Bristol Bites Blog

Surakhan Korean Restaurant, Park Row

Posted on: November 2, 2010

It’s always good to have an excuse to go out on a Monday night, and even better when that excuse involves the opening night of a new restaurant. Korean venue Surakhan is Park Row’s latest offering, and seems only to be (correct me if I’m wrong) central Bristol’s second Korean eatery.

52 Park Row has seen many establishments come and go over the years: I know I’ve not been here long, but a quick Google search brings up a string of names, including Asia In Wok, Takala, Thai Palace, and the most recent to disappear, Legend Oriental Kitchen. Hopefully Surakhan will fare slightly better.

We ignored the list of six starters, ranging from the £3-£5 mark, and went straight for the main course. I opted for the Bibimbap – described on the menu as being world-renowned as “wellbeing food”, and enjoyed by Michael Jackson and Queen Elizabeth II, no less. A bowl of rice, topped with courgettes, carrots, beansprouts, mushrooms, minced beef and a fried egg, the bibimbap was served with gochujang – a traditional Korean hot pepper paste that was reminiscent of a more fiery version of hoisin sauce.

Two of my fellow diners ordered a slightly different version of the bibimbap, served in a sizzling stone pot and topped with a raw egg. The trick is to stir the dish while still sizzling in order to cook the egg through, then add the gochujang sauce. Our waiter appeared at our table after the mains had been brought out, to let us know that our dishes still looked “too white”, and that we should add more sauce to season.

We were also given two small bowls of kimchi – fermented cabbage – to accompany our mains…I could have eaten plenty more.

The food was tasty, and completely different to anything I’ve had before – and I’m glad we were instructed to apply the sauce liberally, as it made a huge difference to the flavours. There were a few disappointments with the evening, however. Read the account of the evening on Bristol Culture to find out about the lack of Korean beers, the timing of the service of the mains and the design of the menu, and Ephemeral Digest will tell you how we witnessed one member of staff crouching on the floor to fill takeaway cartons with rice, due to the lack of space.

Main course prices are reasonable at around £8-£11, with bottled beers at £2.90 and wine priced at £2.75 per 125ml glass/£14-£20 per bottle. The restaurant also offers a lunch service at £5.49 to eat in or £4.99 to take away, and dishes available from a cut-down version of the main menu.

All in all, an enjoyable experience, and I’m putting the service issues down to first night hiccups. I’d definitely be keen to go back and try more of the menu…especially as it’s only a 5 minute walk from my front door 🙂

 

Surakhan Korean Restaurant

52 Park Row, Bristol, BS1 5LH

Telephone: 0117 9290 806

16 Responses to "Surakhan Korean Restaurant, Park Row"

The food looks good with fresh Veg and that. Think the plates on the floor is abit too far for any restaurant but hopefully after the opening they will sort the problems out.

Did the waiters suggestion to put more sauce on actually improve the dish or not?

Did indeed, would have been a little bland without the sauce, as I think that was the only seasoning. Makes sense to provide the sauce separately, though, so that customers can make it as hot as they like!

[…] See Surakhan review published on Bristol Culture and Bristol Bites. […]

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Emily Koch, Bristol Bites. Bristol Bites said: Review of new Korean restaurant Surakhan, on Park Row: http://bit.ly/aA8E54 […]

Hello!

Do you guys have a phone number for this restaurant? Being so new, Google is of no use!

TIA!
Dan.

Hi dan,

I was hoping the takeaway menu they’d given me would have the number…but it doesn’t! Will try and head over there tonight or tomorrow and ask…will post on here once I’ve found it!

Em

Hi Em,
That’s very kind of you – would like to head over there with some mates in a weeks time but am out of town!

Thanks again,
Dan

Hello!

So sorry I did not write a review of my visit back in November! We went in November, a big group of us. Service was good, and when we had problems (which I’ll discuss) the chef came out to speak to us and tell us about Korean cuisine.

I’m familiar with quite a few of the Korean eateries in London, and these vary from anything in the 6-pounds-for-a-main range to 16-pounds-for-a-main. There’s possibly more expensive one. Korean food is something which I don’t think it’s worth paying particularly lots for, now that’s not a snub at Korean cuisine, but it’s all so simple and if a cafe can charge so little for a main and a restaurant decides to hike that up, then you’re just paying extra for the service and the atmosphere, not the food (in most cases). Now, I’m a fan of homey and hearty food, and Korean food definitely hits that spot. I felt that the prices at Surakhan are very reasonable, and ranks well compared to what you get in London. So that’s good.

Now, we had problems where two of my friends kicked up a fuss about the Bibimbap being cold and the chicken being uncooked. Now, the chicken I can’t vouch for but you gotta remember some chicken is still red inside due to blood and what not – but this is not something I am familiar with and the chef offered to recook it with the same effect – I trust the chefs judgement over my friends!. The other issue was the Bibimbap. If you want the stone bowl version which is hot, make sure you ask for a Dolsot Bibimbap, not just a Bibimbap. The Bibimbap is a cold version of the Dolsot version, and the Dolsot Bibimbap is what I’d recommend if you’re unfamiliar with Korean cuisine.

