1138 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G3 8TD
  • Telephone 0141 334 5566
  • Food served Mon–Thu noon–2.30pm, 5–10pm; Fri/Sat noon–10.30pm. Closed Sun.
  • Average price £19 (lunch); £19 (evening meal)

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Eating & Drinking Guide

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Korean food shares techniques and traditions with other Asian cuisines, but it also offers some unique flavours. Shilla is the only restaurant in Glasgow to specialise in food from the peninsula, and if the large number of Korean students and visitors packing out this tiny and slightly ramshackle space is anything to go by, it’s serving the real thing. One of the key ingredients is gochujang, a fermented chilli paste with a rich, savoury, slightly sweet flavour that makes its way into everything from main-course ‘hot pot’ soups to dipping sauces and noodle dishes. Another is kimchee – preserved, fermented vegetables with lots of chilli and garlic. Several versions of this come as a complimentary appetiser while you peruse the menu for main courses featuring chargrilled beef ribs, deep-fried sea bass or steamed tofu and pork. To get 40 covers into a very limited space, Shilla relegates lone diners and couples to bar-style seating facing the street, and crams more folk into a diminutive mezzanine area. The result is quite a fun, buzzy atmosphere – but it’s not the most comfortable place in town.

  • High point: A rare chance to try an exciting, relatively little-known cuisine
  • Low point: Uncomfortable window seating
  • Notable dish: Sam gae tang - whole baby chicken with ginseng
  • Private dining: Up to 20 covers
  • Provides: Children's portions, Children's high chairs
  • Music on stereo: Nothing
  • Capacity: 40
  • Largest group: 20
  • Open since: 2009
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 2
  • House wine: £11.50 per bottle
  • BYOB: £5, £15 spirits, £2 beer corkage

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Comments & ratings

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11. the demon barber6 Nov 2013, 8:05pm Report

Went here Nov 13 to feed five Korean colleagues on a UK visit after they'd spent a week on German meat portions. Food was apparently fine by authentic standards, they gave it 4 out of 5. However, the lack of an alcohol licence meant we upped sticks to the nearest pub as soon as the food was finished. I thought the place was a bit chilly and draughty as well, but if Korean is your cuisine of choice it's the only pony in town and an OK one at that. Almost everyone else eating in the place was Korean, so it can't be bad.

10. Toto13 Jul 2013, 2:15pm5 stars Shilla Report

I have been a regular customer of Sheila for the past 4 years now. The food is absolutely amazing! Proper authentic Korean dishes and the service is always on point!

I read a negative comment before regarding the food at shilia's and I don't believe the price I unreasonable at all. They give you good quality food for a reasonable price.

The only negative I would comment on is the lack of space. Other than that I would highly recommend to anyone who wants proper Korean food!

9. Glasgow Ph.d mommy6 Oct 2010, 12:23am Report

The only Korean restaurant in Glasgow. my boy and I took taxi to there for dinner. Oh! My god, the food is not only pricey but also not good at all! Please don't go!!
*We spent 27 pounds (plus 10 pounds⋯⋯ for taxi) for two of us. my boy didn't even want to eat, only had a coke. (and the straw for his coke has a hair)!!, then, she said you can order fish cake which is homemade, god,...worse than M&S fish cake! They gave 4 small dishes of Korean dishes, each of plate is about one bit! Never see this kind of stingy restaurant.
*The shrimp and veg tempura was the tiny shrimps,..goodness, being in industry for so long, it's the first time I saw this kind of shrimp called shrimp tempura!
Plus, deep-fry temperature was low, end up it's very pale color,..really bad!
*Then we also had a bin bin bow (not sure the spelling), it's a rice and beef dish, which was the only ok thing there! but, for 10 pounds of that dish, only 2-3 small piece of beef! God! How can they do this kind of rubbish to ruin their Korean cuisine! ...I totally not happy with this dinner at all!
This is the first time I experience Korean restaurant can be this bad,....Miss Korean restaurant in NYC!...
Sorry,...that's my complaint!

8. TBL28 Jan 2010, 11:24am4 stars Shilla Report

Many people make valid points here.

The food is fantastic, almost completely faultless, and well priced. The spicy seafood broth is to die for, and is almost a meal for two in itself.

However, no matter what people say - the service does need work. I do not 'just' go out for a meal for the food, it's the entire experience.

The staff here are friendly, and not rude in any way, but they do err on the side of under attentiveness. Twice we have been and have had to wait around 15 minutes for our plates to be cleared.
You also tend to have to ask for drinks, or otherwise stop the waitress to ask for napkins etc.

Small fish in the grand scheme of things, but these would be simple to rectify.

