Han Gang (Coreana). Calle Atocha, 94. Madrid

Individual barbecue tables would float most people’s boats: throw in some decent noodle dishes, kimchi sides and good quality cuts of beef and pork, and it’s impossible to go wrong. The local Coreano restaurant – most people never use its real name – is good value, and a place for groups as well as couples. Service can be on the indifferent side of stand-offish, officious as well as fairly quick.
I’ve brought three different dates here and I’m sure the waiter looked at me knowingly, especially as two of them were a couple of days apart. ‘Back here, are you, with a different woman? You adventurous gourmand, you!’ I thought I heard him think. Wish-fulfillment indeed.
Order the bulgogi (often spelt bulgoki). However, the kimbab should not be eaten as a sushi substitute, as it resembles it in appearance alone. I felt that Han Gang looked a little worn and shabby the last time I we went there (date #3) in August 2011, but that was probably because of the gangs of unruly teenagers and kids in town for the Pope’s visit (‘Christian Youth’ they call themselves) who had found out they could use their food vouchers in an exotic yet fairly-priced establishment. And play with sizzling hibachi grills.


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