Photo by Samad | Bibimbap facade
So recently in Glasgow, we've been experiencing very cold winters and even heavy snow fall, to the point that the whole country seems like it's shut down. For me, when it's freezing outside, I often look for hearty meals that can warm me up, which means I'll be looking for spicy soups, and lots of it! Glasgow, being a small-to-medium sized city itself, has plenty of foodie spots to choose from, however the selections of Asian cuisines still lack a bit of diversity and options. You're definitely not short of typical Indian food nor Chinese (although some Chinese restaurants are quire fusion), so you can imagine my sheer excitement when I saw that a restaurant called Bibimbap that opened up right in the city centre! South Korean food? Yes! All day everyday for me, baby!
In case you didn't know, "bibimbap" means a bowl of rice topped off with sauteed vegetables, hot pepper sauce, fried egg with a runny yolk and beef. It's a common dish found in South Korea.
Photo by Samad | Bibimbap interior First impression of the interior -- LOVED IT. It was very funky and I think they did a good job with the awkward shape of the walls. I think the neon lights and umbrellas added a bit of character to the overall space and compliments of the tall ceilings. So, for dinner with my pals Emmy from Food Notes Glasgow and Michael, we ordered 5 dishes, the Korean Fried Chicken Wings with Yum Yum Sauce (£10.50 for Medium portion which is 12 chicken wings); Kimchi Bokk-eumbab, which is Kimchi Fried Rice with Pork (£9.00); Bulgogi Gimbap (£9.00); Kimchijiggae, which is a kimchi stew with pork and tofu (£9.50); and Janchigugsu, a noodle dish with clam stock, egg cougettes and chilli sauce (£11.50). By the way, they serve Korean beers like Cass and Hite!
Photo by Samad | Bibimbap menu Okay, before I get into the food, I wanted to make a comment about the design of the menu. As much as I love how simple, minimalistic and clean it is, for a city like Glasgow where relatively different cuisines like South Korean food are being introduced to locals, I have to say that the menu was incredibly uninformative! I eat South Korean food all the time when I'm back in Malaysia so I'm very familiar with all the dishes and names on the menu, but my European friend, who very rarely eats this food, wouldn't be able to make out what "Bulgogi Deobap" is from the menu description underneath it, which is just "beef".
I would have recommend Bibimbap to expand the definition a little bit more. Maybe even accompany some of the dishes on the menu with pictures, such I did see many amazing pictures in their social media accounts.
In my opinion, sometimes following trendy menu designs don't work as well as you want to, as it doesn't end up peaking the interest or educating your customers on your food. Just my two cents!
Photo by Samad | Korean Fried Chicken with Yum Yum Sauce (£10.50 for Medium portion which is 12 chicken wings)
Let's talk about the food! So the Korean Fried Chicken with Yum Yum Sauce (£10.50 for Medium portion of 12 chicken wings) was awesome! The chicken was crispy and fried to order which we could tell because the wings were scorching with every bite! I'm a massive fan of Korean Fried Chicken so I was happy to be consuming such delightfulness during a cold winter day. My only comment is that this could have been a lot spicier! The Yum Yum Sauce looked like it could've given a us a kick of chilli but it didn't. The chicken was still delicious though!
Photo by Samad | Kimchi Bokk-eumbap or Kimchi Fried Rice with Pork (£9.00)
Next was the Kimchi Bokk-eumbap or Kimchi Fried Rice with Pork (£9.00). You can never go wrong with a good plate of kimchi fried rice! Again, the spiciness level was pretty low, however the flavours were great and the portion was pretty large! I'd say, if you're starving and wanted a big plate of flavourful carbs, definitely order this.
Photo by Samad | Bulgogi Gimbap (£9.00) Next is the Bulgogi Gimbap (£9.00). I'd say that £9.00 is a bit pricey for gimbap however, there were 12 big slices of this roll, packed with bulgogi beef. I reckon you could eat this as a main course all on your own (with maybe a side of kimchi and pickled radish). I liked it. It was simple and had the flavour of marinate you'd expect from bulgogi so it gets a thumbs up from me!
Photo by Samad | Kimchijiggae (£9.50)
And the highlight of the night for me, the Kimchijiggae (£9.50) which, by the way, doesn't come with a side of rice so remember to order rice along with it (side of rice is £3). Now, I LOVE kimchijiggae. It's one of my favourite South Korean dishes ever ever ever and you can easily ruin it by making it too diluted or flavourless, however Bibimbap did a brilliant job at delivering a beautiful bowl of kimchijiggae to me. Well done guys! Again, the spiciness level didn't meet my expectations as a Malaysian, BUT the stew was very tasty, dense and filled to the brim with kimchi, tofu and pork! This is the perfect stew to have when it's snowing outside because it hits the right spots in your belly and warms you right up! So, overall Bibimbap is pretty good. We paid £25 per person, including about 5 alcoholic drinks so it's reasonable though leaning towards the pricey side. Their staff members are friendly and very attentive, but the restaurant is still going through some teething issues like certain items on the menu running out (Cass beer was sold out at the time), and also the menu being a bit vague, but despite all that, you'll 100% see me returning for more! I'm genuinely happy that there's a new and funky South Korean spot serving up good food right in the middle of the city, and I hope the restaurant does well and continues to gain popularity! Bibimbap Glasgow
3 West Nile St, Glasgow G1 2PR
Everyday 12:00 PM - 12:00 AM