The upper floors of Orchard Central has always been a hideout for food, ranging from quintessential hotpot spots to hearty Japanese buffets.
Though let’s admit it: trying to get up via the elevators can be a pain sometimes. Opps.
If you go up through Level 6 of OC, you may come across Kimchi Dining, a new concept in town.
Although Kimchi Dining brands itself as a casual dining concept, I would say it sits somewhere slightly above a typical laid-back outfit and below a luxury place.
So not that cheap, or come during lunch.
A perk of the Orchard Central location is how spacious the restaurant space can be.
Thanks to the high ceilings and an Orchard View view out of the glass panelled windows, the dining experience has a classy vibe perfect for a date night.
They had a decent range of items for lunch, which are generally good for one.
Begin with the Kimchi Platter ($10) to share as an appetiser or as a side. There are six types of kimchi and pickles that goes onto the platter, ranging to lighter tasting ones to heavier hitters.
Have them in the order recommended, which takes you through an increasing intensity.
All of the kimchi and pickles are fermented in house and some of them may change daily.
There is the Kimchi Bibim ($15), coming with cabbage kimchi, gochujang, and arugula. A good pairing is to add on Beef Bulgogi with Beansprout ($6) into the bibimbap for an extra zhng.
When it comes to dinner, the menu is done tapas-style.
Lighter portions include Muk Salad ($18), Fresh Kimchi Ball ($8), Corn Cheese ($18), Jinmichae ($17) that is a fried shredded squid dish, and Gaji Gangjeong ($18) which is a honey soy eggplant dish.
For a more upscale bibimbap, get the Prawn & Scallop Jang ($32), which has multigrain rice, egg yolk, perilla and soy sashimi prawn and scallop served on the side.
This had a clean taste, and was perhaps lacking some of the warmth and heartiness one would expect from a rice bowl.
As there was no gochujang or similar in the mix, you could take some of the soy from the sashimi to add some flavours.
For sharing, grab the Pork Jowl ($35). The grilled Duroc pork slices are served with chili pickles, honey garlic, and endive.
Enjoy it by picking up a piece of meat with the pickles and honey garlic, with the endive taking the place of the usual lettuce.
I was recommended the Gamjajeon ($17) – a Korean savoury pancake made with grated potatoes, bacon, and onion jangachi, which is a type of Korean pickled vegetable.
It is served with a side of Siberian onion truffle mayo.
Overall, the texture reminded me of rosti with a creamy dip.
I would say that the dishes are all plated thoughtfully and aesthetically, which brings the restaurant a step above regular casual dining.
Though I thought it was lacking some form of ‘oomph’ and flavours were generally muted for some reason.
Hopefully, after the soft launch phase, Kimchi Dining can bring even more to the table.
Kimchi Dining Korean Casual Dining
Orchard Central #06-10, 181 Orchard Road, Singapore 238896
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3:30pm, 5:30pm – 9pm (Mon, Wed – Sun)
* Written by Daniel Ang and Dean Ang. Follow @DanielFoodDiary on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube for more food news, food videos and travel highlights. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.em>