Ssam – Korean Dining, Holloway, London
One of my last dinners in London had me wishing I would change my mind and come back just to feast here again. Nestled on Holloway Road, Ssam Korean dining is a tiny restaurant offering delicious interpretations of classic Korean cuisine.
Ssam like it hot
The first thing to know about Ssam Korean Dining is that there is very limited seating. I think we were lucky to avoid a wait, but even if there is one it is totally worth it. The prices are pretty good and there’s options whether you’re dining alone or in a group. With the latter it’s easy to order a bunch and get some sharing action down.
We did the latter with one standout dish being the Korean fried chicken which goes for £5.50 for a small and £10 for a large. I’d say don’t hold back – go for the large! This comes in three (reasonably standard) varieties: sweet and spicy, soy glaze and volcano. We went with the soy glaze with the heaping of peanuts. Yum with a twice-fried level of crunch, wish we had more.
I’m personally not a huge fan of kimchi but peer pressure meant we ordered the kimchi fried rice (£9.80) with beef – and to my surprise, I quite liked it. There’s a bit of a kick, though you might not get the same sourness as you would in standalone kimchi. That’s probably why I liked it.
You can’t have Korean without a little BBQ right? Another dish that was super tasty was the Pork Sam-Gyup-Sal (pork belly). There’s a definite kick to this sizzling plate but that’s more than manageable. Well, at least, wait for it to cool a little before diving in. Good for sharing, because it’s so fun to have bites from everywhere and everything.
Despite offering such a huge menu with so many flavours, Ssam Korean Dining feels like such a family-run place. The service is all friendly and you can’t help falling in love with the place. We also ordered the japchae (£6.50) along with a few other dishes but the ones I mentioned were my favourite. One of my top picks for Korean in London, though it did came a little too late for me.