What’s it all about…

This place…

Kimchi Korea 1

…has been around for a while now, a couple of months or so and I saw all that excitement on Facebook like it would be THE place to go to if one is into anything Korean.

I did drop by once but it was packed to the brim and there were people standing outside waiting for a table plus there did not seem to be any proper queuing system, the survival of the fittest, so I went some place else. Since then, I did drive by a few times and yes, it was always packed with people. A friend said she tried three times and has not been successful and an ex-colleague went to another place close by, one that he did go to before and thought it was not all that nice and so very expensive and when I asked him why he went again, he said that this place was full so he went to that one instead.

For the uninitiated, it is in the block of shops (2.324042, 111.840378) along Jalan Teng Chin Hua,  opposite the Federal Complex…

Federal Complex Sibu

…to the left of Sungai Merah and the so-called Lovers’ Bridge

Sg Merah

I would say that the place is nothing fancy…

Kimchi Korea 2

– just like any other coffee shop with these laminated Korean pictures…

Kimchi Korea 3

…downloaded from some websites online, obviously, as I have seen some of them somewhere before, on the walls. In fact, I do think there are quite a few coffee shops here that look a whole lot nicer.

I guess that is perfectly all right as long as the place is nice and clean…and the food is good but looking at the first pic, I do think the building needs a new coat of paint plus they should do something about the eyesore by the side of the building, right beside the shop…

An eyesore

Perhaps they were not responsible for that – I could see a sign that probably belonged to the Malay coffee shop that used to be there but I am sure it will just take a little effort to clear up the mess and throw everything away properly to make the surroundings more presentable…and more befitting the prices that they charge – we’ll come back to that later.

My girl, who just came back from Korea, said that she saw these stainless steel cups a lot there…

Kimchi Korea stainless steel cup

They use those for the complimentary drinking water at the eating places but no, here, they are used to hold the order chit and if you think you can get water free here, think again. You can get ice cream free though…

Free ice cream
*Oh my!!! The English!!!*

When I went to pay our bill, the guy asked if I was with my family and I said yes. Then he told me I could go and help myself to the ice cream there – I did not ask whether that is something for people with families only or what but it was one of our local brands, King’s, not any of the Korean ones and my girl did not want any so we went without it…and anyway, I did not see an ice cream scoop anywhere!

These starters…

Kimchi Korea starters

…were given free and I only liked the pickled golden needles…

Kimchi Korea pickled golden needles

The black beans were kind of hard but the ladies liked their kimchi, available at RM17.00 for 500 gm here. I guess everybody knows by now that I am no fan of the stuff and for that very reason, I did not really enjoy the kimchi jeon or pancake (RM12.00)…

Kimchi Korea kimchi pancake

…that we ordered. My vote would go to the haemul pajeon that we had at the other Korean places in town anytime but they do not seem to have that on their menu. There wasn’t much of anything in it other than a few bits, very few, of veg…

Bits of veg

…from the kimchi used in the cooking, I guess, and for that, they charge RM12.00??? *roll eyes

We wanted the bibimbab [SIC] (RM15.00)…

Kimchi Korean bibimbab 1

…which had a little bit of minced beef in it…

Kimchi Korean bibimbab 2

…and when everything had been mixed together, including the egg…

Kimchi Korean bibimbab 3

…it was quite nice, just that I do think we had nicer elsewhere and the price was only slightly more or perhaps, even cheaper, than here.

I saw a lot of people ordering these…

Kimchi Korea kimbab

…but my girl did not want any as we already had rice in the bibimbab and she would like their goon-man-doo or deep fried dumplings (RM12.00)…

Kimchi Korea goon-man-do

…instead. Now, THIS, I would give the thumbs up as they were quite nice especially with the dip that came with them.

A small bottle of mineral water was RM2.00, iced Korean green tea was RM3.00 and the Korean citron tea, also iced was RM5.00, bringing the overall total to a whooping RM49.00! I rest my case.

They did state in not very good English that the photos in their menu are for illustration purposes only…

For illustration purposes only

…but I saw the girls at the next table having something like the middle one and the thin slices of meat they had in theirs were so very small, almost the size of a postage stamp. Goodness gracious me!

