This is why I love London... you can spend the most English of mornings walking along the Thames and admiring the rolling green countryside, gorgeous park lands and herds of deer in Richmond and then pop in a cab and a few minutes later you could be in Seoul (almost!)
New Malden is one of those places that may look like a typical English village on first glance, but look again and you will see that almost all the supermarkets are Asian, almost all the shops have the word "Seoul" on their store signs, there are posters plastered on shopfronts advertising K-Pop concerts and karaoke - even the property adverts and newspapers on the street are all in Korean!
And then of course, there is the food. The restaurants have the typical laminated wood tables, hanging scrolls, table buzzers and melamine crockery that just spell East Asia.
And on a fresh afternoon just hinting at an impending downpour, there is nothing that hits the spot better than a bowl of blistering hot bibimbap served chockful of Korean gochujang chilli paste, deliciously sticky sweet and spicy Korean fried chicken, and more sinfully good from its conspicuous absence on Korean menus in Dubai - pork bulgogi.
The town's Korean community settled here in the 50s and is believed to have grown when Samsung made New Malden its main UK hub for many years. The town also has the unique distinction of being home to the biggest community of North Korean expats in Europe.
The town is meant to be a great spot to visit on Korean New Year (Seollal), which falls on February 8 next year. Might have to pay it another visit if I find myself in London around that time :)
Know of any more bits London that could instantly transport you to another part of the world? Would love to check them out :)
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