Back in middle school, my Korean friend used to have these amazing lunchboxes filled with bite-sized kimbap rolls that were oh-so colourful and oh-so-yummy! Next to my sad little sandwiches, I definitely wanted the kimbap… which led to a friendship of always bugging her to share her lunch with me! Well, I guess youngsters nowadays haven’t changed – the three owners of new Hong Kong lunch hotspot K-Roll found the exact same thing happening to one of their daughters at school lunchtimes, so they decided to take their family recipes and bring this popular food to the masses in Sheung Wan!
The clean simple space at K-Roll isn’t too big (there are a couple of small tables, stools and bar seats to perch at), but being mainly a takeaway spot, it’s just right. The menu is also simple and short with cute drawings to illustrate each food item – perfect for those who get overwhelmed with the long menus that we often find at restaurants nowadays!
We began first with the shrimp korritto (i.e. a Korean burrito), a wrap filled with rice, tempura shrimp, fried dumpling skin, plenty of veggies and some magical Korean seasonings! The crispy dumpling skin rolled into the korritto added a good crunch to this tasty and easy on-the-go option – providing a healthy but delicious dose of carbs, protein and veg, it definitely ticked all our boxes for a great takeaway lunch.
Next came the bulgogi kimbap roll – and this was definitely our favourite! In case you haven’t tried these delights before, kimbap is super popular in Korea – essentially a sushi roll without the raw fish. The marinated beef was so flavourful (add some spicy sauce if you like a bit of heat!) that I just couldn’t stop popping pieces of kimbap in my mouth. It’s wildly addictive, ridiculously delicious and the perfect size for lunchtime!
If you’re looking for something more substantial, then order the bibimbap – a large bowl of rice topped with a vibrant mix of shitake mushrooms, eggs, carrots, zucchini, bean sprouts, beef and of course, a huge dollop of chilli bibim sauce. If only there was the option to have a fried egg on top, then it’d be a total crowd pleaser (alas, it probably wouldn’t transport back to the office nearly as well)! With a well-balanced mix of flavours and textures, this was yet another scrummy lunch option… And shout-out to the vegans and vegetarians out there, there’s also a tofu version that looks equally delicious!
The last dish we tried (or to be more accurate, stole off one of my friends who happened to also be having lunch there!) was the Korean ramen – a spicy soup broth with chewy noodles. It reminded me a little of Shin Ramyun instant noodles (which I love), but it probably isn’t the most unique offering at K-Roll… or indeed, the easiest takeaway option either (especially if you’ve got to run back to the office – not easy to do with hot soup sloshing around!).
One more thing – I couldn’t stop sipping K-Roll’s Jujube K-Tea! It’s sweet, earthy and comforting; if you loved it like I did, you can buy these delicious little fruits in Chinese dried fruit stores and boil them down to make this tea at home everyday.
Unlike other Korean meals (like Korean BBQ) that leave you feeling heavy and bloated, my trip to K-Roll left me feeling healthy and satisfied. Service is quick and friendly, with dishes ranging from $48-$88 (and no service charge) for plenty of delicious Korean takeaway choices – and happily, the K-Roll ladies have made sure almost all of their convenient takeaway packaging is recyclable too.
So for those of you who work in the Sheung Wan/Central area, this is a truly tasty and fast on-the-go lunch option that doesn’t stint on fantastic flavours either. K-Roll is where it’s at for food that’s easy, breezy and deliciously Korean… So let the good times roll!
K-Roll, 6A, G/F, Sen Fat Building, 6 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 2234 5505; takeaway only between 4-7pm