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Le Kim Chi
Jjigae at Le Kim Chi
Pajeon at Le Kim Chi
Foods from Le Kim Chi
Comments

2010 Jan 5
We went for another visit in early December and had the kim chi tofu hot pot: yummy, spicy, filling, and hot. Perfect for a cold winter evening. My husband had the bibimbap this time, and we shared the vegetable pancakes to start.

The same waitress took our orders again this visit, and what a memory she has! She remembered us and our conversation from October. She was quick with tea and water refills as well as extra rice when I wanted more.

We'll be back again in February when the windchill is in full effect, and it's feeling like -35.

2010 Jan 3
My husband and I had an amazing experience at this tiny gem of a restaurant.

We eat vegetarian only and we found the waitress to be very accommodating and understanding. We also found that there were many yummy options for vegetarians, and the prices were great.

First off, let's talk about the service. The waitress was one of the nicest, friendliest waitresses I've ever had. She was helpful, sweet, pleasant and came to check on us several times during our meal, without being intrusive at all. She was a doll.

The food was excellent. We started with the veggie pancakes, which were so yummy! A little greasy, but that's part of the yummy factor. The dipping sauce was so great that I drizzled it into my bowl of miso soup, which came as part of the meal we ordered.

We also had an appetizer of veggie glass noodles, which were also fabulous. Even my husband, who never had anything good to say about restaurant food loved them!

As the main course, we had the veggie bibimbap, which was great. Everything was cooked nicely and the bottom of the hotpot had a crust of thick, sticky, crunchy rice. MMMMM!!!!!

We will most definitely be returning to this fabulous Korean restaurant. LOVED IT!


2009 Oct 12
I don't have a huge amount of experience with Korean food because most of the places in Ottawa don't offer (m)any vegan friendly options, so I usually end up ordering sushi (such a hardship! ;) ). I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were at least two choices when I had a look at Le Kim Chi's menu.

There were four of us for dinner, and we had called ahead to make sure that they offered gluten-free meals as well as vegan ones. When we arrived, the waitress was incredibly friendly and helpful. She gave us a walk through of the menu keeping in mind what our needs were and could tell us off the top of her head which ingredients were in each dish.

I ordered a Hite beer and the vegetable bibimbap, which came with miso soup and a salad. Having only made bibimbap at home, it was a fun experience to try an authentic version (especially with all of the condiments). The flavours were subtle and tasty, and the portion was filling.

My husband had the beef bulgogi which he enjoyed.

I finished off my meal with tea, and my husband tried the sesame cookies. They were very tasty and very chewy.

It was not a cheap meal ($63 for two with tax and tip), but it was reasonably priced. I'm looking forward to going back on a cold day to try the soft tofu hot pot.

2009 Aug 10
Fantastic - a wonderful new addition to Preston Street!

I went here Friday night with my fiancé and brother. I'll say right off the bat that 2 appetizers, 2 mains, 3 desserts and 1 beer came to about $84 after tax and tip - not bad! The three of us couldn't quite finish everything we'd ordered.

We started off with fresh salads. Because we had ordered two appetizers and two mains to share, we were only supposed to get two salads, however, seeing as we were three, they threw in an extra one. Awesome! I really enjoyed the pineapple puree dressing with fresh strawberries and blueberries served over-top iceberg lettuce and thin ribbons of red cabbage and carrot.

Onto the appetizers...

We started off with the Pajeon from their new menu - a wonderful, light seafood "pancake" served with a sesame/soy dip (a favourite Korean dish of mine). It was super tasty with a good helping of seafood pieces. Overall, a very generous appetizer; we got 2 decent slices of the "pancake" each (6 slices total). We also wanted to try the Kimchi Jeon, another pancake type appetizer made with kimchi. A little greasier than our first choice, we received three with the same dipping sauce. They were slightly spicy and had a bolder taste than the pajeon.

We were also given a bowl of miso soup that came with one of the orders. As I was the only fan, I tucked into that quickly. It was good, but nothing remarkable as far as miso soup goes.

