Korean cafe in Bloomsbury – a serendipitous find
Bi.Bim.Bab. Bibimbab. I just wanted to say Bibimbab, it’s such a great word. It means ‘rice mixed with vegetables’ in Korean apparently.
And we (three Ls) ended up at Bibimbab Cafe for a late lunch yesterday quite by chance.
We were planning on going somewhere “cheap n cheerful and pretty amazing too” and had decided on Orchard Kitchen from a fairly long list. Orchard don’t do reservations so I’d emailed them a week earlier to check they were open yesterday, with it being a Bank Holiday Monday, but they didn’t reply. We turned up anyway and they were closed (tsk! struck off our list).
A short stroll around Bloomsbury later and we were tossing an imaginary coin between Thai Garden Cafe and the Korean cafe opposite, on Museum Street (near the British Museum). Two of us hadn’t been to a Korean restaurant before, so hey – it was calling out to be tried.
The helpful cafe patron recommended beef dolsot bibimbab, one of the bibimbab specialities, served in a (super-hot!) hot stone bowl, with chimchi (pickles) and a very tasty chilli sauce.
We were all happy to follow her recommendation (when in Rome and all that).
It was served to the table as a dish containing warm white rice, sauteed carrots, bean shoots, cress and other vegetables, beef and an egg, not yet mixed together (like the photo above), along with a pair of solid chrome chopsticks.
Once served you immediately stir it all together. As the stone dish is so hot, it carries on sizzling and cooking, and retains its heat. This was nicely spicy and well seasoned without being overly hot in a spice sense. It was incredibly hot in a heat sense.
This was a new experience for me, and one that I really enjoyed. The components of a bibimbab are all healthy. Mixed together with chilli sauce it’s super tasty. And it’s not overly filling either.
Bibimbab Cafe is clean and cosy on the inside. It’s quite small but you can reserve a table (most tables were reserved or taken on our visit yesterday). It’s a place I could imagine hanging out quite comfortably and leisurely, reading a book or a paper, space permitting.
All in all, a very satisfying lunch for just under £10 (including a tea @ £1.50)
Oh, and I like the loo doodles too:
Bi.Bim.Bab. Bi! bim! bab!
Pow! Sweat! Pow!
Serendipity in a cafe.
~ Lardbutty rating: 3 / 5
~ Type: Korean
~ Address: 37 Museum Street, London
~ Postcode: WC1A 1LP
~ Tel: 020 7404 8880
~ Nearest station: Holborn, Tottenham Court Road
~ Website + menus: Bibimbab Cafe website
~ Bibimbab Cafe photos on flickr
~ Location: Bibimbab Cafe map
More nearby dining (Covent Garden):
~ Maxwells – gourmet burgers at Covent Garden
~ Sarastro – Opera themed Turkish restaurant on Drury Lane
~ Sitaaray – Bollywood themed Indian restaurant on Drury Lane
Filed under: Korean, LardButty food / restaurant reviews Tagged: | 3 / 5, 3/5, Alice Hansen, Bibimbab, Bibimbab Cafe, Bloomsbury, British Museum, Covent Garden, Dolsot, Dolsot Bibimbab, Drury Lane, Holborn, Korean, Korean cuisine, Lardbutty, London, Museum Street, Orchard Kitchen, Thai Garden Cafe, The British Museum, Tottenham Court Road, WC1A 1LP