After the success of their first location near Holborn, Korean restaurant Kimchee has just opened in the heart of the Kings Cross development area, in Pancras Square. Kimchee serves a range of meat, fish and vegetable dishes with authentic Korean flavours but a contemporary touch.
The restaurant itself is impressive, the interiors have been designed by award-winning Japanese architect Aiji Inoue, and are a mix of light and dark woods, geometric designs and Korean-inspired artefacts. The open-plan kitchen allows diners to watch the chefs at work and be tempted by all of the aromas.
The cocktail menu has been specially designed for the new restaurant, you can expect classic cocktails with a Korean twist like the Soju-Sojourne, a mix of pear, Korean rice wine and sweet plum syrup. Or the Aloe Garden which is an aloe based margarita and makes the perfect cooling accompaniment to some of Kimchee’s spicier dishes!
To start we had the Scallops, two perfectly cooked pan-fried scallops with a sweet soy dressing, and the pork Mandu; deep fried dumplings with a light soy dipping sauce. For our mains we both opted for two of the spiciest dishes on the menu – Jjam Bbong and Yukgaejang.
The Jjam Bbong is a spicy mixed seafood noodle soup with vegetables, cooked in a blast fired wok with sesame oil. It is also, apparently, one of the only dishes that can be made less spicy and, if you like seafood but can’t take tot much heat, is well worth doing. The soup still had a pleasant kick but wasn’t overwhelming hot which allowed the other flavours to come through. There was also a good amount of seafood (prawns and mussels) which isn’t always the case.
The Yukgaejang was definitely spicy and this is where the Aloe Garden cocktail really came into its own! Described as “bold and hot”, it’s a mix of beef brisket, egg, mushrooms and sliced radish with glass noodles in a spiced red chilli sauce. It’s a dish for spice fanatics!
Side dishes include steamed buns, a Korean mixed grain rice served in a stone pot, and the eponymous kimchee – layers of fermented Chinese cabbage with garlic and chilli. They also have a range of salad options and we would recommend the Miyeok, a mix of seaweed and edamame with vinegar and chilli sauce. It’s a lovely refresher between helpings of spicy soups.
Desserts aren’t something we’d necessarily associate with Korean food but the Chap Ssal Ddeok, traditional soft chocolate rice cake with a light dusting of cocoa powder, and Chocolate Mousse with Ttalgi, a strawberry jelly, were both light and a lovely way to finish off the meal.