Address: 71 High Holborn, London WC1V 6EA
Closest Transport: Holborn
Telephone: 020 7430 0956
Online Menu: Yes
Vegetarian Options: Yes
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 12pm – 3pm & 5:30pm – 10:30pm
Sat 12pm – 10:30, Sun 12pm – 10pm
*Seollal Special Set Menu available 27th January 2014 – 6th February 2014 only £16.50 per person.
Kimchee restaurant at Holborn has brought back their popular Seollal set menu to give us all a taste of the Lunar New Year in Korean style! We have written about Seollal before here and all the many ways you can prepare for it in the UK. Eating tteokguk on Seollal is meant to bring you good luck for the following year and also celebrate you aging a year, so here’s to a lucky and hopefully wiser 2014!
Kimchee is possibly the most beautiful Korean restaurant in Central London. The décor is seriously impressive and the funky lighting provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere, perfect if you are on a date or catching up with friends. But as the tables get filled, it can start to feel a bit crowded and get quite noisy. Our tip for couples would be to sit on the counter tables along the window as Kimchee’s floor tables are in groups of eight so you may end up sharing a table with others. The tables are spacious so you don’t have to worry too much, but we think sitting by the window is nice and intimate and even though you may not be facing each other, the busy bustling restaurant will be behind you and you can just concentrate on each other *cringe*
Kimchee’s special Seollal set menu is available from 27th January 2014 – 6th February 2014 and here is what you’ll get for the bargainous price of £16.50 each:
Drinks ~ Choice of Sikhye or Sujunggwa
Both drinks are perfect for those with a sweet tooth, Sikhye is a sweet, subtle rice-based drink with a deep, nutty flavour and you may recognise Sujunggwa which is a popular Korean drink in those little iconic cans. Sujjunggwa is a very sweet cinnamon flavoured fruit punch with ginger, peppercorns and pine nuts.
Main ~ Tteokguk
Made with an intensely rich beef broth served with thinly sliced rice cakes, vegetables dumplings and marinated beef topped with sliced spring onion, seaweed and egg
This is the dish, the dish that will bring you good luck! The broth was delicious and not too heavy, very light and refreshing with a very generous amount of rice cakes! The rice cakes were perfectly cooked, soft and smooth with 4 massive dumplings on top and nicely marinated beef to add some extra texture to the dish. The yummy start to the new Lunar year and we’re feeling lucky already!
Side Dishes ~ Saengseon Jeon, Hobak Jeon, Yuk Jeon and Kimchi or Kkagdugi
Along with the main you get a little basket of side dishes: pan-fried pollock fillets, seasoned courgette and spiced meatballs. All three items were fried in the same way, sort of like Japanese tempura but with a heavier batter. The fried fish was amazing, it was thinly sliced but did not fall apart, yet it wasn’t rubbery at all; it was delicious and succulent. The courgette was standard, it was nice, not much to say about hobak jeon but we have to say we were quite disappointed with the yuk jeon. The menu said spiced meatballs but it lacked any sort of flavour, texture wise it was cooked well, but we had to smother this boring squished meatballs in condiments. And of course it wouldn’t be a Korean treat without a side of Kimchi! You get a choice or either Kimchi or Kkagdugi which is white radish kimchi. Both packed a punch in the flavour department and was finely spiced.
Dessert ~ Chap Ssal Ddeok
More rice cakes to help you celebrate Seollal! For dessert we got traditional rice cake filled with red bean paste. These rice cakes were delightfully soft and the red bean paste was sweet and velvety. A lovely little treat to end the meal.
The Kimchee Seollal set menu is the foolproof lazy way to celebrate and get involved with some Korean traditions. The tteokguk was a fairly big portion and the side dishes complimented the main perfectly. Because we all wanted lots of Seollal good luck, we ordered a set each but in hindsight, we should have ordered one Seollal set menu and a different main to share so you have a bit of variety (as the Kimchee Bibimbap looks amazing and we regret not ordering it!). For more info on the set with full menu, check out Kimchee’s Facebook page.
And because we are KCM who are greedy and Korean food lovers, having two set menus didn’t stop us from ordering a couple of extra dishes. What Korean food fan doesn’t love a good jeon in this rainy weather! We ordered a pajeon which was fresh, light and crispy and packed with seafood. As well as pork belly from the grill, which was cooked perfectly and accompanied by the best dip ever! This awesome dip was made with wasabi and mustard and tasted amazing, it had the wasabi flavour and the nice kick of a good English mustard. Seriously, loved the dip! *Both were not included in the Seollal set.
So celebrate Seollal with a bowl of delicious Tteokguk! You have until the 6th February 2014 to enjoy this special Seollal set and get some good luck and of course, Kimchee Restaurant is open all year round to satisfy your Korean food cravings! This is a very good deal and hopefully we’ll have a chance to take advantage of this offer before it ends! (And finally get that bibimbap).
Happy Seollal Everyone! 새해 복 많이 받으세요