Shoreditch is a great location for eating out with many cuisines, prices and is a hub of up-and-coming new restaurants.
On the Bab is a fairly new establishment in the area and one that has been on my list to try for a while, serving Korean street food in a restaurant setting.
I’m a huge lover of tea (as avid readers of the blog may know…) and I instantly gravitated towards the honey and ginger tea. It was even better than expected with a strong sweet flavour balanced with ginger notes. The teapot was also more than enough for one and I managed three medium-sized cups.
For starters, we decided on the toppoki which are spicy rice cakes drizzled with a spicy sweet chilli sauce. Toppoki is a traditional Korean street food, but the texture may be unusual to some, but the taste was on another level, with delicious sticky sauce drizzled over the soft, bouncy rice cakes.
If you don’t enjoy spicy food, this may be a starter to miss.
We ordered the Yangyum chicken (Korean fried chicken) for starters which, unfortunately, took longer than our mains to be served.
Regardless, once the chicken arrived there was no stopping us as the crispy batter was exactly that and had a delightful sweet yet spicy coating drizzled over the moist chicken whilst still having a salty, nutty taste and texture. I can’t remember the last time I had fried chicken that tasted this good.
For the mains, I decided to try the spicy pork bibimbap, a classic Korean dish.
The flavours didn’t let me down with fresh crunchy vegetables mixed with spicy pork however, I was a little disappointed when the bibimbap failed to arrive in a hot stone pot, similarly to what I experienced at Bi Bim Bap. Since the dish wasn’t in a pot, the egg arrived already fried which wasn’t as impressive and was missing an extra silky taste that raw egg would have given.
We hadn’t anticipated how generous the portion sizes were going to be and managed to over-order for a table of three. The spicy chicken buns arrived in their glory and not one of us could finish the entire thing. Instead we took a few nibbles and were devastated that our tummies were too full to finish. The buns had a soft pillowy texture with more tasty, spicy meat and all served with red cabbage and spring onion.
On the Bap is addictive. I’m not entirely sure how the spicy sticky meat marinade/sauce is made, but it is one that can never be forgotten or easily replicated elsewhere. Don’t mistake the small quaint restaurant exterior for a mediocre food experience as this is the best Korean food I’ve tried in London, so far.
– On the Bab, Shoreditch