bibigo (강남 삼성타운점)
Reviewed by Annie Namba on September 20, 2011
Entrance is on the side of the building. Enter through Twosome Place and down the narrow stairs to your left.
This may not be a go-to place for bibimbap for most Koreans. However, in the case of people who don't care about that, but do care about choice and quality, I would definitely take them here.
Our initial impression upon entering was that it felt like the "Subway of bibimbap" (as in the American sub sandwich chain). Despite this, it somehow also felt like we were getting a high class meal since the dishes were brought to us with sizzling pot and flawless service like a hotel restaurant.
A mild-flavored kimchi soup. On the left side, pre-packaged 고추장 and 참기름.
This light soup is supposed to clear your throat while eating 비빔밥.
After ordering, we were each given a bowl of kimchi soup and 콩나물국. The inclusion of pre-packaged sauces (instead of serving them in sauce dishes) distracted from the overall presentation. I understand that they offer take-out and delivery as well, but since they do serve the bibimbap in a stone bowl for dine-in customers, why not serve the sauce properly, too?
돌솥비빔밥 (8000원) with 제육불고기 (1000원, spicy pork) topping on wild black rice.
Since I don't have my own set of stone bowls at home (yet), I decided to order stone bowl bibimbap. The sizzling stone pot keeps the food hot to the last bite. But of course, it also adds a nice visual presentation of the overall dish. As for choice of topping, I added spicy pork for extra 1000원. I think this is a great dish to globalize with colorful presentation and healthy appeal. I had no complaints with the flavors of the meal, as the meal felt healthy and not overpowering. Only complaint was the amount of the food for the price (this stone bowl is deceptively shallow compared to others). However, I guess that part felt healthy as well.
Same order, but with brown rice (after mixing)
Aaron's order was the same as mine, except for the choice of rice (brown rice). The proper way to eat bibimbap is to add your sauce and mix thoroughly.
White Chicken (7000원) - lightly battered and deep fried chicken with peppers and potato strips
We also ordered this chicken dish to share on the side. Since we picked 고추장 as our sauce, we added this to complement the spicy flavor. The pieces of chicken were crispy and a bit smaller than bite-size. The citrus soy dipping sauce went nicely with the dish.
- Food: 4/5 - The taste was good, but we felt that a lot of the bold flavors in Korean cuisine have been numbed a bit for broader appeal. Overall it felt like healthy food.
- Service: 4/5 - Servers were courteous and neatly dressed, like hotel employees.
- Atmosphere: 4/5 - Clean and modern feel, comfortable seating.