Having extremely thick, styling resistant hair, has posed a multitude of problems of its own (a post on thick hair management will follow soon, I promise). When you factor in the matter of stubborn, pin straight east-asian hair, and then throw inexperienced stylists/barbers/
sheep-shearers into the mix, the results are less than satisfactory to say the very least.
In my extensive experience with salons and barbers, neither high-end nor trendy have saved me from the post-cut agony of waiting for my hair to regrow, only for the vicious cycle to begin again. So why not go to an asian salon, I hear you ask? dear reader, I assure you it was not through a lack of trying – each and every time I left these salons, the stylists ignored my requests and decided to impose atop my head whatever they deigned appropriate, and appropriate, appeared to be a ‘style’ that had less considered direction than hay in a haystack. I kid you not.
With these traumatic experiences behind me, it was with a leap of faith that I took when I decided to go to Hurwundeki, ignoring the voice in my head telling me that I would only leave, looking like a rejected k-pop band member. However, enticed by the prospect of a 15 minute haircut for £9 (nope, not a typo), I casted my doubts aside and entered the industrial looking container like box beneath the railway arches, and found the salon adjoined to a café, an unusual, though ingenious concept. More on the café later.
Walking through from the wonderfully crypt like café with taxidermy on the walls and chandeliers, into the salon, I discovered a blackboard in which I had to add my name to the queue in chalk, already full of names like a detention list at school. Preparing myself for the wait, I sunk into an armchair and discovered also on a blackboard, the passcode to free wifi. However, I had barely got myself comfortable before my name was called by a barber who had an uncanny resemblance to Johnny Depp. At this point, my fear was far from allayed, but I consoled myself with the knowledge that at the very least, Hurwundeki seemed to deliver on its promise of fast haircuts.
Fortunately, my fears proved to be unfounded. Mr Depp was amazingly attentive and I left with a great haircut. Somehow, he managed to tame and coax my hair into a style I wanted and better. I am pleased to report that the talent not only lies with Mr Depp, but with the other barbers in the salon whom have cut my hair on a number of occassions now, and each time I have left more than satisfied with the results.
Now, I am well aware that food has no logical place on this blog, but I can’t leave the Hurwundeki Café without mention, when it serves korean home-style food offerings such as this thing of beauty;
and this; crispy belly pork with garlic, kimchi and doenjang sauce
These are just two dishes amongst a number of korean classics in a well thought out, non initimidating menu. I have personally tried many of Hurwundeki’s dishes washed down with cups of yujacha and I can’t recommend it enough.
Get yourselves down to Hurwundeki now.
299 Railway Arches, Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9HA
Mon-Sat: 10am – 10pm Sun: Closed
Nearest tube: Bethnal Green