As always I first heard of On The Bab in Time Out magazine. It had been on my list of places to try in London for a while and I finally had the opportunity to go with my friend Chloe last week. I was worried we’d have to wait a while for a table, as I’d heard it’s super popular. But we managed to get seated straight away at their Covent Garden location. Although we did eat pretty early in the evening, at 6.30pm.
Chloe had received many recommendations from her work colleagues and I had been obsessively stalking On The Bab’s Twitter and Instagram accounts during the afternoon. So we had a rough idea of what to order, but there were so many other things I wanted to try! I will definitely have to go back, as the portion sizes are very reasonable for the price, so we left feeling happily satisfied from just 3 dishes.
I haven’t even explained what On The Bab is! So they are a Korean street food restaurant and takeaway. It’s a casual dining experience where you can also enjoy a range of authentic Korean drinks and food. We opted to try their plum soju, which we order just a small glass of. This only cost £3 and was enough for both of us on a weekday work night, with a glass of water. However, they do also sell soju in a small carafe or bottle, plus they create a number of soju based cocktails. So if you’re heading there at the weekend, I think one of those would be enough! If soju isn’t your thing there’s also a couple of Korean beers on tap and bottled, plus a range of non alcoholic drinks that to be honest sound amazing!
So in terms of food we ordered 1 small dish and 2 main dishes. I really wanted to try the Egg Muffin which is classed as a ‘nibble’, however I’m glad we only ordered the 3 dishes, as they were very fulfilling.
You can’t really eat at a Korean restaurant without trying Korean fried chicken. We opted for the ‘special soy’ flavour which came coated in a crispy batter with crushed peanuts, and it was to die for! It was a little tricky to eat with chopsticks, but they were bite sized pieces so I’d highly recommend popping it all in and savouring that amazing flavour!
For mains Chloe wanted to try their ‘On The Buns’ – another classic dish. She’d never had steamed buns before, and I was more than happy to have them as I love them! As we’d already had chicken we went for the bulgogi beef option.
I went for something a little more unique. I had seen many pictures on their social media platforms of something that looked a lot like a giant sushi roll. I was intrigued and knew I had to try it. Luckily Chloe agreed and we were not disappointed! We chose the spicy pork and essentially it’s a mix between sushi roll and a burrito. It sounds so odd but it was honestly delicious. The pork and vegetables are rolled in rice and seaweed, and then topped with fried crispy onions. This cost just £7.50 as you can see from the photos below, the portion size was huge.
Again it was another messy dish to eat, it kind of fell apart as soon as you ate it. but we were given a small bowl each to eat from, which really helped!
In total are bill only came to £30! We were both pretty shocked and immediately double checked it. Bear in mind we did pick super cheap drinks, but even so with a cocktail you’d only be looking to pay £35 for the same set of food.
Considering the quality of ingredients, the originality of the dishes and their size, I’m blown away by how cheap it is. I would highly recommend and I will definitely be going back time and time again!
In terms of food quality and uniqueness it reminded me a lot of Bao – a steamed bun restaurant in Soho. Which is another great cheap eat in central London.