On the Bab bao buns

We recently sent food blogger Lucy, from Lucy Loves to Eat, on one of our #GloriousAdventures to Korean street food restaurant ‘On the Bab’. She reported back on the authentic flavours she discovered there and she brought back a great story and some incredible images...

KOREAN FOOD IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITE ASIAN CUISINES...

I discovered it on a trip to South Korea in 2011; where I got hopelessly addicted to kimchi and other delicious dishes. The flavours of savoury, spicy, umami and a touch of sweetness just had me hooked and the Korean Jjigae was one of my favourite discoveries. Nothing beats a Jjigae stew made from kimchi with additional fillings like pork, spam, mackerel or a healthy dose of fresh vegetables on a cold day. It's always served with a side of rice and toasted seaweed.

Korean food may not be as well known as other cuisines such as Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Thai food, but all the dishes are explosive in taste and shouldn't be missed. Luckily for those who live in London, there are endless authentic options for Korean restaurants from the traditional ones, cafe style eateries and ones specialising in bibimbap (stone pot rice).

ON THE BAB IN COVENT GARDEN... 

This restaurant puts a modern spin on traditional Korean food and we found many delightful dishes here, including the current London craze for baos - a steamed open bun stuffed with various fillings popularised by Bao in Soho, Flesh and Buns, and Yum Bun. We started with the baos filled with bulgogi beef, spicy pork, fried portobello mushroom and battered fish. The mountain of salad and spicy mayo complimented the baos perfectly.

KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN (KFC!) MUSTN'T BE MISSED…

We went for the original flavour of sweet and spicy, and garlic mayo. For the sides, we got some crispy coated Korean style arancini rice balls filled with rice, cheese and kimchi, Korean chicken mandu (dumplings), and chilled tofu with spicy sauce and seaweed. And a Korean meal wouldn't be complete without rice, which is the national staple and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Korean style paella of rice, kimchi and bacon topped with an egg is one of those classic Korean flavours that once eaten, is never forgotten. We also got a rice topped with spicy pork, vegetables and egg and of course we couldn't miss the kimchi jjigae.

THIS MEAL HAD OUR TASTE BUDS TINGLING IN DELIGHT...

Out of all the food we ate, my absolute favourite that had me digging and digging, was definitely the kimchi jjigae as well as the kimchi and bacon fried rice. The flavour of these two dishes perfectly sum up what Korean food is all about. The deep flavours of fermented kimchi, salty, sweet and tangy at the same time goes perfectly with meaty pork or bacon and further heightened when eaten with a sprinkle of seaweed.

If I was to ever create a GLORIOUS! soup of my own, it would most definitely be a kimchi soup with bacon and a pack of shredded seaweed on the side. Whilst Korean food doesn't just consist of kimchi, it is a much loved national dish that can be enjoyed by all.