Korean food is cool right now. It's got a New Yorky kind of feeling, younger and hipper than Chinese, more fun than Japanese, more streetwise than Vietnamese. It's the office intern, the most on-the-money one in the room, a little bit late but doesn't cost you much.
After you've managed to pronounce the name with out sounding like John Scatman with his dentures removed, the little place in Greek Street is a light, colourful little room, complete with polaroid customer pics and korean fashion mag cut-outs. It could be the reception of a digital agency. This place could never have been designed by a Brit, and that's one thing that sets it apart from 90% of the coolest restaurant openings in London right now, it's real, rather than some sort of British tribute act quietly backed by a consortium of hand-rubbing investors.
Authentic and cool as it might be, it doesn't stop the slightly grumpy staff forgetting bits of our order, or not managing to crack a smile til we leave.
Food was good though. Kimchi was way better than at Jubo last week. We ordered Hite beers, a brand hilariously crying out for a preceding 'S', and some Korean green tea, which had a lovely toasted sesame flavour.
Some Prawn Katsu were really light and crispy, but with a quite industrial tasting dip. Accompanying lime was perfect with them, though.
The Bi Bim Bap are the name of the main dish, a red hot stone bowl filled with a mixed bag of ingredients, sort of like a dry ramen, which cooks itself slowly with the eat of the bowl. We had chicken and raw fillet beef, which was fun to sizzle a little bit cooked on the side of the bowl. A token fried egg on top had me wishing I'd ordered it raw as they'd suggested!
Bi Bim Bap is a cool place, doing fun, tasty food.
(I was invited to eat at Bi Bim Bap)
|Korean Green Tea|
|Kimchi - traditional spicy pickled cabbage|
|Prawn Katsu: deep-fried prawns in breadcrumbs served with a spicy chilli and garlic sauce|
|Hot Stone Bibimbap Fillet Beef : strips of raw seasoned beef fillet that cooks once mixed in the stone bowl|