Tucked away in London’s Soho is casual Korean hot stop Bi Bim Bap serving up quick, healthy, fresh and affordable dishes.
This modern, small but buzzing restaurant have an extensive menu of starters, salads and their signature dish bi bim baps – cooked rice mixed with oriental vegetables and topped with raw meats which slowly cook with the heat of the stone mortar style bowl it’s served in.
The décor is kept simple, chrome bar stools and plastic chairs with Korean pop icons littering the walls as well as Polaroid snaps of happy eating diners.
For starters we had:
Pork Mandoo – Fried pork and vegetable dumplings served with a chilli, garlic, sesame soy sauce. These plump soft little parcels of delight were packed full of well seasoned pork and finely chopped vegetables. The ruby red dipping sauce was an excellent accompaniment to the dumplings, fantastic bursts of garlic against salty soy and heat from the chilli.
Jap Chaw – Glass noodles (dangmyeon) pan fried with vegetables seasoned seasame and soy sauce. Angel hair noodles are my fave type of noodle so I would of happily eaten another bowl or as a main. Fresh, crunchy and light stir fried vegetables and a sprinkling of soy a perfect starter to get your tastebuds going.
Kimchi – pickled / fermented cabbage. I’m quite the newbie to Korean food but kimchi is becoming a stable side dish every time. The chunky cut cabbage fermented in vinegar, herbs and seasonings gives a tang and sharpness that I love.
Beef Fillet Bi Bim Bap – The tender strips of raw beef fillet cooked delicately within the heat of the bowl to retain it’s flavour and juice. The meat could of done with a bit more seasoning and kick of chilli but truthfully I have no complaints.
Warming Korean comfort food, a type of kedgeree or fried rice if you will, with heat, spice, hearty fluffy rice, organic eldente vegetables and a generous handful of good quality meat. A sublime combination for a filling, home cooked dish.
Pork Chilli Bi Bim Bap – Pork strips marinated with spices and soy tenderised and infused the meat with the marinade. As the pork sizzled and merged into the rice and vegetables it added another level of textures, colour and flavours.
Bi Bam Bap Soho really surprised me, a small humble authentic Korean joint, serving cuisine that is definitely growing with London as the queue was out the door.
The dishes were light, non greasy, good portions and cheap for central London. The food was presented neatly, vibrant, from the coloured vegetables and fresh meat were a feast for the eyes.
In house condiments including miso and chilli sauce were also impressive additions to the table.
A great little cheap eat Bi Bim Bap is putting Korean food on the map! Going back for seconds soon.