Kiejo Sarsfield, who we’ve interviewed before and had a cooking lesson with, went to the recently opened restaurant Bibigo. She’s shared her thoughts on her dining experience and her review with us! The original review can be seen on her own site here, so take a look there too.
Bibigo is located at 58-59 Marlborough Street, London, and is open from Monday to Sunday, with lunch from 12:00pm – 4.00pm and dinner from 6.00pm – 11.00pm. You can see the menu here and can book a table on-line here.
As a Korean born food writer, a food blogger and running Korean home food cookery occasionally, I’m always looking for some new Korean restaurants in London. I had eaten at a few new Korean restaurants in recent years and I always left the restaurant with slight disappointment as nothing was much different from the others. Korean food is quietly popular to the young 30 something generations in recent years and now its popularity is established, it needs something different with Korean restaurants here in the UK. Like Nobu made Japanese food and Hakkasan group made Chinese (Cantonese) food, Korean restaurants desperately need a person or backers with vision and patience. I regard restaurants are not only for eating but also social gatherings with experience through dining. Mind you, first of all food has to be the star.
I had heard of Bibigo a few weeks ago, and it is in the heart of West End. I had to try, they took over from old eatery, Ssam and changed name, Bibigo. 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 writes for magazines. Bibigo is situated a few minutes from Liberty, Great Marlborough Street. We arrived at 7:00 PM and since it was Wednesday, it was fairly quiet and three tables were occupied.
It looked much different than Ssam. The deco was changed to a better, friendlier and casual one, but still smart. At the back of the room I could see kitchen through glass, and as soon as I stepped in, I noticed a well stocked bar with a bright yellowy light, which 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. The Mandu came with a crispy plain thin pancake on the top with micro salad, I thought it was baked Parmesan cheese on the top of dumplings. It looked very interesting and had a 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.
Sanjuk (skewered beef and asparagus) was like a mini beef steak. Chef Kim told me they were actually sirloin 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. The Bulgogi was perfect indeed, just melt in your mouth, and the balance of saltiness and sweetness were just right.
Bibigo offer lunch set menu for £9, dinner set menu is £12, how good is that! I will certainly try them when I am out shopping or going to the theatre or opera. I am glad that Bibigo is offering something different than most other Korean restaurants and also has tasty, stylish food. They even serve very English desserts like Eton Mess. Catherine had Korean green tea ice cream, she loved it. The Russian bar tender makes excellent and very generously sized Bloody Marys 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.
Many thanks to Kiejo for allowing us to put her review up here. The food looks very tasty, we’ll have to pay a visit soon!