Korean food in the middle of Rajasthan, India? That’s right, sometimes best things present themselves in unexpected places and pleasantly surprise us for example Korean restaurant in Jodhpur run by Kim Mohan.
Like every traveller, food is important for me so I do a bit of research about the restaurants and cafe in places I plan to visit. This not only keeps me fueled up but also gives to a chance to understand native culture by sampling local food.
During my three day trip to Jodhpur I sampled food at various places which ranged from inexpensive street side cafe to mid range restaurants. In Jodhpur, we tried:
- Lassi at Mishra Lal Hotel
- Omelet at the Omelette Shop
- Open House Cafe overlooking a step well
- Rooftop cafe at Hostel Levie
- Korean Food at Kim Mohan’s Korean Restaurant
I relied on google local search and trip advisor rating combined with Zomato user reviews to get a fair idea of prices, menu and special offerings.
Korean Food In Jodhpur, India
Although Jodhpur offers delicious food at reasonable prices but our experience at Kim Mohan was beyond expectation. After living China for a decade we developed a taste for Korean food. It is cheap, healthy and delicious. However, Korean food in India is limited to 5 star hotels and some high end Michelin star restaurants. Jodhpur is different story altogether. While walking and searching online at the same time (bad idea in India) while being oblivious to bike riders with death wish, beggars, street sellers, holy cows, monkeys, tour guides and other normal interruptions, I hit a jackpot in google search. A Korean restaurant with positive reviews from Koreans (all name sounded Korean or has Kim in it). A cross check with TA and Zomato confirmed that it is real deal.
How We Found Kim Mohan’S Restaurant & Cafe?
The hard part was locating the restaurant hidden in small by-lanes of Jodhpur where google map will make you crazy by circling you around. However, reputation of owner Kim precedes him. Few kids on street agreed to lead us to Kim’s place in exchange for a selfie with them. The restaurant itself is on top floor of Sunshine hotel not far from place where Kim worked a cleaner. I will tell you more about that later. We went to top floor through someone’s home and a hostel dominated by Koreans.
Review Of Kim Mohan’s Restaurant & Cafe
The place has amazing view of the beautiful fort on one side and old city on the other side. It has few tables but utilitarian chairs. Who cares about furniture when you have tasty food and spectacular view. We ordered few dishes including Bibimbap, glass noodles, potato pancakes. Soup was offered complementary as chef made enough for Korean guests. He later explained that all food are prepared fresh and never saved for the next day.
So we decided to come back again and learn a bit more which turns out to be an interesting story worthy of a blog post.
Interesting Story Of Kim Mohan
Mohan is a poor migrant from Nepal who came to Jodhpur to flee poverty and got a dead end job as a cleaner in some guest house. He worked for few years over there then shifted to Sunshine hotel. The hotel is frequented by Korean backpackers so he learned some Korean phrases. One of the Korean guest suggested that he can learn cooking Korean food. He showed young Mohan how to use YouTube. That little piece of advice turned his life around. He continued to watch more of YouTube videos to learn Korean cooking from chefs like Maangchee while picking up Korean language lessons (also on internet)
His big break came when a Korean NGO came to Jodhpur but their chef failed to accompany the group. The boss asked him to prepare some simple Korean food. The NGO group was very happy with the cooking so the idea of starting a Korean restaurant was seeded. Over the course of few years Mohan’s cooking as well as his fluency of Korean language improved. Guests started bringing ingredients from home while he frequently ordered some from wholesalers based in New Delhi. Somewhere along the time people started calling him Kim Mohan hence the restaurant is officially christened as Kim Mohan’S Restaurant & Cafe. It is now a popular restaurant frequented by Koreans, other visiting tourists and locals too. The food is inexpensive ($15 for two), freshly prepared and portions are generous. If you are in Jodhpur, we would highly recommend that you have a meal there just to get a break from Indian food while enjoying the view while sipping some Korean sake.