Kim's Family Restaurant: Excellent Start to my Korean Quest


Kim Chee - "baechu"

I guess like many people, my interest in Korean food started as a result of watching K drama. It didn't really take off after "Stairway to Heaven" which I felt was a series to test your endurance for "Chee Kekness" (frustration). But interest begin to brew after "Sik Gek" and blossomed in "Da Chang Jing". So now I am on my Korean food hunt to find the best that the culture has to offer.

Before this, the only thing I really liked about Korean food was the table BBQ. That's not because the other stuff was bad, it's just that I don't really know what else to order. In fact, I still don't really know what to eat, but as a result of K Drama, I am more interested in exploring. And it helps when my friend Cactuskit just happens to be a K Drama addict and eats Korean food almost every week. In fact, Cactuskit is like a drug trafficker who goes around getting people addicted to K Drama.




This is part of the banchan spread!

So let's talk Korean food. The most unique thing about Korean food is the banchan (side dishes) which is the way the Koreans made sure that you ate your veggies. Amongst all the banchan, the one that stands out is of course Kimchi, (Preserved veggies) and in particular the Kimchi made from Chinese Cabbage known as baechu. I have tried Kimchi on many occasions and I still don't get why the Koreans would love it so much that almost every household makes their own Kimchi and store it in a separate Kimchi fridge.

The thing that would first impress you at Kim's is their selection of banchan. It doesn't matter if you are dining with ten or if you are the only person dining, the people at Kim's would fill your table with 8 to 12 banchan dishes, all of which have been made in house. That means that for $8+ for a beef bulgolgi meal, you get a table covered with banchan! And believe it or not, one of the standard dishes is a steamed whole fish with chilli and long beans. Every table gets one, even if you only order one dish. I think that reason alone accounts for the huge popularity of the restaurants amongst our facebook readers!


Spicy Fried Pork (Jeyuk Bokum) $17

One of the most popular dishes here is the spicy fried pork (jeyuk bokum) which is highly recommended. One thing good about Korean food is that it might look fiery but the heat from the chilli is mild compared to what we are used to. The smoky spiciness of this dish is quite unique and it goes really well with rice. 4.25/5 This type of chilli paste based stir fried dish is very popular in Korean cuisine but I still haven't figured out why the Koreans love chilli so much. Most countries that love chilli are situated in hot climates where chillies are used because it masks the taste of less-than-fresh meat and also acts to kill bacteria. Korea is probably the coldest country with a passion for chilli.


Marinated US Beef Ribs (Galbi) $23

We have to thank the Koreans for giving us the table BBQ style of eating. You might argue that the Japanese also have their Yakiniku, but they learnt it from the Koreans first. When you order karubi from a Japanese restaurant, that word karubi is actually a derivation of the Korean word galbi which is used to denote that part of meat that is near to the ribs of either pork, beef or chicken. The Japanese however use karubi only to denote Beef Short Ribs.


Beef Galbi $23

Kim's probably has the cheapest USDA beef galbi around at $23 for a 200g serving. Chef Bong Gu tries to reduce the amount of sugar in his food, so his galbi marinade is not as sweet as many other restaurants. The meat is tender and flavourful, but I do like my galbi just a little sweeter. 4.25/5


Hot Stone Pot Rice: Dolsot Bi Bim Bap $10

Korean food is really quite healthy as it is often made with lots of vegetables. So if you order a Dolsot Bi Bim Bap, you get five vegetables and one meat. In addition to that, you have another 8 side dishes which includes the aforementioned kimchi, which incidentally is listed as one of the world's healthiest foods!

I have been trying out the Bi Bim Bap at several restaurants lately and the one at Kim's is certainly not bad. I really can't give you an objective opinion as to how good the Bi Bim Bap is because I really haven't eaten one what I could say was the gold standard. So, is this one as good as it gets? I don't think so. Is there one out there somewhere that would really hit the spot for me? I honestly don't know. But at $10 with a whole table of side dishes, I can say that this is a value for money place to try it! 4/5


Seafood Pancake $10

We were told that one of the most popular dishes at the restaurant is the seafood pancake which is essentially a fried batter of wheat and potato flour with veggies and seafood in the middle and topped with eggs. It is very good. Not a umami bomb like oyster omelette, but the chewy texture of the flour batter lends a subtle starchy sweetness to complement the seafood in every mouthful. 4/5

Conclusion


Kim's is a great place to start exploring Korean cuisine. The chef owner, Bong Gu is a real Korean chef who has been cooking in Korean restaurants for 30 years before coming to Singapore to work in some other Korean kitchens before venturing out to open his own restaurant. The whole place is run by his family and it is as homely and genuine as Korean cuisine can get in Singapore. Plus, the prices are very reasonable. Both Soundman and I left the restaurant knowing that we will be bringing back the makan kakis very soon.

Kim's Family Restaurant
17 Lorong Kilat
#01-06
Singapore 598139
Tel: (65) 6465 0535


23 comments:

Julia Khoo said...

