The quirky Korean bar in Chorlton serving Parasite’s famous ‘ramdon’ noodles

Straddling the line between a bar and a restaurant, The Thirsty Korean is as feel-good as it gets.

Georgina Pellant Georgina Pellant - 28th July 2023

“If you’re not hungover at least one day of the weekend, you’re a boring person,” jokes Eunji Noh with a joyfully infectious giggle as she takes our order.

It’s early still, but at 5 o’clock on a wet Friday afternoon spent stomping around Chorlton I’m more than ready for a drink and speedily order a pint.

Ok, honestly it’s not my first, but it seems that Eunji and I are on the same page. My date, however, has already had enough. She asks me if it’s ok if she orders a Coke.

When I say yes, of course, Eunji laughs, then explains – saying I’m a good friend, and that all of hers would have flat-out refused to allow her to have a soft drink on a night out.

Considering this place is called The Thirsty Korean, I guess we should have both known what we were getting into.


Straddling the line between bar and restaurant, drinking is, evidenltly, highly encouraged here – but the dishes are also substantial and well-worth coming in for on their own (if you can swerve the peer pressure, that is.)

Eyeing the menu eagerly, and almost instantly deciding that I want all of the kimchi, we opt for a pot on the side as well as one of Eunji’s spicy, thin fermented cabbage pancakes.


Served with a dipping sauce littered with tiny sesame seeds, it’s hot, spicy, crispy, a little sweet, sour, and a little salty at once. Chunky slices of cabbage keep coming to the fore. It’s stunning.

Image: The Manc Eats
Image: The Manc Eats

Perfect washed down with a pint of beer, after some enthusiastic slicing and dipping we move onto the main attraction: beef noodles and fried chicken.

The chapaguri noodles are relatively simple to make, famously comprised of two different packets of instant noodles –  slightly sweet jjapaghetti and spicy neoguri – then topped with steak and, in Chorlton, a sprinkle of spring onion.


Internaionally renowned thanks to their appearance in the four-time-Oscar-winning South Korean film Parasite, which took home Best Picturem Best International Film and Best Director in 2020, I couldn’t resist opting for a portion despite wondering if they had been a bit overhyped at the time. How wrong I was.

Image: The Manc Eats
Image: The Manc Eats

Stir fried in a black bean sauce with hefty chunks of sirloin on top, it’s simple but effective with a mild spice.

As for the KFC? It’s a perfectly crisp and casual end to a rainy afternoon, served with a sweet and sticky chilli dipping sauce on the side.

Read more: This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it basement restaurant in Manchester’s Chinatown serves the ultimate yum cha feast

Quite a few people, prior to my visit said that if you want to eat like a true Korean then this is the place to go.


Its walls are decorated with Korean film posters, post cards and photographs of friends, whilst the furniture has something of a hodge-podge, thrown-together feel about it that merely adds to the bar’s charm.

The real highlight, food (and soju) aside, though, has to be Eunji herself – a bonafide bubble of positivity, with a friendly, jokey way about her that just makes you feel instantly at home.

If there was any doubt about her happy radiance, it was my trip to the ladies that really sealed the deal.

It’s not something you’d usually put in a food review, going to the bathroom, but this has to be mentioned.

Image: The Manc Eats
Image: The Manc Eats

The walls, inside, are plastered with inspirational quotes dating back to 2019 and stretching all the way through the pandemic – a difficult time for many eateries, The Thirsy Korean included.


En masse, they are overwhelming, especially after a few drinks, a long day and a belly full of fried chicken, kimchi and noodles.

One, dated to June 2019, reads: “You don’t inspire others by being perfect. You inspire others by how you deal with your imperfections.”

Another says: “Stop trying to make everyone happy. You’re not tequila.”

Read more: The quirky Manchester brewery with some of the funniest beer names in the city

A third reads: “Maybe this isn’t your day


And you did nothing wrong

Not everyone was nice to you, then just

Choose beer and sit in the bar

Having your energy back and

End this drama


Sip that drink and say,


Enjoy your rest of drink and don’t

Ruin your night.”

All signed ‘Your friend EJ”, it’s hard not to feel a bit emotional as we make our departure. Yes, part of that might be the drink, but even on our way out I find myself making plans to come back – just to bask in Eunji’s warmth.


It’s easy to see why Chorltonites rave about this place so much, and after a visit I’m definitely joining their ranks.

Featured image – The Manc Eats