Craving Korean? On the Bab, Covent Garden is just the ticket.
Korean cuisine has always been one of my favourites. That’s why I’m so happy to find On the Bab, an amazing Korean restaurant, 15 mins away from where I work. I find the flavours so simple and powerful at the same time, and the culture of sharing food family style is something that I grew up with. Its strong and delicious flavours takes me back to very happy memories. Not everyone likes it, but kimchi, to me, is pure comfort food.
I personally go to the one in Covent Garden, but there’s also an On the Bab branch in Shoreditch and Marylebone. Each one guarantees two things – a long queue and VERY good food. Our group stood in the queue under the rain in the cold along with other people for an hour! However, the food was so worth it, we won’t mind doing it again.
So what is so good about On the Bab that makes people keep coming back for more? It is a fantastic combination of good food, relaxed ambiance, and great value. This is something that can feel a bit like an urban legend in a big, expensive city like London.
If you want a quick trip to Korean food heaven, On the Bab is a fool-proof ticket. Make sure you order their Korean buns – delicious steamed rice bread filled to the brim with either chicken, pork or beef.
You’ll also definitely have to order the ‘Yangyum chicken’, which could be seen on everyone’s table! It’s the best fried chicken I’ve had in the UK so far! Fried to perfection and covered in the most delicious sauce, and the best bit was that it came in such a good portion size for its price. Order a big platter of the chicken for sharing – your group will not regret it!
One dish that I will never fail to order in any Korean restaurant is the Bibimbab, a delicious rice bowl topped with Korean spiced vegetables, meat, and egg. It is usually served in a hot clay pot, but they serve it in a cool metal bowl. Different, but still very good!
You can get a beer tower for cheap to drink with your meal, or hot soju to start off your feast with! There are also a lot of interesting drinks.
Being one of the most popular restaurants in the Covent Garden area, there is no reservation allowed in this restaurant. If you’re dining as a pair, expect that you’d be seated in odd corners or on a side-stool rather than a table. Believe me, while the place may feel crammed, it is worth it. If you are offered a seat on the bar, take it – the counter is more spacious anyway. If you are a group of 8 or more you can call in to try your luck at a group booking. The place has an Asian street food feel to it. Expect a relaxed and cozy vibe with a busy buzz to it.
The service in On the Bab, Covent Garden is fast and friendly. A lot of people can be a bit irate because of the long wait for seating, but the staff is stern and honest without being disrespectful. They get the food out lightning quick. Also, they never make people feel rushed despite the long queue of next customers. The manager is a quirky little lady, full of personality and very likeable.
All in all, On the Bab is a great experience and a restaurant I wouldn’t mind going to over and over again! A true nod to London’s food diversity, and a must-eat if you’re visiting town.
On the Bab, Covent Garden –
36 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7BD
+44 (0)20 7240 5568
OPENING HOURS – Monday to Saturday 11:30 – 22:30 ; Sunday 11:30 – 21:00