Supper at Shilla, a Korean treat!

Last night was an #EdTweetUp at The Queens Arms and being such a dedicated blogger it was the perfect opportunity to try out Shilla, a Korean restaurant on Dundas Street that had been recommended to me by Mr G (last weeks companion at L’escargot Bleu). AVM is really enjoying her new found fame and was more than happy to join me.

One of the 3 dining areas

Shilla’s website promised a real treat and we certainly weren’t disappointed! A small unobtrusive entrance and a walk down a narrow staircase brought us into a little underground series of dining rooms, each with about 10 tables. We were a little early as they don’t open until 5.30 but they happily seated us and gave us the menus anyway. The decor is a bit of mish mash, old stone walls and a cave like feel, meet florals, geometrics, rustic paintings and minimalist sculptures.

The wine list was well priced with a decent range, bottles priced between £12.50-£18.50. The Argentinian Esperanza Merlot caught our eyes and was swiftly ordered while we feasted our eyes on the menu which had a startling array of dishes to choose from. The menu was moderately priced with Starters £4.00-£7.99 and Mains £8.99-£15.99

It was not an easy task to decide and would have been great if we had been a larger party so we could have tried a number of different dishes. Eventually after quite a lot of indecision, I went for Pa Jeon to start, a Korean style omelette with seafood & spring onion and chef’s special sauce while AVM opted for the Gun Man Do, home-made fried dumplings with minced pork, tofu, spring onion & rice noodles

AVM's dumplings

For the mains, I chose Oh Sam Bul Go Ki, famous Korean spicy pork with squid and AVM the Bul Go Ki, chargrilled marinaded beef in rich soy sauce. On ordering we were then brought a selection of appetisers to cleanse our palettes and get our taste buds going, bean sprouts, radish, potato and aubergine, all delicious but the aubergine was outstanding.

The starters arrived and were beautifully presented, the omelette was more than enough for 3 people to share and the dumplings again were plentiful. Couldn’t fault them in taste and texture and the smooth, light wine seemed to balance well with the food. Not wanting to scupper our main courses we had to reign ourselves back and resist the temptation to sit and trough through the lot, and thankfully so……

Squid & seafood omelette

The main courses again were beautifully presented and promised a great taste sensation. AVM’s turned out be a little less straight forward as she was presented with a plate of large lettuce leaves in which to wrap her rice, meat and satay style sauce, gorgeous messy Korean burritos! My pork and squid dish was plentiful and tasty, and unfortunately I didn’t do it justice but I gave it a jolly good go.

As we had been dining the restaurant had been filling up and I suddenly realised that I was the only person in the entire restaurant of Caucasian origin, a great sign indeed! On looking for the bathroms I discovered that the other two dining rooms were also full and by 19.00 on a Tuesday evening. Win! Looking at the myriad of interesting dishes that were going to the other tables was a delightful spectator sport in itself and the sushi and sashimi sharing platters looked fantastic.

There is a buzzer on each table which we had, with usual British reserve, not used but other tables were merrily buzzing away, am guessing this is perhaps the norm in Korea..? Buoyed up by a few glasses of red wine I plucked up the courage to bing-bong for our bill though.

The staff were friendly, the little touches, like the appetisers, lovely metal chopsticks and spoon, presented in a little satin purse and the music, sounding decidedly like the Asian version of Euro pop and the intersting crockery and delightful and unusual dishes made for a really memorable dining experience.

One of the slightly bizarre loo paintings!

To the scores, unfortunately the bathrooms didn’t do so well 4/10 (‘quirky’ is how I would describe them & could probably do with a refurb, loved the tap though!), the service got a 6/10 but the overall score was a fat 8/10 due to the quality of the food.

I asked AVM to summarise her dining experience and with her usual ‘aplomb’ stated that she didn’t usually eat that quickly and would have licked the plate if she could have and would be back like a shot! High praise indeed!

Great news is that they also have a comprehensive Take Away Menu. Definitely one to try and try again!

Shilla, 13B Dundas Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6GQ. 0131 556 4840

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  1. Shilla - Korean Restaurant Edinburgh Review - Epicurean Adventures - November 23, 2012

    […] noticed that there was a review of Shilla from a wee while ago over @ Eating Edinburgh. Posted in Korean Food, Restaurant Tagged edinburgh, korean, restaurant, shilla ← […]

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