Asian cuisine in the past decades became very popular across the world, as it’s known for being healthy, balanced with consideration for the spiciness, color, and texture, but it focuses heavily on aesthetics as well! And if you are wondering why Korean food is becoming very popular in the middle east? Well, it is all thanks to the Korean Hallyu (cultural wave) that is spreading across the world through their outbreaking cinematography that landed them an oscar prize just last year and being home to the most popular boy band in the world, BTS, which took over the world by storm, from being the top on the billboards, speaking at UNESCO to being invited by the crown prince to perform in Saudi Arabia! As a result, Korean culture spread across the world like fire!
So worry not, today we will embark together in the colorful world of Korean cuisine and learn all about the best dishes and restaurants in Saudi Arabia.
What makes Korean food special?
Inherited from their historical Royal Cuisine
Most of the food that exists in Korea nowadays and the custom of eating it comes from the royal cuisines and the customs of their ancient court, the food that was once produced carefully by harvesting spices and fermenting food for years for the king only now has been passed down for generations that everyone has access to it today, therefore it is typical to have a table served with 5 – 12 dishes, and start your Korean meal with a bowl of rice, soup, raw or boiled or grilled meat, and side dishes served next to it.
Master of Preservatives in food
Just like the Japanese are famous for their sushi, and Saudis are famous for their kabsa, Koreans have perfected the art of preserving food, Most if not all side dishes are pickled, salted, or fermented and most are very spicy! The most famous dish in Korea is called kimchi which consists basically of fermented spicy cabbage either buried underground or in large round containers for a long time.
Side dishes are a must!
The number of side dishes you can order varies between 2 to 12 per one meal! they include small bowls that could have anything from fermented veggies to raw meat or seafood prepared in special ways, we might as well mention that there are no separate courses, all dishes are served at once.
Did we catch your eye, and make your stomach growl or not yet?
Then what about the best Korean restaurants in Saudi Arabia? Let’s introduce them to you.
Top Korean restaurants in Saudi Arabia
Korean Palace Restaurant
If you are looking for original authentic Korean food, then you are good to go, This gem is owned by a Korean person and operated by Korean staff, that is the reason behind its taste that its similar to food in Korea, so feel free to enjoy the mouth-watering kimchis ( fermented spicy cabbage), along with a bowl of noodles, that can be served either hot or cold to chill during the hot season of summer.
The greatest thing about this restaurant is that if you are visiting with a family member that wants to enjoy American food then you can indulge in your favorite meal while your family eats some pasta or lemon chicken as the restaurant offers a variety of food options.
- Location: At Takhassusi Branch St, Ar Rahmaniyyah, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
- Working hours: Saturday – Thursday, 11:30 AM – 3 PM | 5 PM– 11 PM
- Friday, 12:30 PM – 3 PM | 5 PM –11 PM
- Contact information: +966 11 419 8878
SURA Korean Fine Dining
Serving up Korean classics in an amazing contemporary and intimate setting, Sura Korean dining has become a favorite among the people of Jeddah. Lick your fingers after a serving of Chilli Sau (Spicy shrimps), or slurp down a huge bowl of Ramyon ( Korean noodles) then enjoy a platter of Ice shaved ice cream with mango, or enjoy a serving of Korean styled hotpot with colorful vegetables and smoked meat inside for instance.
And what really makes this place special is the wide variety of Vegetarian options that you can count on such as, green onion pancakes with sesame seed sauce, and grilled veggies or a tofu-based salad.
- Location: Prince Saud Al Faisal, Ar Rawdah, Jeddah
- Working hours: Saturday – Wednesday, 1:00 PM – 12:00 AM
- Thursday – Friday, 1:00 PM – 1:00 AM
- Contact information: +966 12 663 2001
JINGOGAI – The Taste of Korea
For those who are into new experiences but on a limited budget, Jingogai is the place for you, because it offers delicious Korean dishes with large quantities, cheap prices, and original recipes, so if you are craving some food, go ahead and enjoy their dishes, so we suggest you try Korean ddeokbokki (spicy rice cakes with melted cheese) which is one of the best Korean dishes ever.
The interior of Jingogai is very cozy and is fully serviced.
if you live in an apartment or house near Al shamalia in Al Khobar, don’t miss out on your chance to try this place!
- Location: Al Khobar Al Shamalia, Al Khobar
- Working hours: All days, 11:00 AM – 2 PM | 5 PM– 10 PM
- Contact information: +966 13 894 7542
But what if you are going to visit a Korean restaurant and yet very hesitant about what to order?
We will mention a list of the best Korean dishes out there that you could try.
List of Korean dishes that are famous
Since South Korea has become a global sensation, we understand the for newbs, Korean dishes might be very strange to the eye, therefore here is a list of foods you must try:
- Bulgogi (marinated beef barbecue)
- Japchae (stir-fried noodles)
- Ddukbokki (spicy rice cake)
- Sundubu-jjigae (soft tofu stew)
- Bibimbap (mixed rice)
- Haemul Pajeon (seafood vegetable pancake)
- Hobakjuk (pumpkin porridge)
- Kimchi (fermented vegetables)
- Hoeddeok (sweet syrupy pancakes)
And that wraps our list of the top Korean restaurants and foods in Saudi Arabia, and if you are a big foodie, you might be interested in our top 10 burger joints list in Saudi Arabia for instance.
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