A few months ago, a new Korean restaurant called Kimchee opened up by my office but I never paid it much attention until a couple of different people from work mentioned that they enjoyed the food there. First off, I should've taken their reviews with a very large helping of salt since these are people who had never had Korean food before. Ever.
Some of the girls and I decided to have dinner there last night, and it was a reminder why I don't eat Korean food in London if I can help it. It was about 6 of us - me, a Brit, two Kiwis, an Aussie and a Spaniard. The British girl was a bit reluctant to give it a go because she thought it would be a lot like Chinese food. *Sigh*
Anyway, I should've known something wasn't right when I noticed that there were pretty much no Korean people in the open kitchen. I think I may have spotted one, but that was pretty much it for actual Koreans in the entire place. And I know I've complained about this before, but it's positively criminal to charge for rice and banchan (side dishes) in a Korean restaurant.
After looking through their confused menu, I decided to order bulgogi (seasoned grilled beef) and rice. The others ordered dolsot bibimbap (hot rice pot with veggies), bulgalbi (seasoned grilled beef), and chicken udon katsu (is this even korean?) I got to supervise the people who ordered the bibimbap to make sure their rice crispened up on the bottom and that they didn't overdose on the spicy sauce.
In terms of taste and flavour, the food could be considered Korean but was heavily Anglicized to appeal to the British palate. And the portion sizes would've made my mother cry - they were teeny! My meal was also not served properly. My bulgogi came with a side of iceberg lettuce and a fermented soy/miso paste sauce. That is not how you eat bulgogi. And don't even get me started on the iceberg lettuce.
All complaints aside, everyone had a good time and really enjoyed their food (me excepted). I'm tempted to invite them over to my flat and cook them some real Korean food so they know what it really is all about. But I'm lazy, so maybe I'll just suggest that we go across the street to Asadal, where the food is a bit more authentic, the next time they get a craving for Korean food.