North London's Cultural Guide

60 Second Review…lunch at Kkini, Fortess Road NW5

The midday mealboxes come in at £7.50 at the smart Korean diner

Age: A year and a half, or so. As for the name, Kkini simply means ‘meal’ in Korean.

Where exactly is it? On Fortess Road, occupying the hard-to-fill boots of much-missed vegetarian restaurant Ceremony.

OK. So what goes on there? Korean fried udon, BBQ, dumplings, soup, bibimbap and more. You can even cook the rib-eye to your liking on the traditional table-top grills – if that appeals.

What should I eat? If you’re as economically minded as we are these days, hit the place for lunch. It’s just £7.50 for a comforting bowl of bibimbap or a BBQ box. For the former, choose your protein, from meat to seafood or tofu to go with rice, seasoned vegetables, an egg and chilli paste; for the latter, our personal fave (pictured below), there’s a couple of moreish fried dumplings, salad with tangy dressing, mound of fluffy rice and a tangle of spicy marinated thin strips of chicken with bamboo shoots and vegetables. You can also opt for the Bulgogi, a fruitier soy marinade for the meat or fish. In short: delicious and healthy.


The BBQ box. Photo: SE

The interior: discuss. Unquestionably minimal and stylish, like its predecessor, with imposing counter, shiny tiles, lots of wood, industrial pendants and the high ceilings typical of that stretch of Fortess Road parade.

What’s the service like? Swiftly efficient. A peek through the kitchen door on the way to the toilets revealed a packed room of chefs cooking up a storm.

Do say: ‘Another independent destination on the ever-evolving Fortess Road.’

Kkini is open daily (apart from Tuesday) at 131 Fortess Road NW5. The lunch offer runs weekdays 12-23Follow @kkini_korean_grill 

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