Japan and the Korean Peninsula are very different places -- for instance, one is dominated by a creatively twisted fantasist who puts his own people through extreme tortures merely for fun, while neither Seoul nor Pyongyang television actually pick up Takeshi's Castle. Making a Japan-to-Korea culinary leap: the folks behind Kimchee.
Just opened in Holborn by the owners of fast-casual sushi-slinger Wasabi, Kimchee presents Peninsular cuisine in a minimalist well-windowed space featuring angular black wood tables, an open kitchen, trellis-style partitioning, and a tranquil bamboo water feature that'll cause your zen to grow at an alarming rate. Tongue-pleasing tongue-twisters begin with "mul naengmyun" (buckwheat noodles in a chilled beef broth w/ sliced pear), "dolsot bibimbap" (a sizzling earthenware vessel filled w/ crispy sesame rice, chilli paste & raw beef), and "galbitang", a slow-cooked soup made from radish, egg & beef short ribs, listed under "pot dishes", despite ribs not containing any joints. Scorched over a huge open charcoal grill, barbecue dishes include "bulgogi" (thinly sliced pork marinated in a blend of fruits, soy, chilli & garlic), lemon sole "gui" w/ handmade BBQ sauce & grated radish, and a simple beef tongue, seared & seasoned with nothing more than salt & pepper, because when it's already real good, why Push It?
Cocktails are mixed strictly from two Korean base spirits: the vodka-like "soju" (hit with blueberry liqueur & crushed ice in the Bora Blue), and "makgeolli": a sweet rice/wheat distillate that in the Calpico Makgeolli is blended with a Japanese yoghurt drink -- be careful, because the despite the dessert-like taste, it's still strong enough to land you in the Brat Sack.