Contact: +971 4 432 7966
For more information, visit Kung Korean Restaurant.
Location: Al Muraqqabat, Dubai
Timings: Open daily 7 am – 10 am | 12 pm – 3 pm | 6 pm – 11 pm
Approx cost for two: AED 245
Contact: +971-4-608-2110 | +971-4-238-7777 | +971-55-609-9704
For more information, visit Sonamu.
Location: Al Karama, Dubai
Timings: Sunday to Thursday 11.30 am – 3 pm | 5 pm – 11 pm | Friday and Saturday 11 am – 11pm
Contact: +971 4 337 7876
Approx cost for two: AED 170
For more information, visit Seoul Garden.
Koryo Korean BBQ
Location: Mall of the Emirates, Dubai
Timings: Open daily 10 am – 12 am
Approx cost for two: From AED 85
Contact: +971 4 341 1154
For more information, visit Koryo Korean BBQ.