It is a new Korean place which has opened on Brougham Street in Edinburgh’s Tollcross. Previously, the premises housed La Bagatelle, a French restaurant which seemed to have been running more or less continuously since the French Revolution.
I think I’m right in saying that Shilla on Argyle Street is Glasgow’s only Korean but I’m more than happy to be corrected.
In journalism terms, three is very much a trend although Edinburgh has some way to go before it has the same Korean food scene as other places.
A friend from Los Angeles tells me that Korean restaurants are very much the in thing there at the moment.
So much so that restaurant reviews in the local press don’t say ‘Try X if you like Korean food’, they say ‘Try X if you like food from the Honam region of Korea’.
Ong Gie has no need to be so specialised but instead serves hearty soups and stews, inventive salads and stir-fries.
Most of what our group ate was filling, rib-sticking stuff. It may have been because we inadvertently ordered lots of fairly hefty dishes but the impression we got was that a lot of Korean food is well suited to seeing off a bitter Korean winter.
Taking pride of place at the top of the menu are the bulgogi or BBQ dishes which diners cook for themselves on hotplates which are sunk into the tables.
Naturally, kimchi, the national dish of fermented and spiced vegetables, especially cabbage, is prominent in many dishes as well as a side.