You’d be forgiven for thinking that after the Easter chocolate-fest the Snobs would be seeking some respite. Well.. you’d be mistaken! On Wednesday we were thrilled to be invited down to Covent Garden for the new opening of an old favourite, On The Bab, for a midweek Korean treat. Situated on Wellington Street, we arrived to a warm welcome from owner Linda and her team, and prepared ourselves for what is now, a very familiar anju feast!
To kick off proceedings we were ecstatic to see the arrival of the famous, mouth-watering Spicy Pork Hirata Buns, and are happy to report that they were just as velvety-soft as our first experience, way back when they first opened in Shoreditch! No Hirata steamed bun is complete without a partnering Soju cocktail, so to get the party started, we duly obliged with the ‘Soju Breeze’ – a fruity blast of Cranberry Juice, Grapefruit Juice & Lime plus a nice helping of Soju. Needless to say, neither the buns nor the cocktail lasted very long!
As always with On The Bab, the dishes were coming thick and fast and we quickly moved on to the brand new ‘Gyeran Bbang’, a Korean Muffin cased Baked Egg with Korean Dip, exclusive to the Covent Garden restaurant only. The muffins are unique and are like few things we’ve ever encountered, light with a balanced flavour, the egg wasn’t too overpowering and paired perfectly with the muffin texture. These versatile little beauties could serve you well for breakfast or as an appetiser at lunch or dinner. Truth be told, we’d happily host them on our plates for all three!
The star attraction of the night was another new dish, the ‘On The Roll’. This is a Korean-style Burrito in a dry seaweed wrap with Kimchi, Seasoned Vegetables and your choice of Korean barbecue meat. We went for chicken on this occasion, and we didn’t regret it! Ding ding, Korea 1 – 0 Mexico.
The surprise of the evening was undoubtedly the ‘So Maek’, providing London with the first authentic “chimek” experience – the latest food craze in Asia of Korean fried chicken and beer. The So Maek consists of a smooth concoction of the refreshingly light Hite beer and Soju served up together in a 1.7 litre tower, equipped with a tap to poor our own glasses. For a second we found ourselves as landlords in our very own Asian boozer… what’s Korean for “The Queen Vic”?!
No On The Bab visit would be complete without special mention for one of the menu’s notorious big hitters, the Yangyum Chicken. Flavour-wise we opted for one of the originals, Sweet Spicy (if it ain’t broke…) and a brand new flavour, ‘Manuldak’, a Garlic Chicken with Korean Garlic garnish, which apparently is huge in the Korean street food scene and we thought it was absolutely gorgeous and easily the most moreish dish of the evening. Linda has also added ‘Padak’ (Fried Chicken with Sweet & Sour Spring Onion topping) to the expanding Yangyum team and this is top of our hit-list when we inevitably return!
Finally, to send us on our way we took delivery of a multi-flavoured 5-shot-strong Soju board. Rock, paper, scissors determined which shot entered which bloodstream and well… the rest of the night was a bit of a blur!
One thing we do remember is that it was a great night welcoming On The Bab to Central London, a spot that’s closer to our work and guaranteed to see us back very soon!
We The Food Snobs x