During a recent “happen to be in the area and need to eat” moment, I popped into Hang A Ri, just off rue Saint-Anne. After quickly checking online ratings, of course! The area is a real mixed bag at the best of times, and choosing Korean over the more common Japanese offerings could have been a risky move.
Luckily, the internet got it right. Hang A Ri is a solid 4 as far as far as food goes. No frills Korean fare, not too far removed from what you would find at a standard restaurant in Seoul, served by the extremely brusque owner who nearly managed to raise a smile whilst I was teaching my dining companion how to say “kamsahamnida”.
Our small attempts at Korean politeness didn’t earn us a welcome after 11pm, however. It felt like we were literally being chased out of the restaurant. Definitely not a good choice for a late-night snack.
Ambiance – 3 – relatively bright lighting, wood-look tables and a lack of decoration add to the feeling of authenticity if you’re keen to feel like you’re in Asia.
Food – 4 – tasty Korean food that would feel at home in Seoul. The pancake was a little too crispy for my liking but the bulgogi sauce was excellent, and the ratios of rice/meat/vegetables in the bibimbap perfect.
Drinks – 2 – my dining partner was on the beer so I chose a house white. Bad choice
Service – 2 – the waiter (presumably owner) had perhaps a VERY dry sense of humour. To the point where it was difficult to perceive. Our biggest smile of the evening was definitely at the moment we left. Possibly because I said goodbye in Korean, but I suspect just because they wanted to get home.
Overall – 4 – my points don’t add up on this one. Despite, or maybe because of the abrupt service, the awful wine and the “feel like you’re in Asia” decor, Hang A Ri is worth a visit.