I've been coming to Seoul Kimchi since it first opened. Back then it was mainly just a food store selling snacks, noodles and some fresh produce but they did a take-away service and my partner and I ordered from them perhaps once a week for a good few years. In more recent times Seoul Kimchi has transformed into a pretty little Korean cafe/restaurant which had always been the lady owner's dream. The decor is simple and clean and the place has a good atmosphere but it is small and we have often turned up at the weekend to find no seating and a long wait. At these times we've decided on getting take-away from Seoul Kimchi instead of waiting.
We still eat there a lot and often drop in early afternoon or early evening to have a good tasty meal. The beef and mushroom udon noodle dish is very good but our normal meal consists of a chicken bento box, kimchi jeon, kimchi and beef gyoza and two miso soups, it's very filling and their kimchi jeon is one of the best I've ever tasted. We tend to always get the barley tea to drink (served cold and free) as it's light and refreshing.
The parking to the side of Seoul Kimchi is small and often busy thanks to a Subway nearby and not always free, but you can always park over the road parrell to the cluster of shops for free.
The staff are always friendly and helpful but can be in a rush if the place is busy as you'd expect. The lady owner often comes around to make sure everyone is enjoying their meals when it's quieter and has a little chat.
It normally costs us about £20 for a meal for two but we often add on a little extra to that by buying a few snacks or noodles that are still sold. These are mainly all South Korean snacks etc and some of the items are not as easy to find in Asian Supermarkets around Manchester. They also sell green tea with brown rice in packets as well as barley tea. If asked they will also sell a home made packet of kimchi which is amazing!
The only small gripe I do often find with the place is, although the meat is good quality it can sometimes be a little fatty or grisly and that is a slight pet hate of mine. Still the food is so good that I overlook it and still enjoy it even if that is the case, a rare thing for me.
This place serves decent Korean food, especially in comparison to the other restaurants/eateries in Manchester. But having grown up in L.A., this place cannot even compare to how good Korean food is back there.
Don't expect too much if you're accustomed to exquisite Korean food, but if you're just looking for a decent place to have lunch or dinner this will definitely satisfy those asian cravings. I recommend the Bibimbap and green tea ice cream!
Also, I gave an extra star for how cute this place is! Definitely a hole in the wall mom and pop place.
Just writing about this place brings back memories as an international student in Manchester.
So, this is pretty much the only Korean place in Manchester. Or one close to uni anyways. I know I've been spoiled by the Korean food in California, so there may be some bias in this review, but I'll try my best not to be!
The interior is quite small, four tables and some counter space. But having your food as take-away (during some hours, I believe) gets you a better value! Check out their menu. The people Seoul Kimchi are very nice and courteous.
Of the couple of times I've been there, I've mainly order the Bibimbop, which I'd have to say is very tasty. But how can you go wrong with hot rice, meat, veggies and that delicious delicious sauce?! Whole bowl, devoured. Mouth, burnt. As for the other korean-food kiddies that I had meals with... I remember udon being ordered [I DON'T KNOW WHY THEY'D ORDER THAT]. There are Japanese items on the menu, such as bento boxes and sushi, but I wouldn't stray too far from what their main cuisine. Although, I do not remember the udon being very celebrated at the end of the meal. Bulgogi, marinated meat, was ordered, which I thought was quite tasty. The only thing I'd have to say is that the amount of banchan (side dishes) that a party receives is a bit small. And asking for more, means that you are ordering more, which for the kimchi, I definitely did not think it was worth it.
The value was very fair, as it was the only Korean place in Manchester. I quite enjoyed eating at Seoul Kimchi. There aren't many Korean restaurants in this area so this type of cuisine may be quite different from the mainstream Asian food, but I'd definitely recommend folks who are not familiar with Korean cuisine to try it out!
Stylish but unpretentious, with food to match, SK punches way above its weight.
If this restaurant were in the city centre, it would be charging 1.5 times the price, and still getting rave reviews - the quality of the cooking and presentation is astoundingly good for a restaurant that charges prices similar to the cheaper Chinatown options. Every dish comes immaculately prepared and presented, by friendly staff who seem genuinely dedicated to delivering a quality dining experience.
For an individual diner, the bento boxes are an outstanding bargain - 8 or 9 quid for a full meal of real quality and diversity - or groups of diners can explore the menu with confidence - every dish I've tried has been in the very good to excellent range.
Go here for a quick lunch, or take your boss's boss - no problem, he'll offer to pay for the meal, and talk for the rest of the evening about how great it was.... if you're looking for "Korea opportunities" in Manchester, Seoul Kimchi is the place.
Warning - SK is tiny, so not suitable for groups of more than four, and probably best to make a booking if you are going around peak time.
