During my two-week stay near the Hongik University district, I was able to try out many of the smaller and less noticeable restaurants in the back alley ways and side streets. There were several times I passed this new bunsik (Korean fast food) restaurant named King Kong Midas Kimbab (funny name I know) but it had yet to be opened, that is until the other day when I saw they were taking customers. They were advertising high-end, modernized kimbab (rice rolled in seaweed) and ramen noodles to my personal delight. Would they be able to live up to all the hype? Let’s find out….
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Food: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
It’s hard not to have high expectations when you see all the signs and pictures showing such amazing looking food upon entering the restaurant. And yes, we’re talking about your normal bunsik fare consisting of kimbab, ramen, deopbab (rice bowl), and a few extras. After wiping off the initial excess drool from my mouth (did I mention the presentation is top notch?), I can only say the kimbab and spicy ramen were both very good. The addition of the egg, salad n greens, and sauce made the kimbab dish feel more like a meal rather than a snack. The mountainous pile of sprouts on the spicy ramen added a nice touch and substance to your normal instant noodles. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised and satisfied with both dishes that I had.
Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Unlike most bunshik restaurants where your dishes come out pretty quickly, here you have to wait it out a little longer as they prepare your fancy kimbab. Besides that, the service was excellent with the wait staff willing to explain each dish on the menu. One of the waitstaff was so helpful (or maybe bored?) that she gave me tips while I was taking photographs of each of the dishes. Funny to say the least.
Ambiance: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
The restaurant is a 2-story affair with huge glass ceilings and an inviting, modern decor. Having just opened not too long ago, everything looks and feels clean, which is obviously a big plus when eating out at any restaurant. The second-level can be a little cramped, especially if there are a lot of customers, so I recommend the first floor if possible.
Value: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
The basic kimbab here starts around 4,000₩ ($4 dollars) and there is nothing over 7,000₩ on the menu. With a good selection of kimbab, instant noodles, and rice bowls, the value for each dish is a pretty good bargain considering decor, location, and quality of the ingredients used (they use 100% organic rice). I will surely stop by again to try out their other dishes when I’m in the area.
Overall rating: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
King Kong Midas Kimbab (킹콩마더스김밥)
Mapo-gu, Sangsu-dong 317-1
Official Website: http://www.kingkongkimbap.com