Bibigo (Nex) @ 23 Serangoon Central #03-08, Nex
Kudos to the kind folks at Hungrygowhere for organizing & inviting me to the table
Truth be told, this isn’t the 1st time I visited the joint, since it is home ground territory for me. But with some introduction & from the marketing management, I found meaning & better reasons to be revisiting Bibigo hereon out.
Bibigo is a neo-korean casual dining & takeout joint, and their menu is designed to cater towards health conscious & weight watchers. The move to veer away from myriads of side dishes and/or condiments is 1 very bold motion that is almost perceived as taboo in Korean dining protocol. Nonetheless, is a motion well received by predominantly, K-Pop gaga lady patrons.
Browsing through the menu, one would come to understand, the concept of healthy dining, considering the portions better rationed for a balanced healthy meal. Hence, calorie count would be something diners can throw out the window.
Upon being seated, we were introduced to some light & refreshing soft drinks in the likes of plum/ mango/ yuzu soda, of the three, yuzu worked well for my palette, though one must be careful to mix it well or receive sweet shock from the sediments. We were also introduced to the maggeolli – raw rice wine (light and innocent, but not recommended for motorists).
Without delay, the 1st volley of tongue whetting dishes were rolled out before us; ginseng orange salad, salad noodle, chicken salad, japchae – silver noodles, sweet & spicy rice cake, pajeon – seafood pancake
One doesn’t simply consume ginseng like a snack given its potent reputation, but in the form of salad was something refreshing & the combination helps to mellow the strong ginseng taste, and I reckon makes for easy consumption even for younger diners.
Salad noodle is basically zaru soba presented in modern fashion, and I’m certain is a big hit for the ladies. Gender aside, I reckon I could chug this on any given blistering hot day.
Japchae is somewhat consumed like a light dish, traditionally after BBQ. Nonetheless, nobody’s withheld from making a meal of this one.
Sweet & spicy rice cake I would say is not exactly a tongue burner, in my opinion is child friendly.
Pajeon the seafood pancake served up on a hot stove is best consumed quickly, before the juice & crunch of the vegetable ingredient dries out.
For the mains, bibigo rice, bibimbap & hot stone bibimbap were served up with combination of ingredients; black pearl rice, brown rice, barley & white rice mixes, topped with the usual beef/ pork/ kimchi. The sweetness & fragrances of the different grains changes the paradigm when consuming bibimbap. The grains are generally lesser in starch, hence, weight watchers would certainly hold this idea close to their hearts.
And the main event for me; Meat, glorious meat! Squid & pork bulgogi, hot stone galbi & boiled pork slices took the table like a superstar. All eyes shifted from the carbs to the proteins.
Squid & pork bulgogi is a manageable for any given single seating. The sweet taste I’d speculate designed for satiability.
The hot stone gaibi (shot ribs) is also another manageable portion. The meat falls off effortless from the bones, so there’s no reason to have much debris left.
The boiled pork slice by my standards is probably the hallmark! Not exactly the healthiest selection on the menu, but then, meat & fat lovers shouldn’t be outcast too.
The putting shot came in the form of caramel doused rice cake topped with a scoop of ice cream, as well as in-house designed black rice ice-cream. I figure these 2 selections were also designed to keep the younger ones glued to their seats.
Modern as it seems, Korean dining is still best consumed communal style. And given the healthy variants & permutations, one should find revisiting for menu algorithms something fun to do.