Located across the street from St Mary's hospital, it's super convenient for a quick bite for lunch or between appointments. The food is good, and the service pleasant-- what more can you ask? I was pretty excited to stumble upon this place (quite literally, when searching for a cash machine because St Mary's parking takes cash only but there are no cash machines on the entire campus. Don't get me started). I haven't had Korean food consistently since I lived in NYC, and only get to partake when visiting my family in Hawaii-- be it restaurants or home cooking by my Hawaiian-Korean relatives. After perusing the menu, I dragged my amiable husband (a Korean-food virgin) into this little restaurant.
I love, love, love kimchi. I could eat it everyday, so was quite happy to see that it was served along with other types of banchan (small side dishes of vegetables-- pickled or otherwise, that are shared amongst the table) with your meal. I ordered the beef bulgogi (typically sliced sirloin that is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, salt and pepper and then pan fried with onions and served with scallions and sesame seeds) which was sadly, just okay. It probably wasn't sirloin, and cooked a little too long-- it sort of ended up looking like ground (minced) beef. The flavor was just okay too-- it didn't seem like the freshest or best quality meat. My husband had the chicken bulgogi which was spicy and better than the beef-- he ate all of his. The kimchi was delicious, as were the other banchan. I did wish for a more generous helping of kimchi however.
We didn't sample the sushi-- I was a bit reluctant given the size and somewhat dubious surroundings (though the restaurant itself is sparkling clean, fresh and not at all dubious). But given the enthusiasm of my fellow yelpers, I'll be tempted to try this place again and next time, sample the sushi as well as ask for a second serving of kimchi.
Also love that they sell Korean and other ingredients-- including freeze-dried spicy noodles; just like I used to buy at my local Korean grocer in NYC. Yippee!
I used to live a few yards away from Seoul Kimchi, and the day I decided to step in this tiny restaurant was one of the wisest in my whole student life. Even though I made quite a fool of myself by asking for some "Cantonese rice" (wait, what? FRIED rice it is) to take away, I never regretted it.
I actually never ordered anything else, probably because I was scared that it would not be as good. (You know, the fear. The fear of disappointment.)
Korean food is something special if done well, and Seoul Kimshi is one of the few places where you will find this particular cuisine not only done well, but in my humble opinion... perfected!! What is more (or less actually) with this place is the fact that they only have space for a few diners at any one time! i would liken it to a quaint little noodle bar rather than a restaurant, and it manages to fulfil the authenticity of true identity where all the other chain noodle bars plainly fall down. You can sit down and eat in casual and tranquil comfort the types of dishes that you would also find at some of the finest Korean eateries! All the dishes served here are served as if each one were a delicate masterpiece of simplicity...you will find so much to choose from, amazing dishes like hand-made beef gyoza (£3.50) home-made kimchi, japchae, sashimi and sushi, and mains like dak bulgogi (£5.80), seafood stew (£6.50), tobiko bibimbap (literally translated as 'mixed meal') and the house special - 'tofu steak' (£5.90)
I am blown away by the genuine talent and quality of food here each and every time that I have been, and insist that you get down to this little slice of Korean heaven as soon as you possibly can!! The whole exerience is so unique, it will not be long before you return!
Imagine a favourite café-restaurant of South Korea's capital and megacity transported to the back streets of Manchester. Now open your eyes, and there it is - Seoul Kimchi!
As I've never travelled further east than Spain you should obviously take my imaginations with a dash of soy. But the fascia, the shutters, the big 'HELLO' etched in glass on the front door, the pebble-cement floor, the wood/mirrors/greenery, and the almost entirely Korean diners transported me to the other side of the globe.
The boss-lady of this place is definitely talking the talk on her attempts to bring the authentic and unadulterated homemade 'Seoul Kimchi' to Manchester - according to her, kimchi is something of a Korean superfood with Seoul having its own medium-flavoured variant. menmedia.co.uk/mancheste…
On my visit, front of house was a pleasant young Korean woman in jeans and checked blouse with three redoutable matriarchs manning the stoves.
I have to admit that I am hardly the obvious person to review a Korean-Japanese restaurant - vegetarian, not so keen on cold rice or seaweed. But somehow I have set myself the task of reviewing all of Manchester's Korean restaurants, bar the grill-type. On learning that I am vegetarian, the waitress initially steered me towards the vegetarian bento box. However, with my preference for hot food, I ended up with the vegetable bibimbap (see photos), which is a mixed vegetable and rice dish served in a traditional heated stone bowl (dolsot). Although the price here of £7.50 is more than the insanely bargainous eatGoody, several sides are included with the Seoul Kimchi version - miso, kimchi, flavoured cucumber, chili sauce and also a dish of tiny 1 cm-long myulchi (which I sent back, as my version of vegetarian does not include fish!) maangchi.com/ingredients… As I don't eat egg, I missed out on the fried or raw egg traditional served on top of bibimbap.
