Topokki- Birmingham

My first visit to a Korean restaurant.

Last week was pretty busy so I ended up eating out quite a lot and on Friday, visited Topokki for the first time. I’ve been talking about trying Korean food for a while but to be honest- hadn’t thought any further than BBQ pork and bowls laden with Kimchi- I knew there were other foods, but I was pretty hazy about what they might be.

I met up for dinner with a friend that had been before and tried to forget about some of the less than positive reviews I had read on TripAdvisor earlier that day- needless to say I was hungry but a little unsure of what to expect. After staring blankly at the menu for a good 15 minutes debating what to have and trying to take in an array of new words I eventually settled on a few things that mixed familiar flavours with some new ones too.

How cute is this plate!

My main dish was Ojingeo Dupbap, a plate of soft stir fried squid, onions and courgettes in a sauce made from Korean hot pepper paste. The squid was cooked well and the sauce not overly spicy – I was particularly pleased that the sauce wasn’t the typical ‘sweet chilli’ style that I am utterly bored of, it was slightly sticky and definitely more savoury than I had expected. I did find courgettes a bit of a weird addition but they were tasty enough.

Alongside this came a decent portion of pork dumplings that were very similar to Gyoza, they were very mild in flavour and a stronger dipping sauce or more seasoning was needed to make them stand out really, but the wrappers were very good.

We also shared bowls of Kimchi, pickled radish and edamame beans. I could snack on things like this all day long.

Despite the reviews, I found the service to be quite friendly and clearly the bemused look on our faces was a giveaway that we needed some assistance in ordering which was provided without being too intrusive. We were given plenty of time to chat without feeling hurried and despite its location in a busy part of town it didn’t feel crowded or noisy.

The only questionable thing was the 10% discount offered for cash payments- that doesn’t sit comfortably with me…

1C Hurst St, Birmingham B5 4TD

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