I’ve just booked to go to Daebak tomorrow for the third time in two weeks, so I feel like it’s deserving of an appreciation post. After reading Michelle Zauner’s masterpiece Crying in H Mart (review coming when I get round to it) I was desperate to try Korean food that was more authentic than supermarket kimchi, and having walked past Daebak plenty, it seemed like a perfect choice. When I did actually go in, I was immediately hooked - it’s a delight. It’s only a small restaurant, you’re sufficiently near to the kitchen that not only can you see and smell it but you can feel the heat radiating off it as well, and you’re bombarded by the sound of sizzling plates, passionate conversation and Korean music that isn’t just the Spotify K-pop chart upon entering. Once you’ve got a cold bottle of beer and some shots of plum soju in you, you’re finally ready to experience the food, which is alarmingly good. You are encouraged to get several small sides to go with your main, and everything is delicious - from the fresh kimchi that is a sharp counterpoint to everything around it, to the spicy tteokbokki that provides the comfort of a home that you aren’t even from, to the exquisite bulgogi and bibimbap that are bold and full of flavour and will inevitably leave you feeling lethargically full at the end of your meal.
It’s definitely my new favourite spot to eat in the city, and it isn’t even that expensive by London standards. I am beyond excited to be going there again tomorrow, when I plan to attempt to eat an entire week’s worth of food in just 1.5 hours.