London has never been great for Korean Restaurants. There used to be a superb one in Aldgate with home cooked Korean food and now there are a few around the West End. The good news is that several new places have sprung up in NW11, just opposite Tokyo Cafe. Kim Chee is one of these, serving honest Korean fare at very reasonable prices.
I must admit that don’t know that much about Korean food, except that I really like the spicy flavours and love the Kimchi (pickled cabbage) that goes with everything. In London, ordering Korean food is simplified as they all mostly offer the same dishes that are the most recognisable like Bibimbap, Bulgogi and the like.
I popped in recently for lunch for the first time with a friend who lives locally and often gets takeaway from here. It was quite busy with a few families and some young Asian students. The place is decorated like a Korean Inn with widely spaced tables. As with other Koreans, the table double up as barbecues too. We ordered a couple of staple Korean dishes to share with some side dishes.
This was a delightfully spicy soup with lots of vegetables. Comfort food. I heard that you can buy this from the Korean Supermarket around the corner for about £3.50.
Side dishes: Kim Chi, Bean Sprout salad, pickled radish.
One of the best things about Korean food is the large array of side vegetables. You always feel like you had a healthy balanced meal with a few of these side dishes and a pile of barbecued meat.
We were so keen to dig into the Bibimbap that I forgot to take a picture until we had some of this. Bibimbap is such a gratifying meal in itself. Take a hot stone bowl, add some rice, assorted shredded vegetables, some marinated beef, an egg and a lot of sauce. Mix it all up and tuck in. The hot bowl causes the rice to form a crust and this is the best bit of this dish, the cripsy rice crust.
Seawood soup that accompanies the Bibimbap.
I will be back soon to try out their tabletop Korean BBQ, which I’ve heard is pretty authentic. They do a set lunch which is quite reasonable too.