The mains!

Seeing as we were all familiar with Korean food, we thought we'd see how Le Kimchi fared with our favourite dishes. We ordered the Bibimbap and the Bulgogi. The Bibimbap came hot and steaming in a heavy bowl with a beautiful gold centre of egg yolk and a side of spicy sauce. When all mixed together, the crispy rice bits, meat, egg and various veggies were a treat that the three of us devoured quite quickly.

The Bulgogi was nicely marinated, with that signature sweetness to the meat that I love! Although not served with as many sides as a place like Seoul House for example, they were very generous with what they had, and I have to say, lived up to the restaurant name quite well. This was definitely the best kimchi I've had!

Dessert

My fiancé went with the green tea cheese cake, I had the ginger ice cream and my brother opted for the sesame cakes. We nibbled a bit on each other's sweets and thoroughly enjoyed the last leg of our meal. The cheese cake was very light and creamy. My ginger ice cream was the usual Hime brand you can pick up at 168 Market, always tasty with little chunks of candied ginger throughout. The sesame sweets were much like a stickier, chewier, gourmet sesame snack (like the ones you pick up in the little blue packages). Heads up, the sesame sweets with a dollop of ginger ice cream is aaaaamazing.

Overall, the restaurant was bright and nicely decorated. The service was wonderful and very attentive. I always appreciate when the servers (it appeared that ours was also the owner) take an interest in helping a foodie learn new things. We were very familiar with what we were ordering, but I had the utmost confidence that if I wanted to try something totally different, I would have lots of help in choosing...and also HOW to eat what I'd ordered. Sounds silly, but sometimes it's not so clear how to go about "assembling" a dish properly!

I will most certainly be returning, especially since it's only about a 10 minute walk from where I live!


2009 Jun 9
Some coworkers and I went here for lunch and had the same experience as HFF. I loved this place - definitely get the bibimbap (omg so good). It was my first time trying it and it was amazing. The rice at the bottom of mine was nice and crispy.

I can't remember what my coworkers had but they were both equally impressed.

Sides are awesome (especially those potatoes, yum!), service is super friendly and FAST (we were in and out in under an hour at lunch).

The sesame snaps are a must-order, just the right amount of sweetness for after lunch.

I'll be going back. Yum. Maybe as soon as tomorrow! :P

2009 May 28
today's xpress also has a postive review of the restaurant:
www.ottawaxpress.ca

one thing i can definitely agree on is their reaction to the service,
"Despite all this, it was the service that truly blew me away. Our server guided us carefully through the menu, made recommendations and got us started - and then just kept checking in, refilling water and side dishes, asking after the food, asking after our days... We went from wow, you're really nice and attentive to maybe this is too much attention to but you're really nice - let's chat more! Honestly, it felt a little sad to leave."

2009 May 28
ate here last night. it was my second outing to a korean restaurant (the other visit was in toronto).

we shared the kim chi jeon (pancake) and the vegetable jeon. the dipping sauce was delicious. the pancakes were slightly greasier than i was expecting. the kim chi were noticably smaller than the vegetable pancakes and our server joked that it didn't mean she liked one of us better than the other, that was just the way the chef made them.

i had the vegetable bibimbop. it was really good. the bowl wasn't the heavy stone that i had before, so the rice bottom wasn't very thick and crispy by the end, but still good. the bowl might have been a very heavy ceramic. we ate everything that was brought to us.

the sides were pickled radish, potato and kim chi. all fantastic. she brought us more potato without asking as she saw we had finished it first.

i can't remember what my companion's main was, but she liked it. it was her favourite dish when she was in korea and she said this version was one of the best she'd had in ottawa.

for dessert we shared the sesame crackers - like a chewy sesame snap. they make them inhouse, our server (who was also one of the owners) rolls them out herself. they make a limited amount each week because of the hard work involved, so we were happy to be there to try some.

i will definitely be back to try more dishes and the ginger ice cream. there is a decent wine list, beer and cocktails.

overall my experience was great. it is definitely not like the sommerset restaurants, this place is much higher end. the prices are reasonable and the service was great. everything was explained to me, since i wasn't sure what to do with each little dish.

it will be tough with the summer of construction, but hopefully the place will do well. it is a very welcome addition to preston!

