Bright colours, Ikea-style furniture and walls plastered with Polaroid snaps of happy diners mark Bi Bim Bap as a youngsters’ hangout. It’s more suited to an after-work pit stop than a lingering meal; service is quick and the food filling. There are Korean beers and spirits to try as well.
As the name suggests, Bi Bim Bap’s big draw is the stone-bowl rice dish of the same name – served in ten varieties. Classics include beef, chilli chicken, spicy pork or seafood, but veggies are well catered for too with tofu, mushroom, or brown rice, ginseng and gingko versions on offer. Some say the key to a good bibimbap is how well it’s mixed together, and staff let you do the honours here (as well as adding your own koch’ujang and doenjang sauces). In our experience, the results have always been sound, with crisp rice at the bottom and a decent amount of toppings to blend through.
Other dishes, including fried noodles, jeon pancakes and salads, can be more of a mixed bag. The wrappers on our vegetable dumplings seemed more air-dried than crisp-fried, though the chilli-speckled dipping sauce had plenty of flavour.