This past Saturday, July 14, my brother and I embarked on a trip to New Malden, where the Korean community of London chose to settle. I was keen on some Korean food – I knew not what exactly, but I wanted kimchi and grilled meats and so forth. I also needed a few ingredients so that I could make kimbab the next day.
We took two trains to get there – I’d always thought it was much further away but it’s actually easily accessible from Waterloo. First impressions of New Malden are that it’s like a lovely little village and it couldn’t feel further from London. We wandered over to the first Korean restaurant and found it shut! A sign pasted in the window explained this unforeseen closure – there was a Korean food festival on THAT DAY! Woohoo! It was our lucky day! We made our way to the festival location – the Fountain Pub – and saw that it was some special day in New Malden. Every community group you could imagine had some kind of fundraising stand set up along the high street; it really enhanced that villagey feel to the place!
We made it to the other end of the high street and walked to the back of the Fountain Pub. Oh boy, did we ever get excited when we saw all those stands! Charcoal grilled meats, kimchi everywhere, even a whole roasted pig!
We watched some of the tae kwon do exhibition
and then settled down to the food! There were quite a few stands around selling all manner of Korean food – if you don’t like garlic and spice, this festival wasn’t for you!
We had beef kalbi, all manner of deep fried dumplings and fritters, fish cakes in broth, and spicy/sweet/garlicky fried chicken. I tried a Korean canned drink of grape juice with peeled grapes in the can – cute idea.
Hey, I just remembered that I never got to eat any kimchi! This calls for another trip! And next year, I’m going to be watching this blog like a hawk to find out the date of the food festival – they too have a report about this year’s festival.