Lunch place: the Kimchi Project

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

11.45am. I'm getting pretty hungry. I'd been looking forward to checking this place out ever since I'd heard about it by chance two weeks ago. Having deliberately eaten only half the breakfast scone so I could be properly hungry, I was keeping track of the time to get a group of colleagues out into town to the Kimchi Project.

Before the Kimchi Project this place was known as O Bar, a place I tended to avoid. Back then, it was a dimly lit and shady place, filled with cheap white plastic chairs scraping the floor, the air thick with soju and the Korean language.

Entering the newly transformed restaurant/bar bathing in light, I could hardly recognise it. You can still hear Korean from the kitchen but where once everything seemed grey and dull, the walls are bouncing off light in this new place.

Step into the back courtyard and it's like you're in a garden sun room with glass roofs, open windows to the stone walls, and the greenery dotted about. We take one of the high tables between the bar and the wide open stone wall. How well it's scrubbed up!

Instead of a lunch menu, the Kimchi Project transitions from brunch straight to dinner at around 3pm. We chose a pork belly bao, a crispy chicken bao, a chicken and prawn fried dumpling soup, and a kimchi pancake fries. As soon as all of our orders arrived, we went into the attack mode. I was so hungry. The baos quickly disappeared in a few bites. The soup soon after. For its price, the portions are on the smaller side. Except for my fried pancakes, which would have been better as a dish to share, they were just flat fries, really.

I would not mind going back to try the chicken and prawn dumpling soup that A had had, because it looked so appetizing. This would be a great date spot, as noted by the single colleagues in the group. With the sun really streaming in through the glass roof, get ready to take off a few layers while dining, especially on a beautiful day like today. In the hopes of many more beautiful days to come and stay.

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