Yori – St Andrews Street 🇰🇷

We are painfully lacking in Asian content on the Cambridge Foodies, especially Korean food. Which is a shame, as Korean food is one of my favourite cuisines. I used to eat it all the time in my twenties, back when I used to spend a lot of time with Korean friends cooking different dishes after visiting the Seoul Plaza on Mill Road.

My wife and I decided to pop into Cambridge for some lunch and a bit of shopping last weekend and we found this lovely looking Korean place called Yori, so we decided to give it a try.

The restaurant is very small and we had our new born son with us (who had the inevitable push chair and bags with him) so we were unsure whether we were going to fit. Luckily, it was between lunch and dinner time, so it was not too busy. The staff were also very helpful in accommodating us and were kind enough to move a table across so we could fit in and enjoy our meal.

The tables have QR codes which, when scanned, brings up the menu on your phones so you can place your order digitally. For an old bugger like me, this felt very innovative. Though for some bizarre reason my phone kept bringing up something entirely unrelated, so I had to use my wife’s phone.

I was surprised how quickly the orders came through on the app. Ordering an extra rice during my meal, it must have been on our table within 30 seconds.

The waiter went through all the food on the set menu to give us an idea of what was coming. He also explained how the food was supposed to be eaten, which is great for people who are either inexperienced or have not had Korean in a long time.

Bang bang

I decided to go full Korean and try a can of ‘Bong Bong’. This is a very sweet grape soda. In fact, it even had lumps of grapes in the drink! I absolutely loved it! Surely that counts towards your 5 a day? 😂  Either way, I found it a great novelty being able to try some Korean products that you would unlikely be able to find anywhere else in the UK.

We ordered something called ‘BBQ Set 1’ which is made for two people to share. It cost to £45 and came with a bottle of Jinro Chamisul. This is soju, a clear colourless alcoholic beverage. It’s quadruple-filtered with bamboo charcoal and blended with Finish fructose. This is a very clean tasting drink which won’t be to everyone’s liking as it has a sharp aftertaste. It comes to around wine strength but is drunk in shot glasses.

We were given a selection of bean sprouts, cucumber, and seaweed as a complimentary starter. Naturally, it came with a big bowl of kimchi too. These were versatile dishes that were great to pick at while we waited for the rest of the food in their own right but were also good at complimenting the rest of the dishes which were due to come out.

We were also given a bowl of rice which accompanied a spicy pork, kimchi, and tofu hot pot. This was one of the more exciting dishes of the meal, especially for people who like that added kick. Though it was spicy, it was not so hot that my wife couldn’t enjoy it, making it very accessible to everyone.

We were also given some of the freshest lettuce I think I have ever had. I am not a big lettuce fan but this was so bold, crisp, and succulent. The leaves were huge and big enough to use as a wrap. This added a great texture and an added crunch to what we were eating. It did get a little messy but was all part of the fun.

The star of the show had to be the pork belly served with onion and peppers. Portions were about right for two people and were great to pick at with the chop sticks. We were given BBQ side sauces which really complimented it well. The pork was great quality and ever so juicy. The best thing about the meal is that you could make it your own. The pork went really well in a lettuce wrap but also was good enough in its own right to dip in the BBQ sauce.

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our lunch at Yori. We had zero complaints about any of the food. It was also great sampling Korean products that you would otherwise not see in the UK, such as the ‘Bong Bong’ and the Soju wine. Prices hovered around the £55 mark, which is a lot for lunch, but the service was very fast and the staff were extremely accommodating. My only complaint was that I didn’t feel as full as I would have liked. This is likely not to be an issue with most people as I am quite big and can really put the food away.

Raising my son in the family business

Thanks for reading! 🇰🇷

Seoul Plaza – Mill Road 🇰🇷

I have always adored the Seoul Plaza. I have been coming here for well over a decade back when I used to visit Korean friends in the area. We would visit on a Friday afternoon and grab ingredients for dinner over the weekend. They would then introduce me to an unrealised world of Korean cuisine. It really opened my eyes back then and has helped shape my open mindedness about world food ever since.

It is places like this which make Cambridge such a great and diverse place to live.

One of the things which I used to love most about the Seoul Plaza was their delicious Hite Beer which was made from “natural well water”. I’m not really sure what that did for the beer but it was very smooth and refreshing none the less. I could never get enough of it and ended up clearing their fridge every time I popped in!

My sister and I decided to pop back and see how the place was holding up. During my last visit they were well known for having an absolutely huge selection of noodles, which kept me running during my night shifts back in the day. You just can’t get instant noodles of this quality in British supermarket (and certainly nothing as spicy either). So I was keen to stock up!

Upon entering the place was very busy. I was glad to see it still doing well. As remembered, there was a huge selection of noodles. The pictures only represented about half what was on offer, so I decided to grab myself a multi pack of my favourite, the Shin Ramyun noodles.

As you would expect from a Korean shop, there was a huge selection of kimchi. 🇰🇷

I was absolutely devastated to learn that my beloved Hite Beer was no longer being sold. I saw a selection of high-end Japanese beers which I knew to be a better quality but I must admit, I was still disappointed in missing out on my beloved Hite.

One of my favourite parts of Seoul Plaza was the sweet selection. It was still going strong here with selections of different treats from Japan, Korea, and China. I decided to grab a few random things and try them out. The chewy lemon sours were the best from here (in my opinion). Essentially, they were a very sour Starburst.

These were the real heroes of the day. Peanut or Almond Choco Sticks. These were absolutely heavenly and surprisingly thick and heavy. These would go great with ice cream!

My sister grabbed these “No Brand” sweet potato chips which were a vivid purple. I loved the philosophy behind these chips. As the box explains, they want to emphasise with their generic packaging that the true value comes from within and not the cheesy marketing. Very wise!

My sister and I were both big fans of these! As you would expect they were very sweet but also much lighter than a lot of British equivalents with significantly less salt

I’ve always been a big fan of supermarkets from other countries. It almost feels like going on holiday without the grueling journey through the airport. There is always something interesting to try and helps a small local business in doing so.

I won’t wait so long till my next visit. I cannot wait to see what else I can find on my next visit.

Thanks for reading.

I love you, Korea! 🇰🇷