2009 May 21
We had a great dinner there last night. We started off with kim chi pajeon (a pancake) and tofu croquettes (great sesame seed batter). Both were awesome. Our mains were a vegetable bibmap (seasoned veg on rice) and a hotpot bulgogi (marinated beef, veg and glass noodles). Also awesome.

They were super nice and the menu is very vegetarian friendly.

2009 May 1
I like this place. You're provided w/ fewer side dishes (banchan) than at some of the Sommerset restos (ask for more, if you want 'em) and the restaurant has a slightly different feel to it (cdn-italian decor), but Le Kim Chee is friendly and v. accommodating -- true vegetarian, and very tasty(!), kim-chi jigae! And, for the carnivorous, there's plenty of options here. No complaints, this is a welcome addition to the Preston strip.

2009 Apr 26
We entered the store shortly after closing on a Thursday because a few people were sitting in the dining room. Although they were "closed" they agreed to seat us anyways.

The waitress was very friendly and helpful. She guided us through the menu, gaging our likes and dislikes to make recommendations. Some of the best service I've had in a while.

She poured our water, heavily flavoured with lemon. I order a beer - Hine - the only Korean import they had. I'll just say that I'm partial to Canadian lagers.

The meal started with a small green salad with a, I believe, mango puree topped with a cut strawberry. Overall good, but nothing truly remarkable.

The wife and I shared the 'Ya Chea Deon', cripsy veggie pancake to start. Two pancakes arrived sizzling with a sesame soy dipping sauce.They were light and flavourful.

For entrées, the wife had the veggie bibimbap. It was a colourful mixture of individually stir fried veggies arranged in a hot dish with rice and a raw egg yolk. She was instructed to stir the yolk into the dish and the heat of the pot would finish the cooking. She opted to stir a bit of the provided hot sauce (which wasn't that hot) into the dish. She described it as satisfying - comfort food.

Myself, I had the Dulucheegee, as sizzling plate of marinated pork with peppers, onions and a few other veggies, in a spicy sauce. It was served with a small pot of rice - nice and sticky. While it's described as spicy, I'd call it medium, but not too hot. The dish was savoury and very satisfying. The pork was very tender and tasty and the veggies were well cooked - they still had some crunch. My only complaint was that it was a bit oily, but not really compared to most other Asian restaurants in town.

Each main dish was served with a small array of side dishes to compliment - seaweed salad, kimchi, and marinated onions. The seaweed salad was very different. I really enjoyed it buy my wife found the texture to be too tough. The kim chi was different with every bite (which leads me to believe that it's made in house) - one bite spice, the next savoury, the next sharp. The marinated onions were smoother that I thought they would be, altogether enjoyable.

We finished every scrap of food they presented us - a compliment in it's self. It was one of the better dining experiences I've had in a while. I don't really have anything bad to say about it. The dining room was nicely decorated and comfortable. The service was excellent, unpretentious, helpful and friendly. The food was prompt and very well prepared. I left a generous tip. I will be returning.

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2010 Jun 9
The Pa Jeon (Seafood) was positively scrumptious -- the best I've ever had! It's a hearty appetizer, best shared between two people. Highly recommended!





2010 Jun 9
The cabbage kimchi was very fresh, but I found it to be too fresh! It lacked the pungency and depth of flavour that I love. It was not very salty and had a bit of a "fizz" to it. I usually swoon for cabbage kimchi but this one wasn't interesting to me.

Mind you, we had to specially request cabbage kimchi so maybe it wasn't ready yet. The kimchi they brought us by default was delicious and featured small wedges of cucumber.





2010 Jun 9
The Pork Chi Ge was at the very limits of my spice tolerance (as it should be) but it lacked the depth of flavour I've enjoyed at other restaurants. So, it was a bit of a letdown but it still hurt so good!