Street food scenes from the heart of Korea and beyond…

Located in the Al Wasl Vita Mall, in the vibrant district of Jumeirah, the all-new GIMI is a trip to K-town and more – simply put. It takes all the lip-smacking, throat-kicking and eye-watering flavours of Southeast Asian street food and sprinkles them over traditional Korean specialities, paying a sweet, spicy tribute to the hawker culture of the country that has seen a cultural renaissance of sorts in recent times.


When we walk into the restaurant, it’s still light outside, but there’s an immediate switch from day to night. The dim lamps, the sleek dark interiors with a splash of street style chic and the impossible-to-miss flashing red neon sign very much make it feel like the lively after-hours spot it is, perfect for dinner with a hint of party. A hint of gimi, or spice in Korean, if you will.

The menu features all the authentic delicacies one would expect to find at a Korean haunt, including bibimbap – rice, sauce and a rainbow mix of vegetables with juicy beef, tteobokki – chewy rice cakes in a special, fiery sauce with fish cakes, kimari, sweet potato and an epic cheese pull, and the crowd favourite Korean fried chicken, all of which were flavour bombs. No dearth of spicy, acidic and meaty elements.


Other Korean dishes on the list include mandu or Korean dumplings, sweet, stuffed pancakes called hotteok, and much more. The fusion bit comes from the many other exports from other Southeast Asian countries, like the nasi goreng and the randang from Indonesia and the cham namul, with touches of China.

From what we sampled, the stand-out dishes were also the juicy rolled beef, the galbi tacos and the Korean-style short ribs. Deep and umami, the meat was perfectly tender and packed with flavour, every single time. For dessert, we tried the black yuzu cheesecake – a chilled, tangy cheesecake with a core of strawberry mochi that did hit the spot. We recommend it for summer dessert-ing.


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The venue is unlicensed and so there is an array of mocktails by way of drinks. They feature some very appropriate names and ingredients, like the ‘kimary’, made with GIMI’s signature kimchi spice mix and infused with tangy tomato juice, hints of celery and a touch of black pepper.

There is also the “K-pop”, which we sampled. Tropical and fruity in nature, it is crafted with soju, passion fruit, vanilla, and pineapple with a splash of prosecco. The ‘cocoa roast’, also served to us, was rich, sweet and coconut-y, with coconut cream, roasted barley tea, lime and Korean crushed pearl juice.


Hearty Asian flavours and an ambience infused with moonlit energy – GIMI is a must-visit for foodies. Dinner plans, sorted.

GIMI, Al Wasl Vita Mall, Jumeirah, Dubai, Tues to Fri, 6pm to 12am, Sat to Sun, 12am to 12pm, closed on Mondays, Tel: (0) 56 545 9575, @gimi.dxb

Images: Supplied