Kimbap: Korean-inspired. Fresh & Local.
With this being my first venture into Korean cuisine, I walked into Kimbap a blank slate and with an appetite. Impressed by my first glance, this small quaint restaurant took my palate and me on an adventure that caught me by surprise. With it being the inaugural “First Friday” of 2015, Kimbap was pleasantly full life with a line out the door. After an understandable wait to be seated, I was beyond ecstatic to be seated at the bar, which provides guests with an up close and personal view of the inner workings of owner, Kim Hunter’s well-run kitchen. Kim, representing her hometown of Detroit, Michigan was easy to spot by her calm, yet assertive, demeanor and Detroit Tigers baseball cap. I am a Chicago White Sox fan who has seen my older stepbrother play at the old “Tiger Stadium,” with found memories of Detroit but we won’t get into that here.
The overall experience was incredible with every single one of my senses being stimulated. It is no secret I walk around town with a camera in my hands almost always. So, with all of the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of all of the fresh and locally sourced ingredients there was never a dull moment. Alternating between the smooth and familiar chopsticks and the cool grip of my camera in between bites, I could not believe the moment I was in. It was hard to, but eventually I put the camera down and took in all of the joy of the meal.
After seeing order after order of their dumplings go flying off the prep table, it was a no brainer and after my first bite I could see clearly now what I had been missing! They run a First Friday dumpling and wine special so be sure to not miss it in the months to come. Accompanied by a fresh cold pint of Asheville’s Highland Brewing Co.’s Thunderstruck Coffee Porter, which did wonders both cleansing my palate and cooling the spices of the blood red chili paste, I dived nose first into my spicy gochujang fried chicken & “Mac and Cheese” (race cake “noodles” in a cheese sauce) drizzled with honey. Fortunately I was not alone at this meal and my wife was gracious enough that I was able to sample the beef Bibimbap mixed rice bowl with both a fried egg and fresh kimchi. With such a fun atmosphere, vibe, and décor be sure to come with a friend, or many!
Please enjoy my point of view of the kitchen through my images and do yourself a favor and eat here soon and often.
Kimbap is located at 111 Seaboard Avenue #118, Raleigh, NC 27604. Call 919.900.8053 for more information.