Review of 'Kimchee'

I have been walking by this place and have wanted to try it since it opened a few months ago (with long queues to get in). Having had the opportunity to visit it I jumped at the chance.

Kimchee is on the main floor of an office building. The restaruant is quite modern looking with black used throughout. As you enter there is a small, very pleasant, rock garden with water feature on your right with the kitchen immediately behind (with the grill at the front). The tables are meant for many people to sit at (similar to the Wagamama and Busaba chains) with wooden seats that are surprisingly comfortable. We visited shortly before the dinner rush and had a bit of problems finding someone to serve us (they appear to have been in a meeting all huddled together towards the back of the room). The menu is quite good having a number of dishes I have never tried before but that, I hear, are very authentic Korean.

We started with the “Kimchee” (£2.30) which was refreshing and very pleasant. I have had this pickled cabbage with pepper dish previously and has generally always been quite slimy and not terribly pleasant, here it was cool, fresh and very nice indeed as well as a good sized portion for the money. This is something I do have to mention - The cost. The prices are generally very good and the portion sizes are quite reasonable. Not huge portions but just enough. You can eat quite well here for under £10 despite the restaurant looking far more upscale than that. Anyway, regarding the meal, we also ordered a starter of “Nangawanse” (£4.90) which was fried pork balls with various other (fresh) vegetables in some oyster sauce in an edible dish. This was quite nice if a bit bland.

For our main courses I ordered the “Seafood Dolsot Bibimbap” (£7.90) which is a rice-based dish served in a (very) hot stone dish lined with a thin layer of oil that causes the rice to crisp up (yum!). There was a good portion of various seafood included on the top (mussels, scallop, prawn, shrimp, and calamari) along with vegetables and a slightly sweet sauce. It was very tasty indeed and despite looking fairly small it was quite filling. My companion ordered the “Chicken Dolsot Bibimbap” (£7.90) but hers was no where near as tasty and we found it very bland (helped a bit with the provided hot sauce).

We did not try the grill menu which has main dishes ranging in price from £7.90 (short ribs) to £6.50 (mackerel). They also have a series of skewers on offer that are priced individually (£2.50 to £3.50) but it is the main grills that we would want to try when we return.

The service was a bit spotty but the food, with the exception of the “Chicken Dolsot Bibimbap” was very good indeed. The total bill for the two of us, including tea and a soft drink, came to just over £30 which included a 10% service charge. Quite good value.

Rating:

Review Date: 2011-08-04


Cuisine: Korean

Address: 71 High Holborn, London WC1V 6EA

Public Transport: TUBE Holborn

Location: London (England) - Holborn

Map:

 

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Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7430 0956

URL: http://www.kimchee.uk.com/