Johannesburg

Restaurants

Banchan

At this petite and unassuming family-run Korean restaurant just off Parkmore's 11th Street (5 minutes drive from Sandton City) every detail is intended to be as authentic as possible. The wines and spirits are all imported directly from South Korea, the tofu and kimchi is homemade and even the exotic teas, such as the unusual cinnamon blend with ginger, are created in-house. Every effort is made to accommodate diners who are new to Korean cuisine, while also ensuring that the scores of local Koreans who frequent the place enjoy an authentic taste of home.

There are only a handful of tables to choose from in this minimalist cafe-style space, each of which comes equipped with its own gas-fired hot plate for grilling your own meat. Upon arrival you'll be greeted with a bow and gently guided through the brief menu by the sweetest of hostesses who will happily take the time to explain every dish and what it would traditionally be eaten with.

One of the joys of this personalised service is learning about the balance of side dishes (or banchan, the collection of small plates that you traditionally get with every Korean meal) and their relation to the mains. For example with the pork barbecue you'll also be brought a bowl of raw onions soaked in a light soy sauce which is said to aid digestion by breaking up the fatty pork. Detailed guidance is also necessary for navigating the drinks menu which features exclusively Korean drinks (no wine or beer) such as soju and the unusual gamju, a mildly alcoholic drink made from fermented rice that is distinctly milky in appearance.

Bring a group of four and you can easily work your way together through most items on the menu. The staff will happily divide up portions of chunky ramen or the comforting lunch staple bibimbap (a traditional Korean rice, vegetables and egg dish) for sharing and as is typical in Korea the barbecue is priced and portioned per person but enjoyed communally. For dessert the towering bingsu (ice flakes soaked in fruit syrups, condensed milk and ice-cream and topped with nuts), is the kind of unusual Asian sweet dish that everyone will want to get their spoon into.

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Amenities

Guarded parking

Open

Open Mon 17:00–21:00, Tue–Fri 11:30–14:00 and 17:00–21:00, Sat 10:30–21:00.

Price/Additional Info

RR.

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