A hip Korean restaurant in Ari.
This hip cafe moved to a bigger venue in late 2018 to accommodate growing crowds. From a glass-walled kitchen, classics like tteokbokki (stir-fried rice cakes) and super-flavorful kimchi fried rice appear. The dining room is a moody mix of steel, deep red and dark turquoise.
Ari used to have only one Korean kitchen, Kimchi Hour, which is tucked deep in Rama 6 Soi 30. Now two other home-style eateries, Joha and Annyeong, have joined it.
Opened mid 2016, the compact Joha sits in a glass box that can only serve about 20 diners at once, which can cause lengthy queues. Drop by on a Saturday evening and chances are you’ll have to wait for over an hour.
The prerequisite Korean oppa is there, cooking alongside another Thai chef in an open kitchen, where they prepare a small menu of roughly 20 items. Despite there being just two chefs, they manage to send food out so fast you barely spend more time eating than waiting to be seated.
Classics like tteokpokki (stir-fried rice cake and fish cake, B180) and kimchi soup (B220) don’t particularly stand out, but there’s no denying the pleasure of their flavorful kimchi fried rice (B250), served on a skillet surrounded by a ring of melted cheese. The healthier bibimbap (mixed rice, B200) served in a hot bowl is no less tasty thanks to a similar gochujang seasoning.
The tender chicken thigh pieces in the dakgalbi (B250) come soaked in a full-flavor hot, peppery sauce and smothered in melted cheese while the impressive bulgogi (stir-fried marinated beef, B280) features the perfect balance of salty and sweet flavors. We also like the boiled gyoza (B120), in which the perfectly-cooked wraps encase a simple pork filling. You won’t find any Korean fried chicken here, though.
While Kimchi Hour is more pocket-friendly (and makes some nice fried chicken), this compact newcomer more often hits the spot for comfort food. Plus, Joha stores more soju varieties (B40-B220).
This review took place in March 2017 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.
|Address:||Joha, 111/1 Phahon Yothin 7 Soi 2, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Price Range:||BB - BBB|
|Open since:||May, 2016|
|Opening hours:||Mon 10:30am-8pm; Tue-Sun 10:30am-8:30pm|
|Nearest train||BTS Ari|
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