This Korean and Japanese gem has been a secret to many for a long time, but with more and more awards decorating the walls it seems most food lovers in the city are now wise to this spot. Tucked away on Parnell Street, this unassuming restaurant has been suggested to us many times and thankfully as I was passing yesterday I popped in for a quick lunch.
When you walk into Kimchi you're essentially walking into an old pub which I thought was cool, it feels entirely different to any other asian restaurant I have been in which are usually quite modern and minimalist in design. I loved it, I had a cosy seat at a small table which had a leather divider between the next table, like I was in a little snug in an old Irish pub. I decided to order what sounded like two of the most authentic dishes- the kimchi vegetable pancakes and the soonduboo zigae which is a traditional korean stew. They also do lots of noodles, sushi and rice dishes.
When the pancakes came out they looked more like little thin vegetable or potato cakes, unlike the pancakes we are used to in Ireland, and came with a little side of kimchi. The fried pancakes were divine, so comforting and really mild in flavour but the spicy sour kimchi gave them a little kick. I really loved them, they were total comfort food. Despite being the most expensive starter (most starters are €3-4) this was still only €5.90 and totally worth it. Kimchi is spicy sour fermented vegetable side that is super healthy and unbelievable for your digestion, so no guilt!
The stew came out at the same time as the pancakes, and just as well as it will literally bubbling hot so it had a while to cool before I got to it.. It was still boiling though when I did! I wasn't sure to get this or a noodle dish but the waitress assured me this was the best dish to order and she was right. The stew came with seafood, egg and tofu in a beautiful broth that was spiced up with some kimchi. I wouldn't have ever believed someone could make me excited about tofu, but this was beautiful, soft tofu infused with the flavours of the broth unlike the usual rubbery stuff I usually have the misfortune of eating. It came with a little cup of rice, to be honest it was the perfect amount as I usually feel like I'm about to go into a food coma as many asian restaurants give way too much rice and you end up feeling bloated after. However, if you have a big appetite they will top you up with some more fresh rice.
The whole bill for a delicious two course meal coming to €15.40, I really loved it and it's definitely a place I'll go back to with friends some weekend for a feast with a few drinks.