Sunday, 30 August 2009

Restaurant Tour #9: POCHANGMACHA

On most streets in South Korea you’ll find roadside eateries with plastic roll-down walls affording protection from the elements. They are basically used by people who want an inexpensive meal and a drink of Soju (an alcoholic drink). This type of eating place is called a "POCHANGMACHA" - meaning a “Covered Cart” which can be pulled or pushed by hand. It is quite apt because they are able to change locations easily.

My meal this month was at a restaurant with the same name. This venue has been open for six years.

56 St Giles High Street

Telephone No: 020 7379 7381

Opening Times: Monday to Saturday 1200 hours to 1500 hours
1800 hours to 0100 hours
Sunday 1800 hours to 2400 hours

A limited selection of alcoholic beverages is available
Tottenham Court Road tube station ( Northern and Central lines) is literally a minute’s walk away. Numerous bus routes offer easy access.

The owner is Ms Cheong Shin Briggs
The chef is Kyeon Chon Pyo
There are a five staff working in the kitchen and serving customers.
Good English is spoken by the owner, chef and staff.

This restaurant has the capacity to seat twenty eight patrons in the main ground floor dining area. The kitchen is also on this level enabling the meals to be seen whilst being prepared.
The lower dining area can seat twenty further patrons and is currently being redecorated to become a Japanese Sushi restaurant with a different name.

The décor is simple with dark painted walls, complimentary lighting, wooden tables and wooden chairs with padded seats.
The menu describes the dishes in Korean and in English. Set lunch menus are also available. Portable barbeques are provided when necessary.

POCHANGMACHA has a certain ambience echoing similar restaurants in South Korea with Korean food being served at competitive prices for the area.

Approximately half the clientele are Korean (students for the most part) and other nationalities make up the remainder including office workers and tourists. The busiest times are from Thursday evenings to Sunday nights.

Three main dishes were served.

Ham and Noodle Big Pot Stew
Ham, Kimchi, vegetables, Korean noodles and Tofu with spicy sauce- a favourite with diners

Stone Bibimbab
Rice topped with vegetables and a fried egg in a stone bowl-a dish I enjoy

Steamed spicy Cod
Steamed Cod and vegetables with a spicy sauce-compliments the Bibimbab

Side dishes
Namul------thin strips of marinated white radish (Mooli)
Kimchi-----Pickled Chinese Leaf Lettuce-an agreeable taste

Boiled rice
I didn’t know what to expect upon entering POCHANGMACHA albeit there were diners were of different nationalities present. Our meal only consisted of three main dishes but was quite sufficient for the two of us. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and taste. A return visit in the future cannot be ruled out.

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