Nov 18 2012

Bibigo

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My boyfriend woke up with an big hangover on a Sunday morning having been drinking at rugby the previous day and was craving some noodles for lunch. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to go to the new ramen restaurant "Bone Daddies" in Soho, but when we got there on a Sunday, I realized that it was closed on that particular day and we had to come up with another plan of where to go. We had just walked past a Korean restaurant Bibigo, and we decided to go back there as we could probably get noodles there as well (I had read about this place a few weeks ago, so I knew that it was new and had been quite keen to try this when I was reading the review). Bibigo is located in Soho and serves Korean food "in a contemporary style" and adjusted for the western people, and apparently the founder of Bibigo Hee Young Noh took part in Masterchef Korea, and Bibigo is owned by CJ, which is Korea's biggest food company, which already has a lot of restaurants in Asia as well as Los Angeles. If you like any of the sauces used in Bibigo, you can also buy most of them in the restaurant. But the focus in Bibigo is on healthy Korean food. When we arrived in Bibigo on Sunday at 12.30 we were the only person there in the large lightly lit restaurant, and even though Soho on a Sunday is quite empty, it was surprising to see the restaurant with literally no one in there apart from us. As for the interior I did like the pictures of PSY and Jamie Oliver on the walls showing them eating Korean food. As it was a Korean restaurant, and called "Bibigo", I thought I definitely had to have the Korean signature dish, Bibimap (as I thought the restaurant was vaguely named after this), which literally means "mixed rice", and Bibimap usually has rice topped with namul (sautéed and seasoned vegetables) and gochujang (chili pepper  paste), and then added meat or something else. I chose the Korean steak tartar bibimap which had assorted nahmul and seasoned raw beef and spicy Ko-Hut dressing and my boyfriend fancied the "hot stone galbi" which was char grilled beef short ribs marinated in bibigo bbq sauce and served with some spicy sauce and lettuce. And we also decided to a "kimchi platter" with three different types of kimchi (Korean fermented cabbage), another one of Korean signature dishes. I was very surprised about the prices in this place though, as the "hot stone galbi" cost £18 and my bibimap cost £13, and I did not get that much bibimap. The quality of food when it arrived was great, but to pay £18 for a main course in a casual soho restaurant is a bit punchy, as £18 can buy you a whole meal in another restaurant next door and can even get you far in some of the top Michelin starred restaurants. My bibimap arrived and it looked wonderful, full of nice and bright colours and the waitress mixed it all together for me with the spicy sauce. It was delicious and definitely felt healthy, so you could see Bibigo's emphasis on that, and also did feel adjusted to the western palette, as it was not as intense as the bibimaps I have had in more traditional Korean restaurants in London, but there was so little of it for £13, we easily finished it, and even though the quality of the meet they used as well as the other ingredients was great, you do wonder whether they should have priced this at max £10. The "hot stone galbi" was a plate full of good quality meet that arrived and the waitress told us to use the lettuce leaves, put on some sauce and wrap the beef inside of this lettuce to create small pancakes. It was delicious eating it together like this, and they did give you a decent amount of food, but as I said £18 for this is punchy. The kimchi platter was nice, but also here they charged £5 for it, when I can’t see how I should be paying more than £3, as it was small chunks of kimchi put on a platter and also I do think I have had better kimchi. I would recommend for you to go to Bibigo if you are not sure about Korean food and want to try it, but don't want it to be too overpowering and traditional (because of their adjustment of the menu to the western palette), however I myself prefer the more traditional places in London which are also much cheaper and more delicious in my view.

Date: 18/11/12
Location: Soho
Price for 2, no alcohol and service charge: £47.25

Bibigo on Urbanspoon

Maija rated: 

2.00

Location: 

Bibigo
58-59 Great Marlborough Street W1F 7JY
London
United Kingdom
GB
Bibigo Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 2