Kimchi Kitchen, Cambridge

My wife and I have been twice since they opened a couple of months ago, and I’ve been really happy with the food. The first time was the weekend they opened, and we got a kimchi fried rice to go. It was amazing, probably the best dish we’ve had from there.

We went for a return visit this weekend, eating in this time. My wife got the bibimbap with bulgogi beef, and said it was the ‘cleanest’ version of bibimbap she’d ever eaten: everything felt very fresh and there was minimal grease/oil. She was disappointed that it wasn’t available ok-dol (hot stone) style, because the crunchy rice at the bottom of the stone bowl makes the dish for her.

I got the daeng-jang jigae, a rich, spicy miso-style stew with tofu, pork, and lots of veggies, served with rice and kimchi. I loved it, and I also found that the veggies were unusually fresh and crunchy. The tofu was perfectly silky. The kimchi was very good, but the first bite I had tasted strongly fishy which put me off a bit. I didn’t taste the fishy-ness after that first bite, though. Not sure what happened there.

We also shared an order of the pan-fried dumplings, which were delicious but not what we expected from the term ‘pan-fried’: these were not soft skins that had been crisped on the bottom in a hot pan. Instead they looked as though they had been deep-fried: super-crunchy and blistered all over.

All up, I was very satisfied with the meal, and the prices seem correct ($32 before tip). The restaurant is very casual but I suspect that meals like mine wouldn’t travel so well, so I reckon that eating in might be the better option if you order the stew.

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A friend and I tried Kimchi Kitchen for lunch a couple of days ago and we both loved it. It is clearly very popular, as there was quite a line (we were there at 12:30, so that’s not a surprise.) The space is small, but the people are friendly and patient and the food was delicious. I had soon-dubu jigae which was a rich, flavorful stew with silken tofu and a nice kick to the broth, although perhaps not hot enough for those of you who prefer blistering. They may well accommodate you if you request extra spicy. My DC had japchae which she was also pleased with. Like TimTamGirl, I was disappointed to see that the bibimbap was not available ok dol styly, but otherwise I really loved this place and hope to go back soon to try other dishes. Prices are incredibly reasonable - most dishes are $8 or $10.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold