Sunday, 16 March 2014

On The Bab

Korean Street food in Shoreditch

Korean cuisine offers some of the most exciting tastes in the world, the diversity of spices, freshness and simplicity are somewhat unique, it is hard to beat when it's prepared with quality ingredients and great care. So when On The Bab, a Korean kitchen opened on Old Street by the same people behind the ever popular Korean restaurant Koba, I was very keen to try it as it has been a while since I had a decent Korean meal and great Korean food is a rarity in London. 

On the Bab

On The Bab poisitioned itself as providing Korean street food and the decor was indeed street food style, with tables very small and close to each other with a tiny open kitchen. We arrived on a very busy Friday evening but luckily got a seating right away just before people started flooding in. To start we had the classic seafood and spring onion pancake and it was one of the nicest versions I've encountered in London with sweet octopus and pan fried to the perfect level. Korean fried chicken with soy garlic was indeed very special and perhaps some of the nicest chicken I've had when value is considered, not overly crispy with lovely sweetness and spiciness.

seafood pancake
fried fish roll

Spicy pork bun was also outstanding, the seasoning and flavours were spot on with a beautiful spicy undertone served in a soft and smooth bun, if I was to be picky, the only let down was the bun was cold when it arrived and it was a mistake with the timing from the kitchen. Bibimbab, a classic Korean dish serving rice in a stone pot was presented in a stainless metal pot instead and it lost the authentic factor as well as the caramelisation you would get from a stone pot on the rice. The vegetable and beef were fine but the rice was not crispy on the edge which was a shame.

spicy pork buns

Overall I really enjoyed my dinner at On The Bab, it was nothing fancy but does deliver nicely in terms of Korean flavours. Service was also of a decent standard considering the fact it was an extremely busy evening and they didn't crumble under the pressure. While by no means a destination place to visit for the food itself, consider the fact it is in the trendy area of Shoreditch, it is a great treat for both before or after drinking sessions.

Food 5.5 
Service 4 
Ambience 4 
Value 6  

£21 per head with soft drink  

305 Old St, London EC1V 9LA

On The Bab on Urbanspoon


  1. Please don't see this as a criticism but in Korea street bibimbap are usually served in a metal bowl as goes for most stuff. It's quick and easy to stack,wash and last long! It's when it's called Dolsot Bibimbap which is when there is a stone bowl involved but of course you won't find these on the streets but in restaurants. Many places in London let you choose between bibimbap or dolsot bimbimap but I suppose On the Bap just doesn't give you that choice.

    1. Cheers for pointing that out Wendy, I came from HK and I dont recall any Korean places serving bibimbap in a metal pot so On the Bab was the first for me! Many thx:)