Dubai's top 10 Korean restaurants to get your K-Pop fix

There's a Korean pop festival at the weekend, and these will get you in the mood

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This weekend sees the best of K-Pop descend on Dubai for a huge festival at Autism Rocks Arena.

No fewer than 11 world-famous acts will be taking to the stage on Friday (April 6) for more than four hours of non-stop K-Pop in what promises to be an event like no other.

K-Pop is a genre of music that originated in South Korea and is characterised by a wide variety of audio-visual elements (think Gangnam style).

To get in the spirit of things we’ve rounded up a list of some of the best Korean restaurants in Dubai, not that we ever need an excuse to indulge in any of the below.

HYU Korean Restaurant
Originally located in Oud Metha, when HYU relocated to JLT last year, many of the loyal patrons followed in what is a testament to the authentic food an excellent service. Portions are generous and the value for money is excellent. We are big fans of the restaurant – especially for the pan-friend dumplings.
Open Sun, Mon, Tue, Thu & Sat, 11am-3.30pm, 6p,-10.30pm; Wed & Fri, 11am-3.30m, 6pm-10.30pm. O2 Residence, Cluster O, JLT (050 871 1389).

K-Pop Chicken
This Korean eatery uses fun and young inspiration, with flashes of acid green in the interiors and dishes named after K-Pop music sensations. The fast-food spot offers a menu that spans many Korean favourites, although Korean style fried chicken is the signature here, and very good it is too.
Open Sat-Wed 11am-11pm, Thu-Fri 11am-midnight. Indigo Icon, Cluster F, JLT (04 434 0096).

Kung Korean Karaoke
Delicious Korean food and the opportunity to sing your heart out – what more can you ask for from a night on the tiles? The menu is extensive and offers a range of Korean favourites in the restaurant area, before you move into one of the private karaoke rooms to belt out some K-Pop classics (plus your usual (Gloria Gaynor/Elvis/ACDC karaoke classics).
Open daily 10am-1am (karaoke starts at 7.30pm). Byblos Hotel, Barsha Heights (04 432 7966).

Namu
Namu is set high up in the W Dubai, where floor-to-ceiling windows provide a bird’s eye view of the city. There’s an extensive menu packed full of well-thought out dishes and unusual ingredients. Staff are enthusiastic and friendly and the prices are decent for the standard and setting.
Open Sat-Wed 5.30pm-midnight; Thu-Fri 5.30pm-1am. W Dubai, Al Habtoor City (04 437 1634).

Mannaland
Just a stone’s throw from 2nd December Street, this casual Korean restaurant truly impresses. Great options include the tender yachae bulgogi marinated beef, which you can barbeque yourself at the table’s cooking station; the hearty kimchi ljigae stew with that unmistakable Korean tanginess and the delicious japchae glass noodles and beef. Everything, including seafood courses such as the spicy grilled jjim mussels, are impressively fresh.
Open daily 11am-11pm. Satwa (04 345 1300).

Pyongyang Okryu-gwan
Dubai’s only North Korean restaurant is as much an experience as a meal. Once you’ve been welcomed inside by hostesses in elaborate Korean traditional dress, service tends to be very friendly, if charmingly eccentric. Try the cold noodle soups – the perfect antidote to the increasing heat outside.
Open daily 10am-midnight. Business Village, Deira (04 298 1589).

Sobahn
This restaurant offers a good mix of Korean and Japanese favourites with a Korean grill, a Japanese station, a Thai http://www.timeoutdubai.com/restaurants/features/81794-best-thai-restaur... station and a dessert spot at the buffet lunch. The all-you-can-eat menu runs on Fridays and Saturdays and includes unlimited grub from the buffet for Dhs109 per person.
Open daily noon-3pm, 6pm-10.30pm. Sobahn, Matloob Building, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 380 7888).

Sonamu
A fine-dining Korean experience in a spectacular venue. Clichés aside, it really will cut your breath short as you wander in to this glittering golden space, with towering ceilings and impressive giant-bonsai style ornamental trees. The restaurant also houses several private dining rooms on the upper tier of the restaurant.
Open daily 6.30am-10am, noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm. Asiana Hotel, Salahuddin Road, Deira (04 238 7777).

Sarang Bakery
Go here for bread, cakes, coffee and tea – Korean-style. The menu features authentic baked offerings including green bean bread, red bean doughnuts and flower bread. We can’t think of any better way to carb-load.
Open Sat-Thu 10am-9pm. Goldcrest Executive Tower, Cluster C, JLT (04 453 5477).

The Sky Korean Restaurant & Bar
The Sky serves up homely Korean food that suits the surroundings. Staff are on hand in their number, and quick to attend to the tellingly large groups of Korean businessmen dining. From the lengthy menu, try a hearty bowl of bibimbap (meat served atop squidgy rice, then mixed up with sweet and spicy sauces), or the satisfying seafood pancake.
Open daily noon-2.10pm, 6pm-10.30pm. Golden Tulip Al Barsha, Al Barsha (04 341 7750).

K-Pop Festival from Dhs500 (for two tickets, Tuesday 20 March only) from Dhs375 (per ticket usually). Friday April 6, 4pm-10pm. The Autism Rocks Arena, next to Dubai Outlet Mall, E66, 117live.com.

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