Serving up freshly-made, wallet-friendly Korean lunches just off Oxford Road, it’s not surprising EatGoody has built up a cult following amongst both budget conscious students and fans of Korean cuisine.
The restaurant – which styles itself as a ‘Korean fusion café’ – is tucked away by the Sugden sports centre, a short walk from the universities. It sits on the first floor, but on the day I visited the queue snaked down the narrow stairs and on to the street below, so it was hard to miss. The customers were mostly regulars – plenty of them Koreans themselves, which was a good sign – and everyone seemed to go for the daily special. At £4 a plate, barely more than meal deal, you can see why. On Tuesday this was a curry with either vegetable dumplings or chicken, served over rice. I went for the dumplings and a kimchi salad (£1), because you can’t go to a Korean restaurant and at not at least try the kimchi! The service was friendly, if a little frantic, but that’s understandable considering the number of people eagerly waiting, and the food was made impressively fast.
Given how affordable it was I was expecting something fairly light, but what I received was a hefty box of delicious smelling curry. It wasn’t simple food either – the curry sauce was rich and intensely savoury, with chunks of fried potato and plenty of dumplings. Despite being soaked in curry the dumplings remained perfectly crispy, offsetting the slightly stodgy rice well, and had a pleasant if not particularly flavourful vegetable filling. This felt like proper winter food, served piping hot and designed to warm you up on freezing day (it frequently drops to -10°C in Seoul at this time of year, unlike the balmy weather we’ve been having). The kimchi salad was a very welcome addition – it had a strong, sharp flavour that wasn’t over-fermented, and cut through the heavy main dish wonderfully. My only complaint is I wish there had been more of it!
EatGoody is somewhere I’ll certainly be returning to. For under a fiver you get a plate of Korean soul food so delicious and authentic that it’s easy forget you’re just metres away from Oxford Road. If you’re in need of something to fuel you through an long afternoon of work or your last couple lectures, this is the place to go.