Tasty dishes, served quickly at a good price, but slightly misses the mark on flavour
My friend Ray and I went to Bi Bim Bap on a Tuesday night for dinner. The venue is in the heart of Soho very close to Tottenham Court Road tube and just off of Soho Square. Outside is a black facade but inside it is brightly decorated with Korean pop influences. No really, there are literally posters of K-pop bands all over. I’ve read online complaints about K-pop music being sickeningly blasted while you’re eating, but we didn’t experience this and in fact I noticed no music at all.
The menus and tables were a little bit sticky, and we were sat right in the front so I didn’t get a look at the back where I assume the larger tables are. In the front though, seating is ideal for 2-4 people max.
They’ve got a small drink selection with a few varieties of herbal teas (Green, Ginseng, Lemon, Root), 2 beers (Hite and OB, though OB was crossed off the menu when we visited), and sodas. We both wound up going with 7UPs (recovering from a rough evening), Miso soup as a starter (£1.50) and the Beef Bool-Go-Gi with vegetables (£6.95).
For a number of the dishes, there is the option of either getting meat and rice mixed in with all sorts of Korean prepared vegetables (including the excellent pickles), or for the same price, a slightly larger portion of just the meat and rice. They are served in sizzling hot stone bowls, which came out almost right away, and you can opt to have an egg fried in front of your eyes along the sides of the bowl if you’re feeling adventurous.
Overall, the food was good, the staff friendly and very quick, and the atmosphere was fine. The bool-go-gi was definitely not the best I’ve ever had though and it could have benefitted from more sauce for sure. After getting the one with vegetables, I might forego them next time for a larger portion of meat (not that they don’t give enough, I just enjoy hefty portions). My only other complaint was that the “sides” were only about £1 less than the mains, and while still very cheap (the pricing here is great), it is hard in the moment to justify paying basically the same for sides as for the mains.