This is a post by N&O restaurant critic Greg Cox:
Kimbap (111 Seaboard Ave.; 919-900-8053; kimbapcafe.com) rolled into Seaboard Station last Friday with a cargo of local produce, translated into a contemporary Korean-inspired menu.
The restaurant is named for kimbap (sometimes spelled gimbap), Korean seaweed-wrapped rice rolls that resemble Japanese nori rolls in appearance only. The rice in kimbap is seasoned with sesame seed and sesame oil, and the filling is not raw fish. Nor is wasabi part of the deal. Think instead along the lines of braised brisket and basil, or spicy quick-pickled vegetables, two options on Kimbap's inaugural menu.
The offering goes beyond the restaurant's namesake specialty to include a brief but varied assortment of Korean dumplings, noodles and rice paper-wrapped fresh rolls with fillings ranging from NC shrimp to braised pork belly. A sweet potato curry with speckled trout earned high marks from the opening weekend crowd.
Kimbap is the first restaurant venture for Kim Hunter, whose previous position as manager of the Western Wake Farmers' Market is evident in the menu's emphasis on fresh local ingredients. Hunter plans to supplement the core menu with seasonally evolving offerings to showcase the local harvest.
If that sweet potato curry sounds tempting, for instance, be advised that the fish could change frequently depending on the catch. But you've still got several weeks before the local corn harvest, when the entire dish will give way to a sweet corn curry.
A compact 25-seat restaurant with a small bar, Kimbap serves a modest selection of beer (including a rotating selection of local brews), wine and sake. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner every day but Sunday.
Send restaurant news to Greg at email@example.com. Be sure to tune in to Greg's radio show at 11 a.m. Saturdays on WPTF.