Sunday, 10 March 2013

Dinner at Bibigo in London

As a Korean born food writer, a food blogger and running Korean home food cookery occasionally, I always looking for some new  Korean restaurants in London.
I had eaten a few new Korean restaurant recent years, I always left the restaurant with a slightly disappointment by nothing much different than the other. 
Korean food is quietly popular to the young 30 something generations in recent years and now its popularity is established, needs something different Korean restaurant here in UK.
Like Nobu made Japanese  and Hakkasan group made Chinese( Cantonese ) , Korean needs that 
Korean restaurants desperately needs a person or backers with vision and patience, I regard the restaurant is not only for eat also social gathering with experience through dinning. Mind you first of all food has to be a star

I have had heard of Bibigo a few weeks ago, and it is in heart of West End. I had to try, they took over from old eatery,  Ssam and changed name, Bibigo,  means mixing, like Bibimbab means mixed vegetables rice, meat and sauce. Well it is quite catchy and easy to pronounce for the name.
I decided have a go, took my daughter, Catherine who is a new foodie in our family and write for the magazine.  Bibigo is situated in  a few minutes from Liberty, Great Marlborough Street. We arrived at 7:00 PM since it was Wednesday, fairly quiet,  3 tables were occupied.
 It looked much different than Ssam, deco was changed to better, friendlier and casual but smart , At the back of the room I could see kitchen through glass, as soon as I stepped in , I noticed well stocked bar with bright yellowy light, it is unusual for the Korean restaurant.
 I liked it which means you can have drinks at the bar while you are waiting  or just wanted drinks and light snack on your own.

We ordered  Korean dumplings ( Mandu) and fried baby squid. Mandu came with crispy plain thin pancake on the top with micro salad , I thought it was baked Parmesan cheese on the top of dumplings.  Looked very interesting and gives crunchy texture with steamed dumpling, what a good idea, I might borrow this idea  at home. Fried squid were crispy but cut too small .
Pajeon was excellent, thin batter, thinly cut spring onion and seafood. It was best I've had in London.
Bossam was the must have dish for me. Meaty ,tender belly pork was so delicious, also beautifully presented as well. All Bibigo meats are from Ginger Pig farm,which means quality meat!!
If I only I could be able to have with oyster, it would have been authentic Bossam but even without them it was a well balanced delicious dish.
 Beef & Asparagus Sanjuk
Sanjuk ( skewered beef and asparagus) was like a mini beef steak, when chef  Kim told me they are actually sir loin steak meat, marinated in bulgogi sauce and grilled, a tasty dish for the main course.
But next time I would like to have as medium rare after all it is like a mini beef steak.
Bulgogi was perfect indeed, just melt in your mouth, balances of saltiness and sweetness were just right.  
Bibigo offer lunch set menu for £9, Dinner set menu is £12, how good is that! I certainly try when I am in shopping or  out in theatre or opera.
 I am glad that Bibigo offering something different than most of Korean restaurant and also tasty, stylish food. They even serve very English dessert like Eton Mess. Catherine had Korean green tea ice cream, she loved it.

The Russian bar tender makes excellent and very generous size of Bloody Mary according to Catherine but if  you like milder one, ask him easy on Tabasco, it was quiet hot for me.

I hope this kind of Korean restaurant will pop up in London time to time. Needs variety style of Korean eatery in London like in NY.    

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