LDNReview

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

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8.7

Imone

Korean

New Malden

$$$$Perfect For:Quiet MealsHalalWalk-InsLunchDining SoloCasual Weeknight DinnerCatching Up With MatesDinner with the Parents

Included In

Located on New Malden high street—a strip in London’s Korea Town—Imone is one of many top quality Korean restaurants in the area. And still, Imone remains our favourite. Not just because of its homely atmosphere and adorable crockery, but because it’s making some of the best pajeon in London.

As the clock approaches midday—when it opens for lunch—it’s easy to spot the restaurant along the high street. As well as a bright yellow front, there’ll more often than not be a handful of people eagerly waiting outside for their Korean comfort food fix. It’s a charming, cosy spot, with staff who smile as you enter and just six tables in total. It's the kind of down-to-earth place that’s perfect for a casual meal that feels homecooked. 

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photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Imone image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Imone image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Imone image
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Despite it being a compact space, the tables are spread out in a way that means you can still have an intense catch-up without worrying that the whole restaurant will hear your play-by-play of that awful third date. There’s also a not-so-secret back room for hosting bigger groups, or for the overspill of customers when the main front room is full—which it often is within an hour of opening. Your best bet to avoid disappointment is to book ahead, because there’s nothing worse than watching someone eat a crispy calamari and spring onion pancake through the glass store front with old-school Justin Bieber’s ‘That Should Be Me’ playing in your head.

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photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Imone image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Imone image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Imone image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

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Because it’s such a small place, you’ll get an aromatic preview before you even get a chance to decide what you want. The smell of kimchi pancakes coming from the kitchen, the meaty waft of your neighbour’s beef bibimbap, and the saewoo bokkum sizzling away—which all taste as good as they smell. But if you’re coming for a solo lunch and can’t try everything, go for the pajeon—duh—and kan pung gi chicken. The fried chicken arrives in an addictive smoky, spicy sauce, and paired with the bokkum myun is an elite combination. 

Every order feels like it’s been made from scratch, specifically for you. And if it wasn’t for the menus (and the random strangers eating beside us) we’d think we were at a friend's house. It’s perfect for most situations, with plenty of vegetarian options and halal chicken. Book a table for a group of friends so you can try a bit of everything, come for a casual lunch if you’re in the area, or even just stop by for a pajeon if you’re not hungry enough for a whole feast. Whatever you do, just get the damn pajeon. 

Food Rundown

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Pajeon

If there was a pajeon power ranking, this one would take first place—comfortably. Beautifully presented, with an almost aggressive amount of spring onion peeking through the pancake batter. If you leave without trying this crispy, comforting dish, we can’t take you seriously.
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Kan Pung Gi

Apart from the fun-sized fried chicken bites, the incredibly addictive smoky, spicy sauce is the reason why we love this dish. If you’re polite enough to let your friend take the last piece, you’re a better person than we are.
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photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Saewoo Bokkum

We’re really into this spicy, prawn-filled stir-fry, which arrives sizzling in an iron platter. Especially when eaten alongside the udon noodles.
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photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Kimchi Bokkumbap

More comforting than a hot yoga class or a hug from your grandma, this bowl of sticky rice has a bit of sweetness, a bit of spice, and a lot of sharing potential. Get one for the table.
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photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Soondae

Chewy, super-savoury and chopped into perfect bite-sized pieces, this blood sausage is the kind of dish you’ll keep going back to again and again throughout the meal. Your server will keep reminding you to dip a chunk into the subtly spicy dipping sauce—and you should heed their advice.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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