Gogi is a Korean BBQ restaurant just next to Little Venice on the Edgware Road. They’re fully committed to providing an authentic and luxurious experience. They even have waitresses that will help you cook your selected BBQ meats on your own private grill. I went here with Luke for our 3rd anniversary so we wanted somewhere that was a bit out of the ordinary. We have been here once before so we knew what to expect.
If there’s one thing that has to be said about this restaurant, it’s that it is swanky as hell! It’s so sleek! It’s all black tables with some red lighting – it doesn’t have a red district feel to it, it actually looks super sophisticated. I would say it’s a little dark but perfect if you’re on an intimate date… or if you don’t want to see who you’re with. Ha. The tables all have an individual BBQ so that you can cook your food at the table – which definitely makes it a unique experience.
Above: Our own BBQ table & the bar
Gogi have quite a large menu, there is a section for starters including bits like dumplings. They have their BBQ selection where you can choose a certain meat to try OR choose from their BBQ platters which hold a few different types of meat OR seafood if you prefer. They also have soup based dishes served with rice or noodles. Serving traditional dishes like Bibimbap and Udon noodles, Gogi has a wide variety to choose from, or have a bit of everything if you’re hungry enough! Their drinks menu has typical spirits and mixers as well as soft/ hot drinks that you could expect anywhere. The twist is the Korean beer such as Asahi and their Soju cocktails which really don’t taste like there’s any alcohol -they can be dangerous. Soju is a Korean spirit in case you’re confused like I was. What I do love is a menu that has pictures, especially if it’s a cuisine you’re not used to – it’s helpful to know what to expect.
Like I said we’ve been here once before so we knew that the portion sizes aren’t the biggest for what you’re paying for. We ordered a fair amount more than we did last time, mainly because it was a special occasion so we wanted to splash a bit more but also because we knew we wouldn’t be full unless we ‘over ordered’. So to drink with we ordered a Soju cocktail – Queens Berry (Raspberry flavour), I had an Asahi Beer. Food wise we had:
The spicy meat BBQ platter (Including: Bulgogi – Marinated Beef slices, spicy chicken and spicy pork) Really tasty! Not over seasoned so you can really appreciate the quality and flavour of the meat. Especially would recommend the pork, it was so good we were fighting over the last bits. They serve this with a BBQ dip and salted sesame oil which both go very well.
Bulgalbi – Marinated beef ribs off the bone Really nicely flavoured a bit chewier than the steak meat in the platter.
Pamoochim – a spring onion salad with sesame seeds. Super fresh! Really complimentary to all of the meat. And the sesame seeds give a great boost to the veg.
Above left to right: Asahi Beer, queensberry soju cocktail & Bulgalbi, spicy meat platter Below left to right: Pamoochim & meat on our private grill
Kimchi Jjigae – Spicy kimchi pork stew with tofu, served with rice This dish is SO GOOD. It definitely has that hot and sour vibe to it and has a fab flavour. The pork is really tender and the vegetables aren’t soft to the point of where they taste like mush. Along with the rice it’s super yum and filling.
Spicy Beef Soup – Beef with bean sprouts in a red broth, served with rice Now i’m not sure it says so on the menu but this dish came with glass noodles inside the broth. This was a nice surprise and went well with the beef which was flavoursome and not too chewy.
Above: Kimchi Jjigae and rice
I know that sounds like a lot of food but as I said the portions aren’t the biggest and we are HUNGRY people.
As you can see from the menu, the prices are a little steep for a casual dinner. Especially as you have to order a fair amount to fill up. Our bill came to around £85 including service charge which is at 12.5%. The BBQ platter itself is a sore £25 and states it is enough for 2-3 people, consider though between two of us we had it as a starter so quite expensive especially if you are able to eat a main meal afterward. However, the food is absolutely lovely and I guess you’re paying for the experience of someone cooking at your table as well as the food itself.
Now, the food is great and the price I would say is worth it. However, Gogi’s service is sadly where they are completely let down. The waiter who took our order was very polite and helpful when I was (very badly) trying to pronounce some of the dishes. The waitress who cooked our BBQ meat was friendly enough, smiled etc but didn’t make any conversation which was quite awkward considering she was there for a good 5 minutes. When we had finished our meal, the manager walked around tables close to us and asked everyone how they were/ how their meal was going. For some reason he walked right past us and continued to ask other people so that was a bit odd.
When asking for the bill, we asked to take the service charge off as I wanted to use some of my extra change to give a tip (I hate carrying change). I had to go up to the till as we had been waiting a while after receiving our bill. The waiter asked the manager who in turn pulled a face at him, not realising I was standing there obviously. When he noticed me he turned to me and said ‘what was wrong with it then?’ and yes it sounded completely blunt and unimpressed. I wasn’t happy with the face pulling and the attitude. I have read various reviews online and it seems it is common that Gogi is well recognised for their fantastic food and sadly their not so fantastic customer service.
Rating – Would I go again?
7/10. I would definitely return back for the food and the experience itself. However, it wouldn’t be somewhere I went often unless I got a big pay rise. It was the second time we went and surely won’t be the last, even if the manager needs to change his ways a little.