24 Coptic Street
London WC1A 1NT
020 7580 2660
This is by far our favourite Korean restaurant. We were recommended this place by our friend I, and we loved it so much we went there 3 times in a week. The waitress even began to recognize us and know what we would usually order! We bring many friends there, even our South African course-mate, and a Brazilian friend of a friend. Everyone who’s been to Bi Won loved it, and it’s not hard to see why – the food is good.
It’s not difficult to tell that we enjoy Asian flavors. There’s always something comforting about Asian flavors that you don’t get in French or Italian cooking. Korean cuisine is fantastic because it is healthy, and even though it’s spicy, it’s rarely ever too spicy, so it’s easy to bring friends there, even if they aren’t huge fans of spice.
Bi Won is a rather small restaurant, and located very near the British museum. The problem with Korean restaurants is that if someone orders the BBQ set, your clothes will end up smelling of BBQ after a while. So we’re always very happy if no one has BBQ while we’re at Bi Won.
Without fail, we’d order the spicy kimchi pancake. This comes in a huge basket, and some of the pieces are crispy and lovely, and the whole dish is incredibly flavorful. We also always order jap chae (glass noodles with beef). This is K’s favourite dish. He could absolutely eat it all day. Indeed it’s a very delicious dish, and very suitable for sharing. Glass noodles tend to make me feel bloated, so I’d definitely not be able to finish this entire thing by myself, hence sharing is ideal.
We also love the spicy seafood noodle soup at Bi Won. This comes with a very generous amount of seafood, and the noodles are wonderfully springy. In fact, this could be the best noodles we’ve had in London, by texture alone.
The Bim Bim Bap is also very good. This is served in a hot stone pot, with a raw egg yolk, which cooks itself while it’s mixed in the rice. The spicy sauce comes separate, and the waitress will mix the whole dish for you, adding as much sauce as you desire. We usually put the whole lot in. The only complaint would be that they don’t give enough sauce! It’s so yummy we can’t have enough of it!!
When we have more friends with us, we like to have the spicy hot pot with beef and mushrooms (just ask them to add the mushrooms in). This is ideal for 3-4 people to share, and the soup has just the right amount of spice to give it that kick, perfect for a cold winter’s day. Strangely, this does not come with rice, so you’ll have to order that separately.