Korean steak tartar bibimbap. If you’re like me, such a deliciously designed dish would be read from the menu with an added ‘oh yeah’. So, yup, that’s what I chose for my main during my recent inaugural dine at Bibigo, a few month’s old Korean “fresh and healthy kitchen” located in central London’s ever happening Soho.
However, I doubt very seriously that I’ll order that dish on my repeat visit. Or even the one after that. Don’t get me wrong. I loved it. I’ve been a fan of bibimbap and steak tartar on their own since I tried both for the first time year ago. And the two together presented a winning combination, which for £13 (about $20) was a real treat. The problem is, though, that there were just too many other “oh yeah” moments printed on the menu. I’d be doing my taste buds a great disservice if I stopped investigating the rest of the delectable sounding items on offer. Braised short ribs with daikon, shallots, pine nuts? Pork belly with ginger, spring onion and pine nuts? Oh yeah. Bibigo will see me again (and probably a few more times again after that).
Beyond the bibimbap, other highlights from my Bibigo visit included a starter course of baby squid (deep fried baby squid and okra topped with fried crushed garlic). As with my main, squid plus okra equalled a yummy solution for a gourmand dude like me. My dining companion went with the black cod (baked spicy black cod served with steamed asparagus and mange tout) that was well worth a melt-in-your-mouth mention in this review as well. She absolutely loved it. I was actually surprised I was even allowed a small taste of it. When I was granted a sample, though, I could see her point. A side of kimchi impressed us both as well.
A bottle of the house soju (Korean rice liquor), Chum-Churum, pleased and cleansed. Ho-ddeok (a sweet pancake with cinnamon and vanilla ice cream) was a good – if unremarkable – dessert, while a texturally crave-able dessert of Mandarin mousse (with Yuja foam, jujube and white chocolate ice cream) ended our meal on a light and lovely note.
Bibigo is located at 58-59 Great Marlborough Street, W1F 7YJ. According to bibigouk.com, this “fine dining flagship” restaurant and bar also operates as a shop stocking “a great range of Bibigo Korean food products including our famous sauces, marinades and cooking ingredients.”
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