On the Bab

Restaurants , Korean Shoreditch
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(7 user reviews)
4 Love It
Save it
Victor Frankowski
Victor Frankowski
Victor Frankowski
Victor Frankowski
Victor Frankowski
Victor Frankowski

It might sound like a fitting end to a night on the lash, but ‘on the bab’ has nothing to do with picking up something from a kebab shop. Instead, it refers to the Korean word for rice – bab, or bap – and there’s plenty of it on this menu.

Jumping on the Korean fast food trend currently doing the rounds on London’s street food scene, the menu here features Korean-style fried chicken in spicy sauce and steamed, meat-stuffed buns. Our Korean fried chicken sprinkled with chopped peanuts was fine, though they do this dish better around the corner at Jubo. A fusion dish of deep-fried arancini risotto balls filled with spicy kimchi cabbage pickle, on the other hand, was a surprising winner.

Sporting a decidedly distressed look with exposed brickwork, diner-style fittings and enamel serveware, this hip upstart makes a fun spot for a meal. But we still prefer On the Bab’s more sophisticated central London sibling Koba.


Venue name: On the Bab
Address: 305 Old Street
Opening hours: 11.30am-11pm Mon-Sat
Transport: Tube: Old Street; Rail: Old Street or Hoxton Overground
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Average User Rating

3.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:1
2 people listening
James A
moderatorStaff Writer

Resonably priced and tasty - get a load of friends together so you can order loads of different things from the menu. The buns are great and so is the fried chicken. When small plates are becommining increasingly popular - it's good to see that you can still get a good sized main course for under £9, especially in this part of town

Sarah (kukkiiandkoppee)

The bibimbap was only luke warm. It was adequate in flavour. Get the soy glaze fried chicken (steer clear of the sickly sweet chilli - you have been warned) and the crispy kimchi jeon (pancake). The flavours aren't authentic Korean and it is not enough to satisfy my Korean food cravings. I'm glad that the service has improved from my last two visits. 

Emma C

Terrible. Go to Po Cha, recently moved from Tottenham Court Road to Waterloo to taste really Korean food. This is bland, watered down Korean - no complexity to the fried chicken, just sugar, a bibimbap served in a cold metal bowl missing the crucial stone bowl sizzle, with plain vegetables rather than a variety of different marinades/seasonings, and with beef that didn't taste like it had even seen a marinade. Koba may be good but this is very very weak. Nice decor - all style no substance.


Had a fantastic meal at On the Bab last night. My particular favourites are the spicy fried chicken and the soft buns stuffed with bulgogi beef (a delicious marinated beef). My partner had the buns with spicy pork which were tasty also. The soju cocktails went down a treat! Service is friendly but discreet. I would highly recommend.


I have never served an instant noodle at restaurant... you should go Vietnamese restaurants 2 mins from there and they will serve you nicer and real food for less. i am very pissed off to see another fake low quality "trendy" asian food.

Lulu R Y

- Amazing food : small Korean style amazing tasty tapas with reasonable (affordable) price (3 of us with a bottle of wine and very full paid £65-ish, although wine cost £26) - Recommended food : Fried chicken, rice ball, bibimbab... and all of food actually - Friendly staff (some are a bit shy maybe?) - Nostalgic atmosphere - small but clean interior - oh, toilet light goes off while you are sat down...till you move again, it was a bit creepy...ooooohhhh - we would definitely (110%) go back!

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