Today I decided I was going to pay a visit to this cosy place for my lunch.
Museum Street seems to have a large number of special cafes as you walk further down and after walking around the British Museum a few times I had never noticed Bibimbab Cafe. It’s one of those “blink and you’ll miss it” places which London somehow has a good technique of creating. Bibimbab Cafe is conveniently located opposite the main entrance of The British Museum. Once you exit the museum and cross the road into Museum Street, the cafe is very close by.
Bibimbab Cafe has an eat in and takeaway service with the kitchen counter placed right by the front of the cafe. When I walked inside I was greeted immediately and asked if I wanted to eat in or take out and when I said I would like to eat in I was given a small table near the door.
Five minutes later the main waitress promptly came to my table to take my order and provide me cutlery. Since I hadn’t had a Bibimbab in a long time I went for the Dolsot Bibimbab with kimchi as a side dish and requested barley tea for my drink. As the ingredients had already been prepared in advance, the food arrival was rather quick (maybe ten minutes). Rice was consistently kept warm in the rice cooker and all that was required was to scoop the necessary fillings in the stone bowl before being heated up. The chilli bibim sauce is provided in a squeezable bottle and you can put in as much as you want.
The Dolsot Bibimbab was delicious and sizzled for quite a while before cooling. It cost £8 which I thought wasn’t too bad if it came with a free side dish. For the Bibimbab dishes you can choose whether you want miso soup or kimchi as a side order. Unless you are very peckish then I recommend the set meals that come with free kimchi, miso soup and a drink. They are quite a bargain. So for example you could order a Bibimbab or Jap Chae set meal for £8.50 or a Dolsot Bibimbab set for £10.
The decor is very simple and there is intimate space yet you do not feel claustrophobic when you settle down. There are small tables for two people on the side and a few spacious tables for bigger groups further down the cafe. Once you have finished your meal you pay at the counter. I think it is cash only (a lot of customers paid by cash and so did I) but if anyone has been here before and managed to pay by card, please let me know so I can edit this post.
The menu is not extensive compared to other Korean restaurants however do not let this put you off paying a visit. It has the basics or common dishes like Bibimbab, Jap Chae with or without rice, broth, Ramyun and Kimbab. Seafood pancake is available to order though the cafe charges £1 per piece.
If you wish to have a quick meal and are not too fussed on surroundings while you rest from a long day of shopping or a visit to the British Museum opposite the road I recommend Bibimbab Cafe. Do not expect 5* service as the staff tend to be busy washing dishes, preparing the food and drinks for the customers, greeting anyone who walks through the door and taking orders. The service is quick and efficient but not pushy. If you know what you want, it’ll make things easier for the staff.