Our favourite Korean in London: Kimchee

Ms B was born in Seoul and we regularly do Korean food, but as soon as we came across Kimchee in Holborn (they have another restaurant in St. Pancras) four or five years ago, Korean food means Kimchee more often than not. We love this place. I admittedly slightly more so than my wife, who prefers pure traditional cuisine, like her mom’s, over modern touch with a fair bit of Asian fusion.

Like with most of the dozen places or so that are closest to our heart, we have not blogged about this restaurant yet. In Ms B’s mind, we should keep our few regular locals our secret. Today I went there on my own, following an appointment nearby.

The service, as usual, was quick and friendly. We love the whole atmosphere, too. Quite elegant, but not overly so, warm, friendly, with a lot of light that contrasts nicely with the dark wooden decor, and an open-view kitchen.


After short deliberation (I was hungry), I decided to go for Mackerel Jorim (mackerel fillet cooked in garlic, green and red chillies, soy sauce, served with rice cakes, mooli and sesame garnish, £5.90), which turned out to be very large for a starter/tapas, Yuk Hwae (a classic Korean dish similar to beef tartare; thinly sliced raw beef, sliced Asian pear and cucumber, plus the obligatory egg yolk; I ordered the chilli sesame sauce for free to have it more spicy; £5.90), and Pork Mandu (pan-fried Korean dumplings served with a light soy dipping sauce; £5.90).

The food arrived quickly. I started by gobbling down the mandu, which were lovely, but probably the least exciting of the three dishes. The Yuk Hwae was absolutely incredible (and my first time to have it here or anywhere, I only ever had the French variety)! The little strings of raw beef, nashi pear, and cucumber go so well with the chilli sesame sauce, citric, sugary juice, and egg yolk, an explosion of flavours. I was also very pleased with my mackerel. Even the slices of rice cake, of which I’m usually no big fan, added a nice texture.

We’ll probably follow this very rudimentary review up with a proper one, when Ms B joins me. Watch this space.

In for more restaurant reviews? Try Lafleur, Frankfurt, Ichiran Ramen, Tokyo, or Aquavit or Galvin at Windows in London.

Or perhaps inspiration for things to do on your next trip? Check out our posts about our trips to the Douro Valley, our flight with London Helicopter, or our post about skiing in the desert (Dubai).

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