Arirang is a Korean institution that used to be tucked away in the depths of Wedding but moved to Charlottenburg in 2014. This eatery serves some very authentic, simple and well-cooked food in huge quantities and definitely worth the trip if you’re looking for a serious Korean experience.
I’m very in to simple food in simple venues, but I must say that the Arirang venue is so run-down that I probably wouldn’t set my foot in it if I wasn’t convinced that this place serves the best Korean food in the city. So don’t get put off by the bleached signs, the cheap furniture and any general feeling unease, I promise you that the food reflects none of this. The crew at Arirang cooks up a nice variety of dishes ranging from those cooked on a hot stove on the table to the classic kimchi pancakes, soups and deep fried dishes. The easiest way to have the full Arirang experience is to order one of the menus which are made to suit different group sizes and then to share all the food. These menus cost hardly anything per person and the portions are absolutely massive, during my first visit I felt like a was part of a massive food orgy which was nourished by a never ending flow of new dishes.
It’s a sweet and sour sticky-crispy gift from the gods that will make any fried food lover weep like a little baby.
Some of the dishes are truly exceptional, the Bulgogi beef BBQ on the table stove for example, rich and tasty and really a better and rougher version of what you get around Berlin in other, Koran restaurants. Arirang also serves my favourite Kimchi pancake in all of Berlin, the massive and divinely crispy creation is served with a soy dip and is sure to be the star of any dinner. What’s also amazing at Arirang are the soups, from the Kimchi pork to the oxtail soup, they are all outstanding and count to some of my favourite winter comfort food in the city. And if that’s not enough, you will borderline be committing a felony if you don’t order the fried pork in ketjap sauce, it’s a sweet and sour sticky-crispy gift from the gods that will make any fried food lover weep like a little baby.
Experience something authentic away from all the Kimchi burgers and neo-Korean crap that’s flooding Berlin
If you’re looking for a stylish Korean restaurant in a trendy neighbourhood, then Arirang is definitely not the right place for you. But if you’re not picky when it comes to venues and if you love Korean food and want to experience something authentic away from all the Kimchi burgers and neo-Korean crap that’s flooding Berlin, then you really can’t miss Arirang. Don’t forget to order plenty of Soju with the meal, it will help you to digest the food.
EDIT 2018: A better alternative to Arirang is the classic “Hodori” in Schöneberg, which is owned by the same people and features an identical menu, but scores higher points when it comes to venue, food and service.