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Cuisine Scene: Korean Soul Food at Bibim, to mix

Monday 17 June 2013

Cuisine Scene: Korean Soul Food at Bibim, to mix

Novelty food trends are k-popping up all over the place. Secret dinner societies and underground restaurant events are in abundance alongside recent obsessions with new imports like The Soda Factory's hot dogs, El Loco tacos, China Town dumplings, Miss Chu’s rice paper rolls and Cantina Mobil burrito trucks.

Bibim, to mix serves traditional Korean soul food a stone’s throw away from the Sydney’s red light district. Their signature dish is the glorious dolsot bibim bap. Reminicent of a Japanese bento box, the dolsot bibim bap is literally a mix of rice, vegetables and meats served on a sizzling hot stone bowl.

For first-timers six mini bowls of interesting looking dishes can be intimidating but the owner explains how-to: “You also get a side of kochujang (chilli paste) but don’t worry, it's mild on the heat and packed full of flavour - we suggest you add the whole amount. Mixed at the table, the dish sizzles as the stone bowl brings all the flavours together whilst imparting a crispy texture to the rice. Wash this all down with a bowl of doenjang-guk (fermented soybean soup) and dine like the Korean kings of old.” 

Complete with metal chopsticks and a spoon, bibim bap can be served hot or cold and the staff are only too willing to show you how it’s done, living up to Korea’s well-known polite culture.

Also on the menu is the Mother In Law’s Kimchi and you may be grateful to discover the Korean hangover cure, Haejangguk that roughly translates to soup to chase a hangover.

Although not quite as cheap and authentic as Korean kitchens in Strathfield or glorious as Sydney’s full Korean BBQ heaven – Madang (371A Pitt St, Sydney), Bibim is a deliciously cosy eat, perfect for a wintry lunchtime meal.

Bibim, to mix is located at 169 William St, Darlinghurst, NSW.

- Lauren Della Marta