When the Korean healthy restaurant chain Bibigo opened in London last year, critics slated it but mainly for the very high prices they were charging. I had crossed it off my list a while ago but someone recently said that they had had a good meal there and it was enough to pique my curiosity again. I see now that they’ve addressed the price issue with a £9 lunch special (the “lunch club menu”) and a £12 early dinner set menu in addition to the usual expensive a la carte options. We tried the latter one recent Saturday afternoon (yes, also available on weekends!) and were pleasantly surprised.
For £9, you get a starter and a main course. Of the starters, there was a red chicken (I suspect crispy chicken pieces in a gochujang hot sauce) and a seafood pajeon; I chose the latter. To my disbelief, this appears to be a full sized order! I really enjoyed this pajeon; unlike many heavy greasy ones I’ve had in the past, this was light and crispy.
My friend chose the third available starter – the Tomatofu, a salad made up of soft tofu, tomatoes and rocket leaves. From the way she cleared her bowl, I’d say she liked it!
For our main course, we both went with the Traditional bibimbap with beef bulgogi. The healthy outlook of the restaurant meant that it wasn’t topped with a fried egg (boo!) but it was still tasty with their accompanying ‘Kohot’ sauce (like the traditional gochujang based sauce). I liked that other sauces were also available – some were mild and would suit those fearful of heat.
Other main courses available in the set menu were the bulgogi, bo-ssam, baby chicken, grilled scallops or the jjigae of the day (that day, it was a pork and kimchi jjigae). I notice online now that it was supposed to include a tea or coffee but we forgot to get ours!
Overall, the food at Bibigo was pretty good – sure it’s not perhaps the most authentic take on Korean food but I don’t then that matters so long as it’s delicious. The lunch set is a great deal with very generous portions and I’d certainly recommend that. The only catch is that you’ve got to sign up for their “VIP club” but this does get you a card that also gives you 20% off their a la carte menu.
58-59 Great Marlborough Street
London W1F 7JY