We got there at 11.00 a.m. around the same time as the couple to the right in the 4th photograph above and then the group of girls and the other couple with a kid came…just before the rain started to fall, VERY heavily but that did not stop the rest of the customers – they kept coming and in no time at all, it was full and that got me wondering as to what it was all about. Yes, the place is owned and run by a Korean family so probably what they dish out couldn’t be any less authentic though we could not get to see who was doing the cooking in the kitchen. Other than that, I really don’t know what the attraction is that keeps drawing the crowd to this place and it was by no means, cheap – not at all!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

10 thoughts on “What’s it all about…”

  1. Is the food at Loco Kitchen better than this place? We have been to the Kimchee next to the old Sing Kwong but it was kind of pricey. We order the bimbimbap, kimchee soup & seafood pancake & it cost us RM75+..

    Yes, Kimchee BBQ is not all that cheap but the place is very nice and I enjoyed the food too. Oppa across the road, not as nice and even more expensive. This one, food not nice and so very expensive and worse, the miserable no-class-at-all coffee shop environment.

    BBQ House and Loca, cheap and nice…though they may not be all that authentic in that they do serve some of our local favourites. Who cares! Authentic, not nice and so expensive, what for? Tsk! Tsk!

  2. Am not into Korean food. Of all the food above, I only like the fried dumpling & ice cream. Oh!!…the English…use corn, guess what it means is the ice cream cone.

    Koreans, they don’t know English. My girl and the mum had a hard time communicating when they went there, much time wasted and really problematic. Last time I went, when I bought something, I gave them all my money and they took what was needed to pay, gave me back the rest. That was one reason why I was not at all keen on going with the two – would rather go some place where I could understand them and they could understand me. I am not crazy about Korean food either, almost everything kimchi.

  3. As long as dumplings, i like, but nowadays, i opt for the steamed type….

    They have the steamed ones on their menu.

  4. Of all the food portrayed, the dumplings would appeal to me most. Free ice cream is most generous; can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone offering that before.

    The only thing that we had that day that was decently good, not really anything sensational – after all, dumplings are dumplings but they were good.

    There’s Hartz chicken buffet in Kuching – I think they have in KL too – it’s a franchise, eat all you want…and that applies to the ice cream too! Can’t remember where else I had that – I got it free for dessert at the end of the meal…and I was served, no need to go and get my own on a “corn” with no scoop provided. So put off by that!

  5. Bibimbap! My favourite Korean dish! I like how the flavours and textures of all the different ingredients in the bowl complement each other very nicely 😉

    We had the same at two other places here and one in Auckland – all a whole lot better than this one – it was so plain, so little meat…like rice and all the raw vegetables mixed with kimchi mostly, and that drowned out the taste of the egg even.

  6. For myself a restaurant need not be fancy, but it must be clean, the atmosphere comfortable, the food must be good and the service has to be good as well. These are all things I look for. I may sound picky but really I am not, I just like to have an enjoyable and memorable experience. 🙂

    I would agree with you on all counts…and if it is a simple place, the prices should be cheaper, not (almost) the same as those classier fancy restaurants – customers would feel shortchanged. It’s all about the food, of course, the money…second.

  7. and sometimes we wonder why do some eateries command so much crowd even though the food is mediocre at best. Hmm, i’m not a fan of korean cuisine, but love their barbecued meat though!

    Here too, some places are like that and the food ain’t all that great…and not cheap either, while other places a whole lot nicer are not so well-received.

    Yes, we had nice barbecued pork at the other Korean place we went to but my missus promptly declared that hers was nicer – marinated in her own homemade kimchi, pan-grilled to perfection and eaten, wrapped in lettuce…and I would say there was some truth in what she said, a lot cheaper too – cooking one’s own at home.

  8. Somehow I am not so into Korean cuisine. Haha. Never fancy going to a Korean restaurant here.

    But your deep fried dumplings look appetizing.

    Same here, not into Korean. Some are quite nice but yet to come across anything really sensational. I would prefer Japanese but not so much into it either, once in a while is ok.

    Dumplings are nice but then again, we have dumplings in Chinese cuisine also and a whole lot cheaper too, more or less the same thing.

  9. The starters look quite miserable. Like I said, anything Korean, people just go crazy 😀 😀 😀

    Not me. I guess I’m the odd one out. 😀

    Ya, I don’t like kimchi, the black beans were hard…only the golden needles tasted ok but for the prices they charged, they gave so so so little, not even a teaspoonful of each. Really pissed me off. 😦

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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