If you’re a girl and feeling a bit under the weather, there’s nothing like a good old natter with a friend to cheer you up. That’s how I was feeling on Friday before I met my friend for dinner at Kimchee.
I had walked past Kimchee numerous times but never made it in until now, perhaps because I work in Soho and quite often stick to the area. But the High Holborn location definitely doesn’t seem to be an issue for a lot of people. At 6.30pm, I walked through the front door to join a sizeable queue all eagerly awaiting a table.
We were seated and our very pleasant waitress explained the menu and recommended a few dishes to share. We ordered one portion of Kimchee, a couple of sides, a rice dish and a BBQ dish. The idea is that diners share a wealth of dishes so that they can taste more. I am a huge advocate of the sharing plate so I was excited about what was to come.
The food arrived and we were first presented with Yuk Hwae (raw beef with sliced pear and egg yolk – £4.90). The egg yolk sat in a tiny dish on the side and we were told to pour it on top. This dish really was delicious and packed full of flavour. The Kimchee (£2.50) didn’t excite quite as much and it wasn’t as spicy as I would have hoped, particularly as it was billed as spicy on the menu.
Next to arrive was the tofu dolsot bibimap (tofu, rice, vegetables, chilli sauce and raw egg yolk – £7.90), which was so pretty I didn’t want to mix it all together – so the waitress did it for us. Despite how pretty the dish looked and the impact it made on arrival at the table, we were both slightly disappointed with the flavour, or the lack of. It wasn’t particularly spicy and the rice dominated the dish once stirred.
The spicy chicken bulgogi was meant to be very spicy but I could have added a lot more chilli. I liked the way that the chicken and lettuce leaves were served on separate plates and that you had to wrap the chicken in the leaf with the accompanying sauce before eating. I was happy to do a bit of food DIY and rather enjoyed it.
After our mains, the dessert menu was kindly thrust in front of our faces and I was pleased to see a range of different flavoured ice creams. Despite having already eaten two scoops of ice cream after lunch, I couldn’t resist a scoop of black sesame (£3.40).
The scoop was the perfect size, just big enough to satisfy the post main course sweet tooth, but small enough to ensure that you don’t go overboard. I have to say, it was one of the most delicious and interesting ice cream scoops I have ever had.
I can’t write a review of Kimchee without mentioning the atmosphere and surroundings. Huge open plan kitchens sit along the right hand side of the restaurant and diners share long communal tables with well designed lighting ahead. The restaurant it busy, buzzing, fast paced and a great place to go if you want to chat loudly and enjoy well priced, well cooked food. I’m already planning my next trip back.
Food For Think was a guest at Kimchee
71 High Holborn