New Malden is not a place you necessarily want to visit (despite only being 15 minutes by train from Waterloo). The office block above is their idea of modern architecture. There is, however, one very redeeming thing about New Malden; Koreans. It is the centre of London’s Korean community. Whilst that may not do anything for the architecture it means great things for the food.
Before going to New Malden Jen and I sat down and did serious amounts of research. New Malden is relatively established as a food tourism site in London. I’ve been before and have vague memories of eating Korean bbq out of an oil drum on the side of the street. The boards of chowhound have a series of recommendations, Time Out has reviewed a few and there are odd mentions on blogs here and there.
One of the ones which keeps coming up is Hamgipak or Ham Gi Pak which is placed on a suburban high street of exquisite shitness. Chain shops, boarded up fronts and tack. Hamgipak has gone for the clean wooden feel inside. It is a bit like a Korean Wagamama which has seen slightly better days (I know the New Yorkers amongst you are thinking David Chang… and yes).
We were intending to order a few dishes there and continue our culinary tour but Jen went into a Korean frenzy and just started pointing at things. Korean chicken wings and pancakes started flying out of the kitchen which were then joined by kimchi and various other overordering by Jen.
The one problem with this was that we didn’t have anything left in us to continue our culinary tour of New Malden. Which is kind of good as we will be back. Just as a note if you are thinking of striking out to New Malden yourself, Hamgipak was just meant to be a cheap canteen Korean pitstop on the way to another Korean restaurant which looks like it could be rather good – Jee Cee Neh. Let me know if you have already been and it is good.
Price – £30 for two