New Restaurant Review: ‘Oppa’

Amidst the influx of new students, St Andrews has also welcomed a new addition to its list of restaurants. Positioned in the middle of Market Street, ‘Oppa’ is a Korean restaurant that offers both a sit-in dining experience as well as catering to those who are in a rush and simply want to grab something to-go.

After three years of craving Korean food, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by the establishment of a Korean dining experience. So what could be better than to go visit this new place – especially after a night of drinking.

My Order: Pork Belly Bibimbap

Priced at £12.50, the bibimbap comes in a large stone bowl, with a small container of sauce on the side. It is topped with kimchi, shitake mushrooms, beansprouts, cucumbers, carrots, fungus (my guess – cloud ears), peppers and a raw egg.

First impressions:

I was pretty amazed by the presentation of the dish. At first glance, it was large and authentic looking. I must admit, however, that I did not expect to see peppers in my dish, nor for the meat to be placed separately.

Pros

1) Large portion size – As shown the portion size is quite big. I managed to finish my food but it was definitely very filling (and worth the 12 pounds!) A few of my friends didn’t manage to finish the meal – so if you have a small appetite you could definitely split this in two and take the rest home!

2) Sauce on the side – I really like this as it caters to a wide audience with different levels of spice tolerance. As someone who likes spice, I just used all the sauce, but it’s definitely helpful if you’re not great with spicy foods or trying Korean food for the first time!


3) Crockery – I personally feel like the crockery in which food is served plays a big part in influencing one’s dining experience as well as the flavour of the dish. I loved how they used a stone bowl to serve the bibimbap, which kept the food at a really hot temperature and also allowed for scorched rice. Scorched rice, is when rice is slightly burnt (or slightly dried out) which gives it a crunchy texture – a common thing in some Asian cuisines and dishes!

4) Hot Food! – I am honestly a sucker for a nice hot meal. Perfect for a cold winter’s day!

Cons

Although I did generally enjoy the dining experience, there are a few things to consider.

1) Lack of marination – As I only tried the bibimbap, this does not extend to the other dishes they serve. I do wish the pork belly was marinated rather than boiled. It would also have been nice if the protein was incorporated into the meal rather than set aside.

2) Flavour – Most of the flavour came from the spicy sauce, so for my friend who wasn’t big on spicy foods, it was slightly bland.

Comparison to other places

1) Price – The price range is pretty similar to other Asian restaurants in St Andrews, such as ‘Tanon’ or ‘Dining Room’. Given the quantity of food, I believe it is an acceptable price range.

2) Food – Although the town is already home to restaurants that provide a fusion of Japanese and Korean food, ‘Oppa’ is a refreshing experience as no other restaurant provides hot Korean dishes.

3) Take out – To my knowledge, the take-out section provides a wide selection of food (from gyozas and sushi, to build-your-own poka bowl). This part of the restaurant definitely reminds me of ‘Combini co’.

If you’re considering heading to ‘Oppa’ I hope this review helped, and hope you enjoy your time there!

But I’m definitely looking forward to trying their stews next~