Photobucket Favourite Korean Restaurant - Kimchee

Just by writing about the dishes at KimChee makes me hungry! 

This Korean Restaurant is set few minutes walk away from Holborn Station and you will notice it immediately as there will either be a queue of people waiting to be seated at the door ( dinner time), or you will be attracted by its beautiful interior with their signature light shades made from bamboo. 

I have been to this restaurant a few times now and the food never disappoints! 
With an open kitchen visible as soon as you enter the restaurant, I always enjoy watching the Chefs at work prepping all the delicious food or BBQ-ing the meat, viewing from their lovely reception/ waiting area which has a beautifully put together water feature with pebbles on the floor.

 Usually at traditional Korean Restaurants, the BBQ (Bulgogi) is done at your table and this is one of the reasons which discouraged me going for Korean food because you always end up smelling of the food after leaving the restaurant!

At KimChee, the BBQ is done by the Chef in the open kitchen where you can still see the cooking process without taking in the smell all over! 

Here are a few dishes tried so far and I would definitely recommend all of them! 

First, the Sides ... 

Crab Tuigim - Soft Shell Crab

Veg Tuigim - Vegetable Tempura is the familiar name ...
Yuk Hwae - Raw Beef served with egg yolk and pear slices at the bottom
This dish requires an acquired taste to enjoy. I was first put off by the look of it as everything is raw on the dish, but once I tried it (with peer pressure), I loved it and now ... always have it on my order!  

Gogi Mandu - Chicken Dumplings

Kimchee Pa Jeon

Pa Jeon is Korean pancakes. Here we tried the Kim Chee one but there is also a seafood version which is also really nice! 

Calamari Tuigim

Now the MAINS : Bibimbap is a MUST try! 
I hope I am not wrong in saying that it is the most popular dish in all Korean restaurants, as I always see everyone ordering this... so here in 2 versions. 

It is basically a rice dish served with vegetables and your selection ( Beef, raw beef or seafood) in a super hot stone bowl. The way to eat this dish is to mix everything while the stone bowl is still super hot so that it cooks everything in the bowl and the flavours of the meat and veg is well incorporated with the rice.  If you like it spicy (like I do) you can add a spoon or 2 of the chilli paste provided with this dish and mix mix mix!  Then eat ... so yumm!!! 

The Raw Beef and the Seafood version below. 

Raw Beef BiBimBap 

Seafood BiBimBap

 So Korean loves their BBQ meat (Bulgogi)! 
In the Bulgogi section you can choose from different meat and fish dishes and we chose the Beef and the Pork Belly. Served with Lettuce leaves, the way to eat this dish is to dip the BBQ meat in the sauce provided and then use the lettuce leaf to wrap the meat and take a bite! 

Pork Belly Bulbogi

Beef Bulgogi
And now to the DESSERTS ...  ( if you still have space! ) 

Green Tea Jelly with Red Beans 

Black Sesame and Strawberry Pannacotta
This dish didn't look exactly like the one on the picture but was still a nice dessert to have!

For the 'Healthy' option? :)  As soon as the Patbingsu arrived, we all had eyes on it! 
This dessert looked huge and massive enough for all to share but in reality ... there is a good amount of crushed ice below to keep the fruits cold so ... it's just enough for one ... not for EVERYONE to share! Hehe! Sorry guys!! :p 

For Drinks, I usually go for the Hot Plum Tea. Served in the really heavy cast iron tea pot, it can be really really sweet so then I ask for some extra hot water to mix it in. The cocktails and mocktails are also good and they have a good selection of fresh juices to choose from. 

Overall, I've always enjoyed the food at Kim Chee and I really like the casual yet elegant atmosphere it offers. The only downside is that there is a NO-BOOKING policy ... so on busy nights, prepare to wait for quite some time!

Service-wise, sadly, it is not as consistent as the food. It depends on who you get serving your area. 
We had occasions where we had great service (good dialogue, recommendations, smile, constant checking if we were ok!) and others when we could see that the waitress felt overwhelmed and could not cope with the 'business' of the place. She failed to bring our drinks, took ages to clean our table once the dishes were finished and did not even offer us the dessert menu ... Depends on your luck!
Let's hope you are lucky when you do go there! 

Price-wise, it is a little bit on the pricy side as the dishes are quite small and you do need to order quite a few to feel content but I'm guessing it reflects on the quality of the food. It always felt very fresh and tasty. As a guide, prepare to spend about £25-£30 per person if you'd like to go for a selection of everything ... sides, mains and desserts with drinks. 

71, High Holborn London

Kimchee on Urbanspoon

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