Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Bibigo Soho - Restaurant Review

Korean cuisine is new for me. It's been so trendy lately with the Kimchi burgers, Korean barbecues and Bulgogi mentioned everywhere, it was time to try it. I was expecting it to be good, and worth the wait. And it was. Apart from the Kimchi itself, which didn't particularly float my boat - it is after all, cold fermented vegetables...

Soho is inundated with restaurants from every cuisine imaginable, so it took some review-reading to settle on Bibigo. Quite a modern, sleek dining room, with wooden tables, bricked walls, and an open kitchen. Staff were lovely, although the door at the entrance is a bit of a push, and the hostess just watched as I struggled. Never mind... It sounded like good value for money, so just in case - highly unlikely, I know - it didn't appeal, then at least I wouldn't have spent too much. The set menu is £13, a three course menu with a good choice of typically Korean dishes.


Red Chicken
Jjim Mandoo
Korean Chopped Salad

I started with salad. Now, I'm not much of a rabbit-food fan, to be fair, but I was most taken with this freshly chopped salad, strewn with bits of crunchy spring roll pastry and a sesame-imbibed oriental dressing. If all salads were like this, I would indeed be a large rabbit! My friend and I chose a starter each, and shared, as everyone knows this is the only way to get to eat everything. Red chicken was my favourite, a sticky, sweet glazed chicken, deep-fried and served with pieces of perfectly cooked okra (i.e. not slimey!). Jjim Mandoo was a potato and vegetable filled gyoza-like dumpling served with a spicy soy dressing. Soy far, soy good!


Bossam served with kimchi
Tofu Bibimbap
On the advice of our (non-Korean) waiter, I chose Bossam, a succulent slow-cooked pork belly, served with a selection of Kimchi and a peanut sauce. Loved the pork. Tender, yet mellow, allowing the peanut sauce to enhance the subtlety of the roasted meat. I also ordered the tofu Bibimbap for us, a typical Korean dish of rice with a mix of vegetables and Kohot sauce, sweet and only slightly hot. This was good too, seemed like a staple dish, easy to make, easy to eat. An additional side of Kimchi, just to make sure I knew what all the fuss is about. Ah, the Kimchi at last. Those little cold fermented vegetables... There must have been four versions of it on our table, and to be fair, each was different. They didn't all just taste like pickle. They were quite fresh and with added flavour, and I expect the fermentation process was yet to begin. But yes, as an accompaniment, costing only £1 extra, worth a shot.


Eton mess

Nothing particularly Korean about this dessert. But the guy on the next table had one, and we just ogled at it, so it was a Must Have. Gorgeous little disks of meringues in a strawberry flavoured cream (and ice-cream) with mixed berries.

We drank a very palatable bottle of Vinho Verde, the perfect choice I felt, specially after my recent Portuguese wine tasting session made me quite the expert...

58-59 Great Marlborough Street
020 7042 5225

Meal for two with wine ~£80

Bibigo on Urbanspoon Square Meal

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