Korean and Mexican fusion cuisine? Surely not we thought… polar opposite countries, a mix like that wouldn’t work. How wrong we were! The two week old ‘Bo Drake’, hidden away in the heart of stylish Soho, is something quite different. What can you expect…well a Korean/Mexican BBQ, that’s what and a delicious, fun and vibrant one at that.
Never been to one before? No neither had we but being a night of ‘Firsts’ we gamefully accepted the outlandish yet delicious cherry pink Soju de la Vida Slushie. The cocktail was injected with the Korean spirit Soju and naughty Mexico’s equivalent Mezcal, this drink was a fantastic introduction to this hybrid of culinary cultures. This mixed cultural concept is the product of a collaboration between two passionate and talented foodies.
The fantastic Jan Lee heads up this unique joint, whose childhood years were spent in his parent’s Chinese restaurants in the borders of Scotland, combined with his travels around East Asia and an introduction to Korean culinary delights through his wife, he brings a completely new dimension to the BBQ scene. Assisting him at the BBQ is Head Chef Heath Mc Donald who having spent time in the Californian street trucks honing his skills brings new smoking techniques to the kitchen at Bo Drake and oh boy has he got skills.
Having slurped down the slushie (there’s no polite way to do it), we delved into the menu. Being fans of Quesadillas anyway, the Kimchi Quesadillas were a no brainer, and with the Kimchi an added bonus they really didn’t disappoint. What really stood out, and we were tipped off about, were the soon to be legendary Bo Drake Brisket Bao. 12 hour Smoked Brisket and a mustard BBQ and pickled cucumber sauce, this starter was melt in your mouth stuff. Tiny but divine, this starter seriously whet your appetite for the mains.
Rather unconventionally our sides arrived before and after our starters and mains which in any other normal restaurant you might be put out by, but it added to the fun and eclectic taste of the restaurant and complimented whatever course we were at the time. You’re advised to get a selection of sides, we chose the Sweet Potato chips with the heavenly Kimchi Aioli (we loved it so much we asked for more), as well as the snackable Taro Chips and Habanero & Avocado dip and then to finish a sweet little jar of pickled cucumbers.
When it came to the mains, the Korean dish Bo Sam was recommended to us by our charming waitress, a delicious slow cooked pork shoulder with the Korean spicy dipping sauce Samjang, a generous sprinkling of spring onions and all of which is then wrapped up in a Bib lettuce leaf and popped in the mouth – no cutlery needed here! The Higland Onglet Steak was beautifully done, and the golden beetroot, sweetcorn, smoked garlic and sweet soy sauce complimented the steak wonderfully as well as giving it that Bo Drake zing. The Roasted asparagus with a soy and yuzu sauce is also something not to be missed.
Not full after this, for those with a sweet tooth there is always the Sesame soft serve ice cream, finished with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds on top. Not your ordinary ice cream flavour no, but it’s worth a try.
We were pleasantly surprised by our Korean/Mexican BBQ night and would highly recommend anyone who craves something a little different, to try it out, because Jan Lee and Heath McDonald are on to something here.