Korean food has come to the SoDo district in the form of Kimchi’s Korean Grill.
Notice I didn’t say there’s a new Korean restaurant in the area? That’s because KKG is a takeout-only place. I don’t know why that is. It has more space than, say, the original Black Bean Deli in Winter Park that somehow still manages to provide some ledges for customers who want to consume their food onsite.
And if there had been one at Kimchi’s perhaps the fried egg that was so perfectly sunny-side upped onto the top of the BiBimBop I had ordered wouldn’t have been nearly hard-cooked by the time I got it home.
BiBimBop — usually bibimbap on menus — is sort of a Korean fried rice, or at least it is the way it’s prepared here. Kimchi’s Korean Grill offers guests their choice of meat to go with it (I went with beef) and that and the other ingredients (carrots, celery, zucchin) are tossed into a wok with chili oil. Were one to order it in a restaurant the dish might be served with those ingredients on top of white rice for one to mix up at will.
Whatever. Despite the egg, which had steamed under the aluminum foil that had been placed on top of the food before the plastic lid was attached to the cardboard platter, the flavors were fine.
For the $9.99 charge, it would have been nice for the dish to have included some of the namesake fermented cabbage (as it is with the Korean Grill “Bowls” that are priced the same). Since it was kimchi that I really had a hankering for when I stopped in, I splurged the two bucks for a side dish. The various pieces of bokchoy were sufficiently spicy but also had a hint of a vinegary note, which is odd since vinegar is not a usual ingredient in the fermentation process. Still, it didn’t stop me from chopsticking it all down my throat. (Nice that they offer chopsticks or forks as an option.)
The menu is quite limited. Besides the “Bowls” that offer a choice of meats, the two other specials offered with the bibimbap are Japchae and Galbi.
Kimchi’s Korean Grill occupies an oft overlooked space in a small strip mall on Michigan Street. There have been a few food-oriented businesses at this address over the years. The most recent, if I’m not mistaken, was The Sandwich Company. The kitchen is large and open, which allows you to watch your food being prepared. That’s how I knew that the egg that topped my dish was so perfectly cooked to begin with.
I was the only guest in the place during the relatively short time it took for my food to be prepared. Yet, I didn’t feel as though my business was all that wanted or appreciated.
Kimchi’s Korean Grill is at 419 E. Michigan St., Orlando. There is no website, but you can see the entire menu at KKG’s Facebook page. The phone number is 407-801-5775.