Over half Of Seoul restaurants serve Chinese kimchi
One in every two Korean restaurants in the Seoul metropolitan area serves Chinese kimchi, according to a poll released Sunday, illustrating the inroads kimchi imports have made here.
Surprisingly, nine of 10 Korean food restaurants in the affluent Seocho district in southern Seoul admitted to using the cheaper kimchi imported from China.
In the poll of 79,311 restaurants in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province conducted by the Korea Restaurant Association （KRA）in August, 39,663, or 50 per cent, said they were offering Chinese kimchi to their customers.
Chinese, Japanese and fast food restaurants were excluded from the poll, said the Agriculture Ministry, which released the results on behalf of the KRA.
In Seoul, 59.9 percent, or 39,803 eating establishments, were using Chinese kimchi, compared with 40.1 percent, or 39,508, in Gyeonggi Province.
The percentage of Chinese kimchi was particularly high in Seoul's Seocho, Mapo, Geumcheon and Yongsan districts. In Gyeonggi Province, restaurants in Hwaseong, Anyang, Suwon and Yongin were heavily dependent on the imported kimchi.
According to a government figure, South Korea's kimchi imports for the first half amounted to 49,846 tons, 114.4 per cent higher than the same period last year. In terms of value, kimchi imports climbed 136.8 per cent to $21.55 million. Up to 99.9 per cent of all kimchi imports during the period were from China.