"Cheerful independent eatery offering Korea’s favourite dish"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
Named after Korea’s national dish, Bi Bim Bap offers ten variations on the perennial favourite. Appearance-wise, Bi Bim Bap is nothing to write home about, with plastic furniture, colourful walls and laminated menus on the tables suggesting it’s more swift eatery than chic restaurant.
Bibimbap is served in the stone bowl it’s been cooked in (don’t touch it unless you want a blister), and traditionally side dishes of tofu, shrimp, garlic, beef, pork, and of course that other Korean favourite, eye-watering fermented cabbage aka ‘kimchi’ are plonked on the table for diners to mix into their bowl of shredded cabbage and rice, along with fiery red pepper paste at their own peril. Here however, the ingredients have been set atop each other ready to be stirred. Options include mushrooms, seafood, and a “nutritious” bibimbap with gingko nuts and ginseng; sweetly-marinaded strips of filet beef (£9.45) are layered raw over the contents of the bowl and left to cook with the heat of the rice.
Elsewhere the kimchi pancake (£4.45) is a little on the oily side and prawn katsu (£5.45) are fleshy and fried in breadcrumbs, only let down by the accompanying sauce which is more salad cream than garlic mayonnaise. There are green teas, Korean beers, soju and mak geol li, a curious alcoholic drink made from rice that despite its syrupy appearance is fizzy like an alcopop.
Next time you’re in the mood for Oriental cuisine it’s worth your while forsaking the usual Chinese or Thai for this wholesome, cheerful eatery.
Leila reviewed Bi Bim Bap Soho on Thu 03 Mar 2011