Friday, 22 April 2011

Let's do Bibimbap!

It used to be that "Let's do sushi" would mean a catch up.

Now there's a hot stone bowl for friends, as more Korean eateries serving the Dolsot Bibimbap have become available in London bibimbapsoho.

In Soho, Greek Street, there's a little doorway with bubblegum signage "Bi Bim Bap" - already you know what you are getting.  Its an unfussy, relaxed eaterie; simple white walls and pops of colour furniture - it might appear to feed the Facebook generation, with polaroids of past diners, strooned along the walls in wave and heart formations.  But this is Soho, afterall, so there is thin bar-style dining where you will find the after work diner/ comic book lover with rafferty hair reading some esoteric comic publication, small tables configuring knee-knocking distance between Kings of Leon-type and svelt swedish date-mates and booths for chiming groups, and all sharing the experience of a heated hot-rock rice bowl.

Let's start with a Hite (Korean beer) and small plates of pickle; cabbage leaves, daikon (mooli) and cucumber - salty, sour and fiery, to whet the appetite.

Onto the Dolsot Bibimbap which literally means "stone pot mixed meal".  A very hot stone bowl on a wooden platter is brought out - and in it is hot rice, any combination of sauteed and seasoned cucumber, daikon, mushrooms, spinach, bean sprouts, tofu and raw sliced fillet of beef and sometimes a raw egg topped with chilli pepper paste. When you mix the contents together the egg and beef are cooked by the heat, sizzling as it touches the sides of the bowl and crisping the rice.

There are also good cooked chicken, seafood and vegetarian combinations.

There is something about this dish that speaks to the  soul of staple food which I think is why I like it so much.

For my money, I would have Bibimbap, and often : )

I would also recommend the bibimbap and delights of Korean barbecue served at Asadal Holborn and style conscious Koba a stone's throw from Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia - try the Yuk Hwe, a Korean beef tartar with pear.


  1. Never tried that but it looks wonderful!

    (Stopping by from the etsy blog team!)

  2. I love bibimbap! I'm going to be in London in July so I should try to stop by. If you don't mind could you recommend other restaurants? I have a tour guide book but I would prefer a recommendation from someone that has experience eating at the restaurants.



  3. Now I am hungry and the hummus and carrots I have for lunch just ain't gonna cut it.

  4. aah : ( I know those hummus and carrot days well - I hope you get a chance to try a bibimbap soon though!