Eating out: Ginseng, West One Plaza, Sheffield

Ginseng Korean Restaurant, Sheffield
Ginseng Korean Restaurant, Sheffield

We’re at Ginseng, Sheffield and South Yorkshire’s very first Korean restaurant at the West One Plaza, off Fitzwilliam Street. It opened last October.

The restaurant is on two levels with large pictures of Korean beauties in traditional dress and three ultra slim fishtanks for décor.

We were the only two diners at one point and after a friendly enough reception were shown a table, brought menus, some complimentary kimchi pickles and were left to it.

We nibbled the pickles, mild spinach and cucumber and some pretty hot white radish (I think there may be gutsier stuff available), scanned the menu, looked blank and waved for assistance.

Kim suggested the kimchi pancake (£6.90) and the pork dumplings (£5.90) as starters and both dishes proved winners.

The pancake was a revelation, crisp on the outside, squidgy within, with little strands of the pickles we’d had earlier.

The dumplings, six little halfmoons arranged like a cart-wheel, were a hit with my wife as they were light and crispy with a really tasty mince pork filling.

I found them slightly dangerous as every time I bit into one a hot jet of liquid spurted out.

Both came with dips. Each table is fitted with a mini barbecue grill in the centre. Apparently you can either cook marinated meat yourself or get your waitress to do it for you.

The stone rice pot is a Korean speciality so I decided to order one as a main course.

The mixed seafood one (£8.20) comes as a very hot bowl of steamed rice topped by prettily arranged sectors of seafood (squid and mussels), seaweed, vegetables, bean sprouts and kimchi with a fried egg on top, sunny side up.

On the side was a bowl of chilli and coriander paste.

It’s fun and it’s tasty although my vote would go for the stir-fry of rice cakes with fishcakes with hot chilli bean sauce (£7.80).

We’d really enjoyed our meal, which packed a good deal of interest by way of taste and texture.

We rounded things off with a pot of barley tea. Think pearl barley and you’re halfway there. Our bill came to £27.80 for food, with drinks and tea another £5.10.

Where: West One Plaza Fitzwilliam Street, Sheffield

How much: £27.80

Rating: 8/10