Review of O.ppa Korean BBQ

When it comes to Asian dining in London, Korean food is set to be the next big thing. So when I came across O.ppa in Kew, I couldn’t wait to see what they had to offer.

O.ppa is one of the newest restaurants in the Borough and is part of the same group as the nearby Maki Japanese and Four Regions Chinese. The addition completes Kew’s very own Asian restaurant empire.

The venue has four different sections, each with its own theme. It has been tastefully decorated and is modern. There is also a simply gorgeous sunken group dining area with a cherry tree that hangs overhead, the perfect spot for a corporate event or family celebration.

Each of the tables both inside and out allow for a Korean BBQ. Where I sat, the BBQ was built in to the table with an industrial style extraction fan above. In other areas of the restaurant, including the outside, the BBQs were portable but still offered the same theatrical experience.

There is only one way to describe the menu, huge! They had an impressive 88 dishes in total with 24 of them being Korean BBQ options. It was broken down into categories which included small eats, hot bowls, rice and noodles. There was so much I wanted to try.

For my starter I chose the Kimchi platter at £6.50 and the Goon Mandoo (or vegetable dumplings) also at £6.50 for five pieces. I paired them with a glass of Rotari Rosé Metodo Classico at £5.50.

Kimchi, if you didn’t already know, is a selection of fermented vegetables which are spicy and sour. It is an important staple particularly throughout the winter months in Korea, as the vegetables retain their nutritional value which is useful when there are fewer fresh options available.

The platter at O.ppa showcased Korea’s national dish with cabbage, radish, cucumber and bean sprouts. The vegetables were crunchy and the spices warmed my palate. The dumplings were soft and tasty and were complemented with a delicious dipping sauce.

photoFor my first main I chose my favourite Korean dish the Beef Dolsot Bibimbap at £9.90. Served in an earthware pot it contained rice, sautéed seasonal vegetables, raw egg yolk, raw beef strips and chili paste. I mixed it all together, the raw ingredients cooked and eventually the rice stuck to the bottom of the hot bowl and became crispy. It was heavenly.

On to my second main which was the BBQ Bulgogi (or marinated beef) at £8.60. The meat was cooked for me at the table and it was incredibly tender. The sides and condiments were laid out in front of me to enjoy the BBQ the traditional way.

I took some of the meat, dipped it in Korean BBQ sauce, placed it in a butter lettuce leaf, added spring onions and soya bean paste, wrapped it up and ate it. The flavours were divine and worked seamlessly well together in the little parcels. A glass of the Montalto Organic Catarratto at £4.25 was a good accompaniment.

Sadly I had no room for dessert but I liked the look of the sweet Korean pancake with ice cream for £5. I will also give the Soju (or Korean vodka) a try next time.

I get the feeling that O.ppa will soon become one of the popular restaurants in the Borough. It has a point of difference with the Korean BBQ while offering good service and a high standard of food.

Overall 9.5/10


Reservations – yes

O.ppa is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner.

They do not currently have a website but are developing a newsletter to share upcoming events.

How does O.ppa describe itself? ‘Healthy & Fresh Korean Kitchen.’

More info here

Sarah is a Richmond local who also writes for Lazy Susan Food Reviews.