Slowly but surely, our Instagram feed became saturated with photos from the mysterious ‘Kim’s Mini Meals’. We decided to try our luck one Wednesday evening and were surprised with what we found.
We arrived in the nick of time, as shortly after we sat down at our table, a queue began to build up outside. Our waiter promptly arrived at our table and guided us through the menu, which looked too good to be true. For a mere £10 per person, we received a drink, a selection of appetisers, a bowl of the soup, a main course and a side of rice or noodles per person.
This unassuming Korean restaurant packs a punch. In fact, it does more than that. I would go so far to say that my bowl of Dolsot Bibimbap was unlike anything I have tried before, and one of the most memorable meals I have had this year. The dish comprised mixed rice, a selection of seasonal vegetables, beef mince, red pepper paste and was topped with an egg yolk. Served in a hot stone pot, we were able to both combine and cook the ingredients including the egg.
Mr Kim obviously saw my inexperience eating Korean food and was soon over at our table teaching me how to layer the various parts of my Chicken Bulgogi (a dish marinated chicken with a spicy sauce, lettuce and rice) on the spoon. (Note: Rice followed by chicken, followed by lettuce. Eat in one mouthful.)
There are no desserts, but as the queue continued to grow outside the door, two strawberries arrived alongside the bill. Not subtle, but after such a delicious meal, who were we to complain? Time to pay, tip and leave.
Due to such high demand, the restaurant no longer accepts reservations. It’s BYOB, so makes the perfect place for a mid-week dinner or supper with friends…if you don’t mind a little wait.
Who’s it for?: Whether or not you are familiar with Korean cuisine, Kim’s certainly provides an opportunity to enjoy authentic, fresh dishes.
The specifics: A small unassuming restaurant, be prepared to queue and we suggest having a plan B, just in case you don’t get a table.
At first Glance: Small, lively and feels as though you are sitting in someone’s living room.
Bill of Fare: Korean
The Frontrunners: Dolsot Bibimbap – we are already dreaming about our next visit.
The Feeling: Small and simple – but you know what they say, the best things come in small packages.
The Team: Mr Kim and his son are extremely friendly and happy to guide you through the menu, offer advice and even show you how the food should be eaten.
Doubtful: If you like a reservation and don’t have the flexibility to wait. Be prepared to be turned away (it’s happened to us before), but well worth a shot if you’re not in a rush.
The Bottom Line: £10 for a selection of appetisers, soup, main, side and drink. Bargain – one of the best cheap eats in Edinburgh.
Find them: 5 Buccleuch Street, Edinburgh EH8 9JN