Bibigo Bar & Restaurant

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Monkfish with bean sprouts in a spicy sauce

58-59 Great Marlborough Street, London W1F 7JY

How did I survive before Korean food? Bibimbap, the subtle sweetness of bulgogi, the beauty of jap chae… I’m salivating at the mere thought.

My first time was a little over a year ago in New York City, and since moving to London, I have made it a point to visit as many Korean restaurants as possible. So far, my favourite had been Bi Bim Bap in Soho, with its unassuming Ikea chairs and steaming stone bowls filled to the brim. But last week I went to Bibigo and … well, let’s just say I have two favourites now.

The service left quite a bit to be desired, as we arrived exactly 15 minutes late and were informed our table was no longer available, despite the fact that it was clearly still unoccupied. Our waiter also removed our starter before we had finished it, something I have never experienced before. The food, however, made up for it.

With 4 starters and 5 main courses amongst 5 people, there was plenty to eat. Each dish was excellent (with the exception of the ‘green wraps’, which lacked flavour), as was the presentation. The red chicken was a huge favourite, as one of my colleagues was still talking about it one week later! The seafood pancake was different than I’d had it before, with a strong leek base, but absolutely delicious with its subtle dipping sauce.

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The slightly tasteless ‘tacos’                                   The red chicken and the seafood pancake 

Our mains were the monkfish, the beef bulgogi, the seafood rice, some ribs and a very spicy beef soup. The stone bowls encasing the soup and the rice were unbelievably hot… so much so, that even at the end of our meal they were too hot to touch! They certainly served their purpose, as the food stayed hot until the end, but this was less ideal for the soup, as my colleague struggled a little in trying not to burn his tongue. It worked perfectly for the seafood rice, as it became steadily more crispy and delicious.

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Ribs…                                                                           Beef bulgogi with large mushrooms
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Very hot and spicy beef soup!                                       Seafood rice

I highly recommend getting a cocktail – the Korean cobbler is a tasty and delicate blend of sake, lime and raspberry with sweet fresh raspberries on top. The Korean beer Hite went down a treat with the rest of the table as well.

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I will definitely be returning to Bibigo, as their lunch deal, priced at £9 for 3 courses, is incredible value (and it includes the red chicken!).

Credit to my colleague with the superior camera for the photos of our amazing lunch!

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