Seoul Kimchi is a real hidden gem serving brilliant Korean and Japanese dishes to eat in or take out. Chef/owner Byunghee Kwon’s handmade kimchi, made using her traditional family recipe, is one of the reasons it regularly has queues spilling out the door.
The space is compact with bench seating at shared tables and dishes arrive when they’re ready. The menu includes jeon kimchi (savoury pancakes), griddle-hot pork gyoza, Korean sweet and spicy chicken, squid and pork bulgogi (BBQ skewers), ‘LA galbi’ (beef short rib) and house classic, bibimbap (prawn, for example), which includes chopped, sautéed mushrooms, sesame-infused daikon, shredded courgette, and shards of seaweed.
Everything comes with kimchi, pickled cucumber slices and whole dried fish jerky. The vibe may be casual but don’t be tempted to scrimp on dessert; the homemade plum and matcha ice creams are a draw in themselves.This well-regarded cafe and takeaway started life as a shop specialising in Korean ingredients, before owner/chef Byunghee Kwon added tables for people to eat in. It’s a small, simple place on Upper Brook Street, where it gets a busy trade from the nearby campuses and hospitals.
Popular dishes include the Korean sweet and spicy chicken which is coated in a crispy batter and sticky dark red glaze and topped with crushed peanuts, and the jeon kimchi, a savoury pancake with spring onions and the family-recipe kimchi. For a dish that’s both comforting and healthy, order a bowl of Bibimbap – rice and your choice of chicken, prawn, tofu, or beef, topped with finely chopped veg and a fried egg.
Seoul Kimchi also specialises in Japanese dishes, such as katsu and teriyaki. The soups and stews, which include ginseng chicken and spicy tofu, have warmed many a rain-drenched Mancunian on a wet day.
It’s not licensed but you’ve got an enticing range of Korean soft drinks to choose from including plum soda, crushed pear, and aloe vera.
Want to be the first to receive all the latest news, tips, articles, guides and updates from Confidential Guides? Sign up here.