Bibigo, W1

Bibigo Image Bibigo, W1Owned by CJ, Korea’s biggest food company and with a menu created by Leo Kang, one of the judges of Masterchef Korea, the international Bibigo chain has landed in London to give us a taste of Korea.

The speciality of the house is its assemble-to-order Bibimbap, Korea’s national dish of rice with assorted meats and veg.  At around £11 for a big bowl, it makes for a delicious one plate meal option and perfect comfort food for the cold nights ahead.  Naturally a healthy cuisine, grilled meats are also well represented on the menu, including Bulgogi marinated Steak – a Korean speciality of grilled steak marinated in a sweet and tangy sauce – as well as Hot stone ribs.

With Leo’s previous experience including everything from stints at Zuma to La Tante Claire, the menu also offers a number of more contemporary dishes such as Spicy black cod and Dover sole with garlic & cucumber.  A particular favourite of ours, and something we can best describe as our dirty little secret, is the highly addictive Red Chicken, made up of super-crispy nuggets of chicken coated in a sweet and spicy hot sauce, with a few chillies of varying degrees of hotness thrown in for fun.

Drinks take a contemporary approach, with Korean inspired cocktails and a charming French bar manager admirably attempting to offer wine matches to the food.  Similarly, the interior is all bright lights and identikit modern Asian, with liberal use of oak furniture and concrete as well as an open kitchen for a touch of theatre.

Truth be told, there are certainly more authentic and accomplished Korean dining experiences within walking distance, but Bibigo provides a more fashionable and accessible environment in which to experience the cuisine.  Food is fun and great for convivial dining, but the main issue is the juxtaposition between its aspirations (and corresponding pricing) to be an upmarket venue and its casual dining atmosphere.  One could quite easily be sitting in speedy Ping Pong style venue, and if they were charging those sort of prices, Bibigo would make for quite an irresistible proposition.  However, with most mains approaching £20 and a reasonable meal for two unlikely to leave change from £90, you may find it difficult a difficult meal to stomach.

 

Food: 3.5/5
Venue: 3/5
Value: 3/5

Cuisine type: Korean
Meal for two (excluding drinks):  £70
Cocktails: £8.50
Wine: £5

Bibigo Bar & Dining
58-59 Great Marlborough Street
London W1F 7JY
020 7042 5225
www.bibigouk.com

minilink Bibigo, W1