My favorite Ottawa Korean joint, for non Korean BBQ dishes, is Le Kim Chi. This is our go-to place if we are craving something easy, casual, fairly healthy and something with an Asian twist that is not a pho noodle house.
The wait staff at Le Kim Chi is extremely friendly, and helpful with the menu. They've made it a pleasant experience everytime we've dined here.
When CK and I come here, we pretty much order the same thing everytime. I have my dish and he has his. I hmmm and hawwww everytime debating whether or not I should try something different, but why fix it if it ain't broke, right?
Every meal always starts with a salad with strawberries, and the house special pineapple dressing. It's a little sweet and a little tangy, a unique taste.
Like any traditional Korean meal, you also start with a selection of small side dishes. The kim chi and pickled radish is pretty much what you see everytime but the third dish varies. This time, we had salad with corn and mild creamy dressing. You can ask for more of any of these dishes free of charge.
My go-to dish is the dooboo kim chi chi ge: tofu kim chi stew stewed with aged kim chi and served in a hot pot. I absolutely love kim chi, love tofu, and love anything spicy! What can be more perfect? If you're not a tofu fan, you can get this stew with pork or tuna. The stew is served with a bowl of rice that you mix in with the stew.
CK loves bibimbap, so that is what he gets. Bibimbap is a lot of fun to say, but it is also very tasty! It's basically a hot stone bowl filled with rice, seasonal veggies, beef, and an egg yolk cracked on top. A dish of blended red chili sauce is also served on the side. While the bowl is hot, stir everything together to further cook the yolk and rice and enjoy! By the time you get to the bottom of the bowl, you get bits of crunchy rice (from the heat from the bowl) that is a lot of fun to eat. The texture change is something that appeals to most Asians.
The bibimbap comes with a bowl of miso soup.
For dessert, CK and I shared the ggae gwa ja, Korean sesame cookies. They are simply toasted black and white sesame seeds rolled in honey, and they taste just like sesame snaps.
If I were to try something different, I would go for the galbi jjim: a braised beef short ribs stew seasoned with sake ginger soy sauce...a dish highly recommended by one of the waitresses!
Le Kim Chi
420 Preston Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada