When you hear of a restaurant being opened by somebody with no experience in the industry, on a site that appears to have been doomed for several previous tenants, I think it’s justifiable to assume that it won’t last long. Fortunately, Miyoung Kim’s Surakhan Korean restaurant has made it through its first year unscathed.
We visited the restaurant – the only purely Korean restaurant in Bristol – on its opening night in late 2010, but have been back a few times since, including at the start of 2012 as part of the ‘Around The World In 80 Days‘ campaign.
Having previously only sat in the back room, on this occasion we were in the main restaurant, giving us a view of the chefs hard at work (the kitchen is separated from the main dining area by glass windows).
Neither of us was drinking on this visit, so we made our choices over a glass of mango juice – those preferring an alcoholic accompaniment to their meal can choose from a selection of Oriental beers, as well as wines by the glass or bottle (drinks menu here).
We’d only ever been to Surakhan for a quick main course before, but on this occasion decided to go for a starter to share. As we visited on Shrove Tuesday, the kimchi pancakes (£4.99 for one person, £8.99 for three to share) seemed like the most appropriate option. A good portion size for the money: we were presented with two pancakes, about the same thickness as Scotch pancakes, cut into halves. The flavour of the kimchi (fermented cabbage) was fairly delicate, and the pancakes were nicely dense and moist.
Onto the mains, and an order of soft tofu soup with seafood (you can also order this just with tofu, if vegetarian, or with beef) for both of us. Be warned, however, if you’re not a fan of spice – this soup is VERY hot…a fact that isn’t stated on the menu!
At £11.99, it may be one of the more expensive mains on the menu, but a steaming bowl of soup, portion of rice and three different accompanying mini salads mean that you certainly won’t go hungry.
The intensity of the heat from the chillis in the soup builds up nicely, but not to such an extent that you can’t taste the soft tofu, prawns, mussels and octopus that it contains. The rice is a welcome accompaniment to reduce some of the heat, and the three salads (shredded white cabbage, kimchi and beansprouts with carrots) are fresh tasting and great for cleansing the palate.
Surakhan also offer a takeaway option – and I promised on my last visit that I’d make use of this in the near future, to try the chicken wings of which they are so proud. We’ll definitely be continuing to visit in the future.
Please note: this meal was received free of charge, but in no way impacted on our opinion. We were not obliged to write a positive review, and the venue did not see this review before it was put up on the site.
Find Surakhan on the Bristol Bites Directory…