Having launched a successful evening residency at Blend Café on Green Lanes, Anju is now taking over The Gun’s kitchen in this long-term residency at one of Hackney’s best boozers.
Better known for weekend DJs and their Sunday league football team, The Gun has a buzzy relaxed neighbourhood vibe with a cute dining space on the first floor, complete with terrace (should the sun ever come out again!)
Fittingly, ‘anju’ is the Korean term for food that’s eaten with alcohol and as pub grub goes, it doesn’t get better than this.
Taewoo Kim, Anju’s head chef and founder, has created an authentic menu inspired by the home-cooked food from his childhood in Korea.
The menu features recognisable dishes such as the Korean classic, Bibimbap; a rice dish with kimchi and fried egg served with meat or tofu. But we’re not going to lie – we were here for the Korean fried chicken, which comes doused in either Gochujang, the fermented chilli condiment or a honey butter glaze – we got both! It was banging – crispy, hot, tender – he could certainly show the other KFC a thing or two. Vegetarians are treated to a cauliflower version with the same glazes.
Korean BBQ, usually cooked by customers tableside, has been modified for the pub with 24-hour slow-cooked beef short rib served on top of white rice and alongside ssam salad – leaves designed to wrap the meat in – presented in a gold bento box with all the Korean trimmings. It’s a steal at £13.50. In fact, all of the prices are really excellent for both the quality and portion size – you won’t be going home hungry.
Another highlight was the Gangnam fries which is something of a Mexican/Korean hybrid dish – topped with cheese, jalapeno pickle, kimchi and either bulgogi beef or tofu (we got beef), we’d argue this was a must-order. The fries are a clever taco shape which holds all the filling perfectly and means you can eat it with your chopsticks – genius!
We’re big, big fans of little Anju, in fact, it might just be the best pub grub in town.
The Gun, 235 Well Street, London E9 6RG
Wednesday-Friday 18.00-22.00, Saturday 12.00 – 22.00, Sunday 12.00 – 20.00