That said, I was very impressed with the choice of dishes on their menu. Yes, I’ve seen Korean menu’s with more dishes, but that’s not the point – the point is variety, and this was a variety which included a lot of things I wasn’t so familiar with, and I don’t think I’ve seen out in London. I thought this was good and went for something-that-I’ve-forgotten-the-name-of. Oops! It was on a heated metal plate though, and sizzled very nicely.

I would say to anyone who wishes to go, is to have an open mind about it. Quite a few of my friends were not familiar with Korean cuisine and so go there with an open mind, speak to someone from Korea who can introduce you to some good dishes (it’s how I got into it!) or ask the people serving you how to eat this or that. I would hope that you do not rate them based on unfamiliarity with Korean cuisine (as my friends did). If you go in with this mindset, it is a place you will enjoy and it is a place I would definitely recommend for food and service, and hope to visit again when I am in Bristol next!

Hello!

So sorry I did not write a review of my visit back in November! We went in November, a big group of us. Service was good, and when we had problems (which I’ll discuss) the chef came out to speak to us and tell us about Korean cuisine.

I’m familiar with quite a few of the Korean eateries in London, and these vary from anything in the 6-pounds-for-a-main range to 16-pounds-for-a-main. There’s possibly more expensive one. Korean food is something which I don’t think it’s worth paying particularly lots for, now that’s not a snub at Korean cuisine, but it’s all so simple and if a cafe can charge so little for a main and a restaurant decides to hike that up, then you’re just paying extra for the service and the atmosphere, not the food (in most cases). Now, I’m a fan of homey and hearty food, and Korean food definitely hits that spot. I felt that the prices at Surakhan are very reasonable, and ranks well compared to what you get in London. So that’s good.

Now, we had problems where two of my friends kicked up a fuss about the Bibimbap being cold and the chicken being uncooked. Now, the chicken I can’t vouch for but you gotta remember some chicken is still red inside due to blood and what not – but this is not something I am familiar with and the chef offered to recook it with the same effect – I trust the chefs judgement over my friends!. The other issue was the Bibimbap. If you want the stone bowl version which is hot, make sure you ask for a Dolsot Bibimbap, not just a Bibimbap. The Bibimbap is a cold version of the Dolsot version, and the Dolsot Bibimbap is what I’d recommend if you’re unfamiliar with Korean cuisine.

That said, I was very impressed with the choice of dishes on their menu. Yes, I’ve seen Korean menu’s with more dishes, but that’s not the point – the point is variety, and this was a variety which included a lot of things I wasn’t so familiar with, and I don’t think I’ve seen out in London. I thought this was good and went for something-that-I’ve-forgotten-the-name-of. Oops! It was on a heated metal plate though, and sizzled very nicely.

I would say to anyone who wishes to go, is to have an open mind about it. Quite a few of my friends were not familiar with Korean cuisine and so go there with an open mind, speak to someone from Korea who can introduce you to some good dishes (it’s how I got into it!) or ask the people serving you how to eat this or that. I would hope that you do not rate them based on unfamiliarity with Korean cuisine (as my friends did). If you go in with this mindset, it is a place you will enjoy and it is a place I would definitely recommend for food and service, and hope to visit again when I am in Bristol next!

p.s. their website: http://www.surakhanrestaurant.com

Phone number now added! They’re on 0117 9290 806 🙂

Hope you have a great time – would be good to hear what you think of the place!

Em

Hi Dan,

The phone number is 0117 9290 806.

Ask for the chef Miyoung Kim. She will be very happy to
talk to you.

Cheers,

Omar

[…] Surakhan and Rosemarino both opened in November (and Papaji’s relaunched), Mitch Tonks hosted a smoked salmon tasting at The RockFish Grill, and (most importantly) Bristol Cider Shop took its place on the Christmas Steps. […]

I would say it’s one of the best restaurant and the best Asian restaurant in Bristol. What I’m saying the best is not only the taste of the food but also the service is incredibly good, which is quite hard to find in the UK. Not only that, the quality of the sauce and ingredients are really good and fresh. I believe that many people who have had experienced Surakhan would agree with me quite easily on this!
It is worth to try since it is the FIRST KOREAN RESTAURANT in Bristol. If it is your first time to try out I recommend dinner set menu A!

Thanks for the comment, Christy – I really enjoyed my meal there, completely different to anything I’ve had before!

Dan – thanks for sharing your experience, and so glad to hear that you had a good evening! Interesting to hear about the place from the point of view of somebody who knows about Korean food: completely different to my experience, as I had no idea what to expect.

I haven’t been back again since then, but definitely plan on doing so – it’s just a case of finding the time! I do walk past quite often, though, and there generally seems to be a strong Asian contingent eating there, which is always a good sign.

Thanks also for including Surakhan’s web address, hadn’t realised that the site was up and running!

Em

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