The weather is starting to get chilly and perfect for food with a spicy kick! With the current Korean food trend happening in London, you can’t forget the original Korean Fast food vendor Kimchi Cult. Starting out in April 2011 in food stalls, Kimchi Cult now operates from the very trendy Black Heart bar/pub at Camden town as well as being regulars on Sundays at Chatsworth Road Market. We remember visiting Kimchi Cult at their Kings Cross stand and now we’ve headed over to the iconic Camden town for a taste of Kimchi Cult’s infamous Bulgogi fries featured in the Evening Standard’s “The 50 best chips in London“.
Punk riffs on Korean classics
The Black Heart, Camden: Tue-Thurs 5-9; Fri & Sat 12-9
Chatsworth Road Market, Clapton: Sun 11-3
Black Heart is very easy to find in Camden town, head for the World’s end pub and down the right hand side you’ll see Black Heart neatly tucked away on the right with a black heart hanging high and proud.
The bar is nice and cosy with table area by the window and more intimate booths along the back. Orders for Kimchi cult food are placed at the cute little counter window marked with a neon cross as you are about to enter food heaven. *badumtsk* Black Heart’s atmosphere is very chilled out and although the interior is very punky, the bar is very welcoming to people of all different backgrounds making for a very unique and fabulous location for some modern twist Korean food! We ordered a selection so we could try Kimchi Cult’s most popular dishes and the food arrived 20 minutes.
First up were the side dishes/sharers. We ordered the Korean fried chicken wings and signature bulgogi fries. The chicken wings were tasty with a mild spice to them, they weren’t the same as the Korean chicken at Jubo but made a very nice side dish with a generous portion for sharing. We were very excited about the bulgogi fries and it definitely shocked us and left a lasting impression. Described as “fries topped with thinly sliced marinated steak, spring onions, kimchi hot sauce and mayonnaise“, it sounds harmless enough but the kimchi hot sauce was a killer. If you have a tongue for the hot and spicy than this is for you! To us it was rather deadly, but the exciting kind of dangerous which made us keep going back for more. The bulgogi was delicious, full of flavour and along with the thin fries, it was just a combo made in heaven or fiery hot hell. A lot of ice cold coke was consumed that night.
Now onto the burgers! We order the Kimchi Cult Special burger: burger topped with homemade kimchi, cheese and bacon. It was deliciously messy, the home made kimchi was full of punch and kick which complemented the massive meaty burger perfectly. We always knew a kimchi burger would be messy but luckily the rustic bread bun was soft yet very large and secure, holding it’s shape and structure until we successfully polished off the whole thing. We have definitely been converted, why wasn’t kimchi put in burgers earlier? Kimchi gives your standard burgers such a different and refreshingly flavour, you don’t feel as guilty and greasy afterwards and the kimchi adds a cool layer of texture to the overall burger.
We also had the Dalk galbi burger and wished we knew of the horrors of the kimchi hot sauce before ordering! The Dalk galbi burger was: Marinated free-range chicken thigh topped with lettuce, tomato, ginger coleslaw and kimchi hot sauce. Chicken thigh is the juiciest and softest part of the chicken and made a delicious succulent chicken burger. This burger was very spicy due to the kimchi hot sauce but this was nicely balanced out by the generous amount of salad and deliciously cooling coleslaw. Because this burger didn’t have kimchi, it lacked the refreshingly spicy and sour kick but the marinade on the chicken burger was rich and definitely still had that spicy punch!
Kimchi Cult provides the UK with a delicious and familiar introduction to Korean food. It had all the spices and flavour of Korean cuisine in an easy and comforting style of burger and chips. If you like your spicy food than make sure you check out the kimchi hot sauce! Just talking about it makes our tongue burn. The price may be a bit high for fast food but it’s a standard London price for a decent burger and chips. All the ingredients were fresh, well prepared, generously marinated and good quality. We definitely suggest the bulgogi fries for something completely different!
We love Kimchi cult as the original Korean food vendor in the UK, they have been doing their bit for Korean food, even providing a very useful glossary for first time customers.