Oh no, you've just blogged my fav Korean eatery! Now it's going to be even more popular than it already is. :)

What I like about this place is their authentic and homely food. IMHO, of the many Korean eateries I've tried, Kim's has the best banchan, quality and quantity-wise. In fact, I enjoy their banchan over the mains, which are decent in a rustic way.

I think they might be moving or expanding to the unit next door. Hopefully, they'll solve their ventilation issue. I love eating there, but smelling of BBQ at the end of the meal is not an added bonus!

soundman said...

Yes, indeed, we have to thank the many FaceBook fans for raving about this restaurant. Chef Bong Gu and his daughter were very helpful in explaining their food to us. He even introduced us to a mini Korean mart a few doors away and highlighted the ingredients used for dishes, marinades and etc. There are some very refreshing Korean canned fruit/tea drinks at the mart besides Korean groceries. Worth a visit.

uLi.佑莉 said...

Like the photos with a nice background. Yummy KOREAN food :)

Holy Drummer said...

Kimchi is a hit with the ladies apparently because it supposedly gives them excellent skin complexion.

I'm not a fan of Korean cuisine though. Let's see if this one can convert me =)

cactuskit said...

Wow! I had a Korean meal with Leslie and Soundman this afternoon and they were raving about Kim's. Its far from where I live but I must make a trip there soon. Looks really good. : )

And me like a drug trafficker??? ; (

ieat said...

OK lah, maybe shouldn't call you a drug trafficker. How about Pimp?

Jas said...

Hi,

I have not visited this restaurant before but it looks so yummy! Will definitely try it out one day.

I think that a lot of Singaporeans aren't really accustomed to the way Korean food tastes, do you agree?

I will like to recommend you another restaurant called Auntie Kim's Korean Restaurant (it seems to me that a lot of Korean Restaurants like the word "Kim"!) at 265 Upper Thomson Road, just next to Ritz Apple Strudel. It is also operated by a Korean family and I find the food very, very authentic. Like the Korean food I've tasted before in Korea,

Do check it out and I hope you will like it as much as I do too!

ieat said...

There's just a lot of Kim's in Korea!

ieat said...

There's just a lot of Kim's in Korea!

KeMisE~ said...

Hi may I know what are their opening hours?

hannah said...

looks good to me although i still think japanese food to be wayyy better.

Damien said...

The food looks great! Now i know where i can get my Korean fix :)

samueljoshua said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
samueljoshua said...

this is the korean plc same stretch as Udders right? I peep in before, don't look very crowded so I have not checked out. I love Korean cuisine as much as I love Jap!!

Grace said...

Yummy!!! I just a fan of Korean food!!! and i learn some dishes from my korean friend. But it's still nice to dine out coz i don have to do the cooking and washing!! hahaha... will be going there to try when free!~

Feng Chen said...

i just went to try it. disappointing. it was not as good as u said. Maybe its because i stayed in korea to study before hence i have tried what korean food is like.

the banchan are not that good althought there are like 10 banchans.
They ran out of pancakes.

the Soon dubu chigae was a big disappointment. way off the one i had in korea. Soon dubu chigae was a common dish there, sadly yet Kim's family got theirs all wrong =(

anyone got any better suggestion for korean food?

ieat said...

Have you tried Your Woul at Goldhill square? It is our resident Korean food fanatic's favourite.

Sen said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39zw-EAWItQ

ieat said...

Sen, you the man! I have added the video to the main post. Thanks!

soundman said...

Thanks, Sen. You did us a great service.

Jamie said...

I'm gonna have my birthday dinner at this place coming Sat evening! :D The other Korean restaurant I been to was too expensive (in Joo Chiat area, near the 24-hour Heng Heng bak kut teh place), so I'm thrilled to know a cheaper alternative :) Will post again after I tried the food here!

Oh by the way, if you are in the SMU area, do try the Kopitiam at Plaza by the Park building. They've got a nice Korean stall there with homemade kimchi (bae chu) which I think it's the best I've eaten so far in food courts. I love their bibimbap and spicy beef soup! Only $6.50 each a set with rice and kimchi :) And they also have a half-chicken samgaetang, aka ginseng chicken, for $8 as a set with rice and kimchi. But I have yet to try this.. Maybe the next time I go there!

Patrick Tong said...

i tried yesterday. i think it is cheapand value for money. But in terms of taste, it definitely loose out to the one at Yess Centre.

Both the dolsol bibimbap and kimchi stew are pretty let down..just average. and the black noodle (zhamzham noodle??) is great. that is the one has wow factor :)

Side dish is great too most of the items. and the ending of ginger tea with cinnamon.That is very refreshing too.

cupcakes lips n tips said...

Bibimbap - Korean palace at raffles place and Togi at mosque street
Gimbap (sushi) - hyang to gol at amara hotel, for a sudden craving, head to wisma food court. Do not try the one from marina square at all costs! Hanseng at united square is good too.
Spicy beancurd soup - hyang to gol at amara hotel
Spicy ramen - Korean palace (comes with Gimbap too)
Tasty side dishes - hyang to gol (12!!) and Gaia at suntec
Seafood pancakes - crystal jade at Ngee Ann city

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