7. Susanna22 Jul 2009, 3:50pm Report

Okay, I've visit Kokuryo very frequently and not once did i face bad service. Not once. All the waitresses are exceptionally friendly which once made me give them a tip of £10.00. Now, that is something which I have never done before but the service in Kokuryo these days are outstanding. Now, moving on to the food.
The food is very tasty and I would recommend this place to anyone. it has outstanding service and exceptional food. But kokuryo has one quality which makes them stand out- the busier the restaurant, the friendlier the staff and tastier the food.

6. AimeeBee9 May 2009, 6:57pm5 stars Shilla Report

I also feel that I have to speak up and defend this excellent restaurant. I have been dining in Kokuryo from a time when it was not necessary to book in advance, you could simply walk in without reservation. Once word got out about Kokuryo that rapidly changed and Kokuryo now fills up quickly; I always book in advance! Its success is due not only to its excellent food but also to its lovely staff and brilliant service. The banchan is delightful, the sushi fantastic, tempura battered to perfection. For the main, whether noodles, rice or hotpot you cannot be disappointed!

The 'slow service' outlined previously....may I enquire if the gentleman had a watch or was this a wild guess by the impatient? I have never once waited longer than 5minutes after finishing one course to receive the next.

As for the photographs? Simply because someone reacts differently than expected by our own 'the customer is always right' culture; it does not spell bad service!! I always find the staff pleasant, helpful and efficient.

I can't recommend it enough to those of you with an adventurous palate & a love of good food!

5. Ronald9 Feb 2009, 10:17am5 stars Shilla Report

I have now been to Kokuyro 3 times and every time the food and service has been exceptional.
The waiting staff are helpful, and if you have not been before they will suggest things for you to try - like the Bulgoki, which was extremely delicious.
Phenomenal food all round.

4. LH1 Jan 2009, 5:29pm Report

I have to speak up to defend this great restaurant. Yes, the service is sometimes a bit below par, but more often than not it's totally fine. Anyway, it's not the service you go to a restaurant for - it's the food. Kokuryo's food is fantastic. I've eaten there countless times, and they also do delivery. What's better about eating in the restaurant though is the banchan - a selection of (complimentary) little dishes given to you before your meal. Pickled veg, etc. Always different, and always delicious. Korean food is similar to Japanese in some ways, but spicier and more hearty. My recommendations: For a starter, the pa jeon, a spicy seafood and spring onion pancake. It's delicious, and enough for two. The fishcake is also very good. For a main course, my absolute favourite is the dol sot bibimbap - rice in a hot stone pot with bulgogi (Korean marinated beef), vegetables and a fried egg on top, served with a spicy sauce. The salt and chili prawns are also great. A huge pile of crispy, spicy deep-fried king prawns. You eat the whole thing - shell, head and all. Awesome. Kokuryo is the only Korean restaurant I have ever been to - and the only one in Glasgow (or probably, the whole of Scotland). It has piqued my appetite for trying more Korean food, and even visiting the country. I can't recommend it highly enough for anyone who likes spicy food or fancies trying something different.

3. Gordon25 Oct 2008, 6:35pm Report

I've been to Kokuryo a couple of times and have enjoyed it on both occasions. Contrary to the experiences of rude staff, disputes over photographs, hairs in the food and whatever else, the staff were very friendly and the service was quick (both occasions were Friday nights if that makes any difference). I also found the food very tasty, particularly the Miso soup and sushi selection.

2. Andy T4 Aug 2008, 11:10pm Report

Would agree with the above poster - food was reasonable, service was downright awful! Firstly the middle aged waitress had no courtesy in greeting my wife or I. During the meal my wife took some photos of her meal (odd habit I know but hey she's passionate about food!) at which point the waitress stormed over and stated that photos were not allowed and all their dishes (which were generic recipes which can be found in most oriental restaurants) were registered trademarks and if we put the pictures up on any web sites or blogs they would sue us! Now a simple "I'm sorry sir/madam but we don't allow photos" would have sufficed, instead of some rude half assed hostile threat which was spoken by somebody who has watched too much Ally McBeal. Anyway moving on, the food was actually reasonable until we discovered two hairs halfway in my wife's rice! Upon pointing this out to the older waitress, we were met with a glare and silence for about thirty seconds before she said "okay"! Now we have eaten in restaurants before where this kind of thing has happened, but it is the first time we were met with such an unapologetic response and it is the first time I have ever heard a waitress say in respone to such a situation that it's ok! Needless to say all appetite went out the window and it is not somewhere we will be returning in a hurry.

1. Andy D10 May 2008, 4:04pm2 stars Shilla Report

The food was nice, but the service was awful. There were two of us and we got the main courses about 15 minutes apart. The table behind us were complaining about not getting their drinks until they had practically finished their starters. Once we had finished it took them about 20 mins to clear our plates and another 15 to bring a dessert (a bowl of ice cream). Over all not somewhere I would want to go back to any time soon.

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Average rating 4/5 from 5 reviews of Shilla.

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