As usual for this type of Korean food, it wasn't a huge feed, but presentation and service was extremely elegant in a relaxed café kind of way. This was my first taste of kimchi, and whilst not a thickly-curried type of meal, the pungent and fermented flavours fairly gave my taste buds a workout. Overall, I enjoyed and felt satisfied at having tried something authentic and different. Looking at the rest of the menu, I would say this is a good place for a vegetarian. The menu is fairly extensive, but still navigable. Vegetarian options that would draw me back include the vegetarian bento box deal, fried dumplings, tempura, and tofu-vegetable dishes with rice or noodles.
With two other Korean places tried to date (eatGoody, Baekdu) and one yet to try (Koreana) my guess is that Seoul Kimchi is likely to be my long term favourite, interspersed with occasional visits to eatGoody. One thing I will be sure to ask for in future, however, is for the dolsot for the bibimbap to be made even hotter. Whilst this will necessitate some additional cooling-down time at the table, I feel the bowl needs to be hotter in order to crisp enough of the rice for a proper crisp-soft texture contrast.
The four star rating is from me as a vegetarian. But, for most people's purposes, I couldn't recommend Seoul Kimchi place enough. And anyone who took my tip for Yuzu (Japanese) will want to get themselves over here. For the non-vegetarian, think spicy, marinaded meats on sizzling platters. And the wall beside my table had an wholesale fishmonger's A4 chart of seafood available by month.
I'll sign off with a link to a touching blog post review by Elle Zhang, a Malaysian business lawyer based in Manchester - ellezhang.blogspot.com/2…
A tiny hidden gem, Seoul Kimchi is tucked away off the beaten track and sits like a prize only there for those who can find it. Serving traditional Korean food at its best, Seoul Kimchi offers a delicious little menu packed with flavour and heart. The dishes are perfectly cooked and beautifully presented whether you are staying in or taking away.
If you are dining in you can sit in the newly renovated dining space and watch the world go by. Light and airy but surprisingly tiny, the dining space is very small and can only seat a few diners at any one time. This is a real shame because I'm sure if affects business, but I always see plenty of people getting things to take away so perhaps its not too bad. Fresh and delicious, Seoul Kimchi is really worth a try, especially if your'e stuck in a takeaway rut.
It's worth noting that Seoul Kimchi isn't a grocers as said at the top of the page (at the time of writing). I'm led to believe it used to be, but turned into a Korean restaurant.
I had the Beef Bulgogi, costing around £7.50; which was delectable. A big plate of beef, with mushrooms (which I faithfully avoided), along with a bowl of rice, a bowl of kimchi and a bowl of miso soup for that price is very reasonable.
My girlfriend had the Beef Bibimbap, which cost around £6.90. She really liked it, and appreciated the rare mushrooms that were added. She would recommend it, but I'm a sucker for a massive plate of good beef, so I'd recommend the Bulgogi over the Bibimbap.
Everything is made right in front of you, and the place has the feel of a nice Korean family's home, with pictures of the owner's family (graduation photos/baby photos etc), but it isn't too much, and everything is tastefully decorated and nicely laid out. It's also worth saying how small this place is. There are probably about four tables and three breakfast bars, totalling 15-20 seats.
The only gripe I can think is that there isn't a visible toilet available, but, and this is something, a family on the table next to us brought up the need to go to the loo, and the family invited them to use their own. I think that really displays the intimate atmosphere of Seoul Kimchi. I can't recommend this place enough.
Right outside, between Seoul Kimchi and Microdirect. If this is full you can probably use the parking outside the Tesco Express/Petrol station just a tiny bit down the road. Free.
Intimate, fun, great decor, fantastic food, authentic, average price, clean, have to ask for loo
Note: Seoul Kimchi also has some Korean products available to buy. It's the normal Asian supermarket fare but on a smaller scale, selling noodles/snacks etc. It must be said that this is actually great value, and if you just want to pop in and buy some crisps/sweets from South Korea, it'll only cost about 30-70p each.
Those believing that Korean cuisine consists primarily of dog meat will be pleasantly surprised to discover the assortment of oral pleasures awaiting them behind the white slats and kitsch orange signage of Upper Brook Street's most elusive restaurant. Located on one floor of a Victorian red brick terraced house, this minute gem of an eatery easily rivals its more affluent counterparts in London with its minimalist décor and spectacular menu. It only seats a handful of customers at a time and this contributes to its impeccable standard of customer service provided by, what appears to be, a mother and son combination. The menu is refreshingly varied and offers a plethora of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes as well as some wonderfully odd beverages including barley tea; which is served free of charge, quite unbelievable in this day and age; and various aloe vera juices. The sushi is made freshly in store and costs a mere 50p per piece although a minimum order of five pieces applies and I would highly recommend the Teriyaki tofu complimented perfectly by a bowl of spicy pickled cabbage: the eponymous kimchi.
Very friendly service. gyoza and bibimbap were excellent. Lots of little plates of pickles came with it as well as miso soup. The green tea ice cream was great.Very reasonable prices. I loved it.
Amazing food. I ate so much tempura that I can hardly speak now. Lovely atmosphere. Highly recommended.
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