Do you like it hot at Korrito Boxpark?

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In Shoreditch, there currently sits a boxed metal construction made of stripped and refitted shipping containers housing a host of pop up stores. From a mix of fashion & lifestyle shopping brands, to galleries, cafes and restaurants, you will find it all in this very urban and industrial atmosphere.

It is here that Korrito, the street food fusion of Korean Barbecue and Burrito’s have chosen to open their third location. (The first being Southbank and then Kingston.)

“As an area, Shoreditch is known for being exciting eclectic and a mecca for new trends. We thought our modern take on Korean BBQ would fit right in.”

Joo, the founder of Korrito, is explaining the reason for opening in a new area. This is following my recent visit to Boxpark where I gorged on their mouth watering Korean BBQ.

“We wanted to play off of this industrial vibe, so we created a ‘box within a box’ concept using perforated wire mesh panels, light boxes displaying menus and mini screens showing our Korean Food documentaries”

Korrito Unit 54 at Boxpark
Korrito Unit 54 at Boxpark

You are struck by the lights and signs as you enter the 40ft shipping container of Korrito’s unit.

Joo explains that she wanted to capture the many facets of South Korean culture, through the informalness of street food markets, the vibrant neon lights, its technological savvy youth but also highlight the importance of tradition and simplicity. It is a lot to capture and portray in one space, but the architect Samantha Lee, who designed the unit, succeeds in doing just that!

I am reminded of a scene in the film ‘Cloud Atlas’ where the future shows the urban sprawl of this futuristic city called Neo Seoul. I sort of feel like I am in this movie especially as I walk down the corridor, leading up to the Korrito unit, with cool retro paintings hung on the walls.

Joo says,

“What struck me when I first visited Boxpark, much before we had opened, was how communal the drinking and eating areas felt. The units all open up into a courtyard where people can socialise. This is very much in keeping with the South Korean food culture!”

Joo points out to me that I would have noticed the cartographic drawing of Seoul’s landscape etched into perspex and lit up as I entered the Korrito unit. It is a subtle acknowledgement of their origins.

I nodded that I had. I loved the ambience and the custom made red stools and chairs that gently beckoned us, as I wandered in with my friend, to sit inside.

Korrito Decor, at Boxpark
Korrito Decor, at Boxpark

I had eaten at Korrito twice before. Once at the Savouring Korea event, where Joo had launched her three part documentary series and a second time when I had visited Southbank on a Sunday evening. This time it all seemed different. Could it be down to the fact I had decided to stuff my face not with one, or two, but three kinds of meat? Chicken, Pork and Beef!!

Korrito Rice Box Option with all meats & Hite Beer
Korrito Rice Box Option with all meats & Hite Beer

This was the very helpful suggestion of Peter, the manager of Korrito, when I had drawn a blank as to what I wanted to order from the menu. I had also chosen this evening to break a three month diet of pure vegetables and fish. What a way to celebrate! All three meats were placed on a tasty bed of kimchi rice and salad as I had gone for the rice box option. We also ate the two side dishes of kim spring rolls and half-moon dumplings along with the little Kimchi pots. The kim spring rolls were crispy seaweed rolls, when dipped in soy sauce, exploded in my mouth in sheer gastronomical delight.

Tasty Beef, Photo credit: Tablo
Tasty Beef, Photo credit: Tablo

As well as soy sauce pots and kimchi pots, we also had little tubs of Garlic mayo with added kimchi in them! I could have consumed this entirely on its own, it being so tasty. The rice boxes we’re washed down with a bottle of Hite beer and a can of Korean Pear Juice. This had delightful little bits of pear inside and was very refreshing.

The cute sauce pots, that say 'Say Kimchi' on them.
The cute sauce pots, that say ‘Say Kimchi’ on them.

So how are they faring in their new digs? Pork belly continues to be the most popular item at this location, yet the Boxpark customers seem to prefer their Korrito in a rice box. Although known for their burritos, Joo is pleasantly surprised by how popular the traditional rice boxes are becoming and explains,

“Being a part of Boxpark in Shoreditch has given us access to a more hip and eclectic group of customers who know and love Korean food. Having Jubo and On the Bab as our fellow Korean friends in the area means we’re building a strong following for Korean food in Shoreditch”

I certainly know my thoughts on the venue and the food, but what do others think?

“I tried the Korrito at Shoreditch Boxpark in July.” Says Londoner and Foodie, Ali Ghezelbash, “I hadn’t had Korean food before so this was an exciting opportunity to try some new flavours. The simplicity of the menu, as well as the ability to sample some of the meat before deciding was very cool. The food was a great introduction to Korean cuisine! The venue and staff were also very welcoming. All in all, thumbs up”

Customers queuing to get their Korrito fix
Customers queuing to get their Korrito fix

There are a lot of new exciting things around the corner for Korrito. They are planning to introduce ‘Dukbokki’ to their side dish line up and already my mouth is drooling. It is a typical snack food that you can eat from most street vendors in Korea made of soft rice cake and fish cake with chilli sauce. This is the perfect dish for Korrito, but you just know they are going to add their own unique twist to it.

