My love for Asian food has long been documented on this blog already from before traveling extensively in Asia. So please keep in mind while reading this review that I am an omnivore who tries everything at least once.
Korean food is like the poor cousin of Japanese or nowadays Vietnamese food in Vienna. There are hardly any places where you can get the real deal and if you do then restaurant looks totally unappealing (aka Bada Sushi with perpetual amazing quality; I am starting to believe I don’t want to review it to keep it to myself). So when I got an invite to for the next Tuscany get-together to Bibim I was totally excited. I had to laugh though when I later learned that I sent the original review to my friend and gave her the idea to bring us to this place. That’s so like me!
In the end it was a place I really, really liked but I was the only one. Out of a group of seven just I enjoyed my food. That is a poor cut. So let’s get to the bottom of this. The restaurant looks like the typical Viennese ‘pub’ place, maybe a bit more traditional with wood panels on the walls and an overall ‘hearty’ feeling. It kind of works, this mix of Austrian tradition and Asian food. What doesn’t really work though is when you wait for the first beer about 45 minutes.
Not everyone was on time but we were ready to order for the longest time and were just ignored. It was impossible to catch the eye of either waiter and waitress. They were just busy elsewhere. Where exactly I don’t know because the restaurant has maybe 10 tables. Eventually we got our beer and to be honest Korean beer is flavorless to put it nicely. After one I switched to my staple drink, ‘Spritzer‘ (really goes with everything!)
We started with a round of appetizers and the well-known dishes fared best. These included kimchi, fermented radish and Banchan, a selective choice of pickled and fermented vegetables.
I tried the pancakes with mung beans which had quite a dense structure. I was glad I had ordered them as an appetizer because someone else got six of them as a main dish. Even though the sauce which accompanied the pancakes was to die for it didn’t help to cut the grease. The gyoza on the other had were light and fluffy and filled to the brim with tasty stuffing.
While I got an absolute delicious kimchi soup as a main (piping hot and super spicy, just the way it should be), the others were apparently not so lucky. The Bibimbap was more lukewarm than warm and since no hot sauce was added at the table it didn’t improve in this respect. I found the different ingredients perfectly balanced and tasty. Once mixed it was absolutely yummy. Why it wasn’t more loved I can’t say.
The bulgogi in the pot and on the plate didn’t tickle my fancy but it never does. There were no complaints though but also no appreciative slurping. The only one who hmmed constantly without even noticing was me since I was told that everyone was glad that I at least liked it. Ha, liked it is a understatment. I loved it; it was exactly what I needed on a cold wintry evening.
As great as the food is in my opinion (maybe just for Asian food enthusiasts) the service needs to speed up a notch. Not the food mind you, just the drinks. Sometimes I was wondering if they were still out gathering the grapes. Nevermind, just order your first drink upon entering the restaurant. Then you will be fine! Yours, Pollybert
1030 Wien, Rennweg 60
Tel: +43 1 9922400
Mon-Sat: 11:30-14:30 and 17:30-22:00