In Short

Want to discover authentic South Korean cuisine in Hamburg with a unique atmosphere? This time, we tested Seoul 1988 in the Karolinenviertel for you. Especially the attention to detail and the feeling of sitting in a street food restaurant in the middle of South Korea impressed us. We tried Yangnyeom Chicken and Bibimbap and found it very good. In the evening, the restaurant becomes more of a karaoke bar, where you can certainly have a lot of fun!

Diving to South Korea

Seoul 1988 is a Korean restaurant in Hamburg. The restaurant exists three times in Hamburg. We were in the location in the Karolinenviertel, the other two restaurants are in the city center and in Eimsbüttel. In principle, they all offer the same thing, but have some differences in the decor and some menu items. For example, the restaurant in Karolinenviertel doesn’t have a Korean BBQ, but in the evening it offers a disco-like atmosphere including a karaoke machine.

Through the gate, which looks like the entrance of a South Korean metro station, down the stairs, you dive into the street scenery of South Korea. The place is beautifully decorated and you really feel like you are walking down the streets of South Korea, taking a seat in a street food restaurant. We were allowed to choose a table and looked around the restaurant a bit while we were there. The walls look like doors and windows leading into pubs or bars. Posters, neon signs and other decorations in Korean script hang everywhere.

Lunch or Dinner?

We were there at noon, because the restaurant is still relatively quiet at this time and does not have too many visitors. In the evening it can get quite crowded and noisy. There are karaoke nights and other events. From 12:00 to 15:00 there is a lunch menu, which is a little smaller than the evening menu. From this menu, we opted for the following:

  • Green tea (3 €)
  • Korean beer “Cass fresh” (3.80 €)
  • Yangnyeom Chicken 20 € (Boneless chicken with sweet and spicy sauce)
  • Seoul Bibimbap 10,50 € (Rice with various vegetables, egg and beef) 

Before the actual meal, we got a selection of various small appetizers. These you get after ordering as a greeting from the kitchen. The appetizer consisted of four small bowls with pickled sprouts, spicy cucumber salad, kimchi fermented cabbage and mashed potatoes with mayo. Since the small bowls came to the table without comment, we didn’t even know what we were in for at the beginning. So we tried our way through a bit and the small dishes tasted good to us. Especially the spicy cucumber salad was great.

Food is Here!

Drinks and food came almost simultaneously. After not even 10 minutes, we had our order in front of us. The tea tasted very delicious. It was served as loose tea in a small bag. The beer was also good. The presentation of the two drinks was not too special, but did taste good.

You definitely need to be very hungry for the Yangnyeom Chicken. The plate comes with 4-5 large pieces of chicken coated in a sweet and spicy sauce. It comes with vegetables on the side. The dish was very tasty, unfortunately a little too much, but for that the restaurant keeps boxes to pack the rest. The sauce was not too spicy and tasted great. The chicken itself was very tender, sometimes even so tender that you had to look if it was cooked properly – but, of course, it was!

The Bibimbap was served in a large metal bowl. The rice, which was buried under the vegetables, could hardly be seen. Fresh vegetables such as carrot, cucumber, lettuce, zucchini were served on top. A little sesame (oil) was drizzled on the fried egg. You could taste the freshness of the ingredients, and at no point did you feel that anything was incongruous. Very tasty dish and especially with the lunch deal, good value for money.

A hot sauce was served with the meal as well as, especially fitting with the Bibimbap, a soy sauce. Overall, both dishes were delicious but did not leave us speechless.


The service was super nice. Only the payment and the clearing of our plates took a little longer – but that is really complaining on a high level. All in all, it tasted good to us. However, we were particularly taken with the unique atmosphere there! We can imagine that you can have a lot of fun there in the evening.

Want to check out more Asian restaurants? We also went to DumplingStudio, Supa Panda and Shiso Burger!

Overall Rating

Food Taste
Food Quality
Service Speed
Personnel Friendliness
Value for Money

South Korean cuisine in Hamburg – You can find more impressions on our Instagram Account!

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