Korrito have also been working on their own online delivery platform on a new website they are building. They have piloted lunch time deliveries for Joo’s old colleagues in the city and it has really gone down well.The demand of Korean BBQ is spreading.

Furthermore, they are also trialling out a new venture called Happiour! Throughout the next two months Korrito will be offering discounts and deals through this new and exciting app, Happiour. This is downloadable through the Apple app store and has been inspired by the idea of making the traditional Happy Hour concept into a digital and shared experience. It highlights exclusive offers and events that you will want to know about in top bars, cafe’s and restaurants around London and it does all this in real time. It allows you to share this with your friends too!

Says Joo,

“As a relatively new business, Korrito loves partnering with other like-minded companies so we are really excited to be working with Happiour.”

Download the app and throughout October and November on various days, expect to hear about free sides with your meal as well as and two for the price of one options. It is already on my phone and I am patiently tapping my fingers together in eager anticipation.

Click here to download the Happiour App

Thank you to Joo, Peter and the team at Korrito for a truly delightful experience at Boxpark.

All images courtesy of KORRITO unless otherwise credited

Korrito, Unit 54, Boxpark, Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6GY, 020 7729 0530

London Korean Film Festival 2015

So for the next fortnight starting today, (2nd-14th November) various cinema venues througout London will be playing host to a great selection of Korean films. The London Korean Film Festival, celebrates it’s 10th year annivesary.

Fifty two films ranging from classics to blockbusters will be screened. To see what is on offer, click the following link to obtain a version of the programme. LKFF-2015-Programme

Be sure to book your seats quickly before it all sells out. There are also great opportunities to meet with some of the stars: Hwang Jung-min and Moon So-ri. There are also chances to take part and get involved with actor & director Question and Answer sessions and forums running alongside the screenings. This year is a great opportunity to understand and discover the brilliance of Korean cinema. I hope you take advantage!

f(x) at the London Korean Festival – 9th August – Press Conference at the KCCUK

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So I attended f(x)’s press conference just before their performance in the evening at the London Korean Festival. I like the occasional K-Pop song, but do not consider myself such a big fan.. but I think that might have changed after seeing them live..

This would have been their first official performance and appearance since Sulli left the band. You can see from the pictures that Amber was not at the press conference, but as you might have seen from the countless photos and videos posted, that she was definitely there at the performance.

The press conference was pretty brief and we were asked to keep our questions limited to the performance and the future. I was not prepared to attend the press conference, so did not come fully equipped, but did manage to snap a few pictures and record a few clips, like the one below.

Although short, I thought this was a cute video. Krystal is caught laughing covering her mouth in a very Korean way! If you wanted to see the full press conference, our good friends over at KoreanClassMassive.com have published the full link which you can view here.

I was feeling a little star struck, being familiar with Krystal from her performance and role in the drama High Kick: Revenge of the short legged. Also the only song up until them that I really knew of theirs and loved (and still love) was Electric Shock

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A little blurry, but from this picture you can see they look happy. They were introducing themselves as the band f(x)

Having only arrived the day before from Korea, the girls were looking fresh and seemed in good spirits. Although loosing a band member only a few days before must have been strange to them but they did well to answer the few questions asked. They were slightly stunned when being asked about the rumours of disbanding. Thankfully, Victoria was able to give a coherent answer about the group in the middle of Luna speaking. The translator was also struggling a little bit, and I did wonder if it would have been easier for Krystal to both ask and answer on behalf of the band, as she is fluent in English. Although it was slightly refreshing to hear her take over when re-answering the question about being compared to the Spice Girls and their own characteristics.

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This is where Krystal is describing each of the characteristics of the band

You can search the internet for pictures of f(x) at the concert. I was standing too far away for their performance to get a decent shot! I was shocked to learn that during their performance, 40,000 people were at the square. I only believed it when I saw this aerial photo !

Image courtesy of Korean Cultural Centre UK
Image courtesy of the Korean Cultural Centre UK

Definitely opened my eyes as to how K-pop has been received here in the UK. More on the festival to follow..

K-Pop Music inspires work video!

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Thank you to EXID and their up beat tune that inspired my work video! 

Together with my team at work, I was asked to edit a video that showed what we did  and how we do things. It was an introductory video and although we do very interesting work, the video lacked, as the little mouse puts it, any ‘pzazz’. It was during that week that I had began listening to the track ‘Up & Down’ by EXID and it always put me in a good mood. Something was telling me to put a few seconds of it in the background and voila, it became a more interesting video with a little tempo! I would if I could, share the result of the video with you. Certain restrictions won’t allow it, however I am sure you would much rather see the actual music video from EXID and dance just like the mouse in the toon above! Enjoy!

 

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