On my culinary adventures around London it has been quite easy to be intimidated by the imposing shop fronts or lack of customers especially when dining alone. During my tasty treasure hunt, Bi Bim Bap Soho started as one such establishments but I’m so pleased I pushed through the fear and gave it a go.
If you don’t know what bi bim bap is, it’s a Korean dish consisting of rice and vegetables in a hot stone bowl topped with your choice of meat. The traditional way of eating it is to stir all the rice, meat, pickles and vegetables up with chopsticks or a spoon and then add miso or hot sauce if you wish. It’s supposed to be really healthy as well as tasty so I don’t feel that bad about making it one of my new favourite haunts.
The diner itself is clean, spacious and though it’s dark and a bit sparse, the Polaroids on the wall give it a really personal touch. The staff are quiet but accommodating and beyond efficient.
Now onto the food. Despite my wish of visiting a new place every day, I’ve visited Bi Bim Bap twice so far. It’s extremely fresh, clean and more than enough food to last you through the day (or night of you wish).
The spicy pork bi bim bap has so much flavour that a green tea is necessary to break down the full on assault on your mouth (in a good way) and the beef bool-go-gi is so tender and mild that it’s perfect for a summer meal. On my second visit (with my beef bool-go-gi) I opted for the additional fried egg (raw if you prefer) and though it added a new texture and kept the rice moist, it didn’t do much for the flavour. My only problem with the food is that it is a little too clean as it does lack a bit of oomph compared to traditional restaurants in the area but other than that, I’m sold.
The drinks menu is a little pricy but coupled with a full meal for around £6.95 I can’t really complain.
It’s not the cheapest place for lunch but it’s the ideal place to grab a bite before heading to the pub or a heart warming lunch on a cold winters afternoon. I’m definitely a convert.