NARU – 230 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8EG


My partner had mentioned that he had been to this restaurant two times before and had loved the food, so I was really looking forward to going there and tasting Korean food. (I have never tasted this type of cuisine before).

The restaurant was very small and mostly full of people who, seemed like they had just come for dinner after work. The decor was expected of a small restaurant, it was homely, with paper lanterns on the wall and dim lighting. It looked like a small, cute neighbourhood restaurant.

My partner chose the starters, as he had tasted them before and really enjoyed eating them. He chose ‘Pa Jeon’ which were traditional Korean pancakes with seafood and spring onions and a street food style vegetarian dish (which unfortunately is not on the online menu). As my partner had mentioned that the portion sizes were quite big at this restaurant, we decided to share a main with a small bowl of jasmine rice each. We decided to choose ‘O Jing a bok kum’ which is freshly fried calamari with vegetables in a spicy, honey, chilli sauce. One thing I wasn’t expecting at this restaurant was the price of food, I assumed judging on the decor, menu and ambience that the price of dishes would be fairly reasonable (a little more expensive than a good takeaway) but they actually relatively expensive.

The starters arrived very quickly (probably ten mins after we had ordered), which as I have said before – is great news for a foodie like me! 🙂 These dishes were a nice size (possibly a big portion for 2 people) but perfect size for me and my partner. The pancake starter had come already cut into small bite size pieces and with a nice soya, chilli sauce which complimented the pancakes really well. However, I found the pancakes a little bland and greasy but on the whole tasty and different. Embarrassingly I insisted eating with the metal chopsticks provided, which for my partner provided a comedy element to our meal and possibly other oriental dinners. The street food starter was a different but tasty vegetable dish with a nice wet (thinish) sauce which I can only say reminded me of a very, very good ‘sweet and sour’ sauce. I enjoyed eating it and wouldn’t hesitate to order it again – I ate more of this starter than the pancakes.

The main dish arrived again, very quickly ( again ten mins or so) after we had finished the starter. This dish looked very similar to the street food starter (colour and bowl it was served in). In fact, the sauce surrounding the calamari and vegetables tasted very similar to the sauce in the starter dish. Which I was not expecting and found a little disappointing. However my partner, thought it tasted very different. I still enjoyed eating it despite my negative comments and in fact it made me curious about what the other dishes taste like. 🙂 All in all, food was good. My partner mentioned that when he had come here before he had tried the pork and chicken dishes and those were much tastier than the seafood dish we had ordered as a main.

Verdict: I would possibly go again.

I am not much of a fan of Chinese/oriental takeaways, the restaurant and food reminded me a little of that type of food and I did not think it was good value for money. On the upside the portions were a good size, leaning towards the larger end and the service was very fast and efficient.

I would not pick this place for a romantic meal for two but it would be a good place to come for a catch up with friends or after work dinner if you are in the area.

  • Food: 7/10 – food was good but  I found that two dishes tasted similar. However my partner really enjoyed the pork and chicken dishes.
  • Ambience: homely and busy. I did find that all my clothes had a very strong smell of friend Korean food, which took about 3 days of airing to get rid of it. Not pleasant when you only have one coat! The music was also quite tranquil when we first arrived but near the end of the meal, started to play dance tracks with lots of loud bass sounds – I found this a bit unusual and a bit off putting.
  • Decor: homely with cute paper lanterns – however everything felt a bit dull.
  • Service: very good
  • Value for money: not great for taste and considering we shared a main, but it could reflect portion size.

(Ginger ale, fruit juice, pancake starter, street food starter, calamari main, jasmine rice x2 = £37.51  with a 10% service charge).

Outside of the Naru restaurant taken from the official Naru restaurant website.

Outside of the Naru restaurant taken from the official Naru restaurant website.


~ by khannablog on February 17, 2013.

2 Responses to “Naru”

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