Bibigo Soho – Where the chefs are behind glass in a chef’s-bowl

Monday was just delightful. One of those rare summer days on London where you can lounge in the park until nine and not even realize the time. Until you get hungry. Then it’s time. To ‘forage’, and find. Try new things. “It’s too hot” my friend says “but I really feel like Korean. Let’s go to Bibigo. Their food isn’t very authentic, but it’s yum”. “I’m down” I said. “Let’s go!”

The one thing I immediately notice on entering the restaurant is the kitchen. Vast and white behind a large pane of glass. Like a giant fish bowl full of chefs. Let’s call it a chefs bowl. The chefs inside are busily cooking away and intermittently ‘making fire’. I love an open kitchen. I wave at the chefs. They looked at me mildly perturbed, I guess, by the slightly manic grin on my face, and wave back.

Not having the mental energy to traverse the whole menu, I go for the three courses for £13. It has a smaller selection to fit with my heat diminished brain capacity. It also sounds like great value. We order a Portuguese green wine. It’s perfect for the weather, and marries nicely with the food. Crisp and fresh. The bottle has a lovely label. I’d like to tell you what it was but the waitress kept running away with the bottle, and I felt a bit gauche asking her to leave it so I could take a photo.

What can I say about the food? It was pleasant. Very pleasant. Yummy even. But I found it to be mildly uninspired. Or, rather, I don’t feel that inspired to write about it now. Which I suppose says something in itself. Creamy salad with a tang, very easy to eat. The sweet chili chicken reminded me a bit of the sweet and sour Chinese take away that I used to gravitate towards in my teens. But with a kick. It was a bit too sticky for my liking in truth, and would have benefited from more crunch. The Bibimbap with beef was very eatable, but I’ve had better.

The dessert is delicious. A beautiful Fig Creme Brulee with sorbet. The sorbet seems like a strange accompaniment at first, but intermingled with the fig, the creaminess of the brulee and the crack of toffee… It’s fruity and cream and crunchy. It just works. It’s my favourite dish of the evening.

Using the word ‘nice’ is so lackluster. It sounds like an insult. I guess I enjoyed it, it just didn’t inspire any real excitement in me. I suppose that’s not a crime. Neither can I call it a resounding success.

I thoroughly enjoyed the chefs bowl though. If only I could have one in my house!

Though, come to think of it… I’m not sure I could keep even a fish alive.



Bibigo Soho

Address: 58-59 Great Marlborough St, London W1F 7JY

Phone: 020 7042 5225

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