If you’re looking for something tasty, filling, inexpensive and a bit different in Soho, we might know just the place. Allow me to introduce you to Bi Bim Bap.
Bibimbap is actually a Korean rice dish, served in a hot stone bowl and often consisting of julienned vegetables, meat and a raw egg. It’s all mixed together at the table and the heat of the bowl cooks the raw ingredients, as well as leaving the rice at the bottom deliciously crispy. The addition of some Korean hot sauce (gochujang) gives it a kick and on this occasion we added some miso sauce too for good measure.
When we go out for Korean food, we often order bibimbap as a piggy alternative to a standard rice dish but this place has made it the star of the show, so much so that they even named the restaurant after it.
There was a good selection of sides on offer so we ordered the pork and vegetable mandoo (pan-fried dumplings), seafood pancake and a portion of kimchi. All of them were perfectly fine but the main dishes were undoubtedly the highlight of our meal.
They have a few salad and noodle dishes on the menu but we didn’t really give them much of a thought. We already had our hearts set on trying their bibimbaps.
I was expecting both dishes to taste very similar but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The raw beef bibimbap with raw egg (£1 supplement) was tasty enough but the stone pot was so hot that it quickly overcooked the beef. This actually defeated the object of having raw beef in there in the first place. Nevertheless, there were a lot of different textures and flavours in there and it’s a great value dish.
To our surprise, the spicy pork bibimbap was the pick of the two dishes. It had bags of flavour and was not only spicy but also sweet with soy sauce. The shiitake mushrooms added earthiness and everything came together brilliantly.
We enjoyed our food so much that I ended up paying them another visit a week or so later. It was a workmate’s birthday and we were looking for something reasonably priced and healthy after we finished work.
The birthday girl is on a strict diet but when I told her about our meal at Bi Bim Bap, she enthused, “it sounds like something I can actually eat!” We were a party of six and it was disappointing that we couldn’t book but luckily this wasn’t a problem as we arrived just after 6pm on a Wednesday.
I was a little apprehensive about taking a group of friends out to eat something for the first time but it turned out well in the end. We ordered a wide selection of sides, including a kimchi pancake, pork and vegetable mandoo (again), prawn katsu, chilli squid and jap chae. These were enjoyed by all and disappeared in no time.
The bibimbaps were also a big hit, with the spicy pork once again proving to be the most popular. Bibimbap is a very warming dish though and it was quite a humid evening so as a result we were all sweating profusely after the first few mouthfuls. Thankfully there are no pictures of that!
Bibimbap is classic Korean comfort food and is excellent value for money. Most of my friends even said they’d return with partners in tow. A big thumbs up to Bi Bim Bap! The bill was also very reasonable at just £93 for six people including soft drinks and service.
Address: 11 Greek St, London, W1D 4DJ
Phone: 020 7287 3434
Follow them on Twitter: @bibimbapsoho
Find them on Facebook: facebook.com/bibimbap.soho
Information: The food and drink in the first half of this review was kindly comped by Bibimbap.