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BiBimBap!

I am looking for a fine version of BiBimBap with its array of panchan in the boston area.
Thanks in advance!

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  1. Seoul Food, on Mass Ave between Harvard and Porter Squares, does a nice ok dol bibim bap.

    In the same area, I'm actually a big fan of the bibim bap at Cho Cho's in the Porter Exchange food court. I like mine a bit Americanized with brown rice, but their more traditional offering is great too.

    Wu Chon House in Union Square, Somerville, has a pretty good reputation on the board, but I haven't made it there yet.

    5 Replies
    1. re: finlero

      Wu Chon house does a good Dolsot Bibimbap (in the hot clay pot). I have not tried the cold version yet.

      1. re: finlero

        Didn't Addis Red Sea move into the Seoul Food location? Or is just adjacent?

        I have had the stone pot at Buk Kyung I in Union Square and thought it was pretty great.

        1. re: Bob Dobalina

          Addis Red Sea is in the old Indian Club space. It's been a year since I've been to Seoul Food, but I believe it's still there.

            1. re: finlero

              You are right - it took over the Indian place. Seoul Food is still there.

        2. Koreana on Prospect St., Cambridge has several tasty versions of BiBimBap.
          http://www.koreanaboston.com/index.ph...

          I haven't been back since the rebuild after their fire but that's soon to be corrected.

          1. I find the bibimbap at Seoul Food to be really greasy. The version in the hot stone pot at WuChon House is very nice and their panchan are some of the best in the area. The one at Kaya is foul.

            1. Best I've had in the city so far is at Buk Kyung II, at Brighton and Harvard in Allston.

              1. Haven't been in a while, but Jae's Cafe has a good BiBimBap

                5 Replies
                1. re: kparke30

                  Haven't tried the bibimbap, but I like the panchan and fish stews at Minsok, 92 Harvard St., Brookline MA We'll make a trip back there and report.

                  1. re: pastrytroll

                    Bibimbap is good,the sauce is just a little thin and one-dimensional

                  2. re: kparke30

                    I was surprised how much I liked mine there, as well.

                    1. re: kparke30

                      I used to love the BiBimBap at Jae's but also haven't been for a few years. It's still on the menu.

                      1. re: kparke30

                        The Jae's bi bim bop itself is not bad, however, they have stopped serving any sort of panchan with it, which is half the fun.

                        Wu Chon house has good korean food in general.

                      2. JP Seafood Cafe on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain does a nice version.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: hungryi

                          I second that, and their sister spot in Roslindale. I love it even more the next day re-fried up for breakfast (with a new egg put on top, as the original one got eaten!)

                        2. I've had great ones at Yasu in Coolidge Corner, but I've only ever eaten there with a Korean friend who asks the waitress in Korean for lots of little extra dishes, which I believe are the panchan you're referring to. I don't know whether they all come with the dish if you don't ask.

                          1. I'd second (third? fourth?) WuChon in Somerville; theirs is very steady. Had a memorably good stone pot bibimbap @ Koreana a few years ago, but WuChon's my local go-to.

                            1. This thread reminded me that I needed to revisit WuChon House this weekend and it was as great as always. Did they redo the interior though? Maybe I'm just used to the slightly more diner-ish interior of Buk Kyung, but the wood paneling inside WuChon looks new. Also didn't remember their serving alcohol or sushi. Anyway, friend had the bul goki gop dol bibimbap - marinated beef & fresh vegetables, pickled daikon and egg in a hot stone pot - and I had the nakji gop dol bim bim bap - the same but with marinated octopus. Both were excellent - especially the vegetables and thick, complex sauce. Their panchan is more varied than anywhere else in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville - 9 types including cabbage kimchi, cucumbers, potato salad, seaweed, tofu, two types of sprouts, pickled daikon, and something else that I'm forgetting. I prefer Buk Kyun for their noodles and seafood dishes, but WuChon's bibimbap is still great.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: gini

                                I completely echo Gini's post - I did the same thing this weekend, my DC and I ordered the same things, and our reactions were exactly the same! I guess you can count us as part of the WuChon clan. *groan*

                                The other panchan you may be forgetting was some sort of braised shortrib.

                                Shrimp shumai app was forgettable, dried out skins, a little funky tasting. Miso soups were good.

                                DC and I were wondering - maybe hounds can weigh in - every Korean place we've ever been to outside of Boston has brought the panchan at the beginning of the meal, pre-appetizer - At WuChon and every other place in Boston, they bring them much later in the meal - We asked that they be brought earlier at WuChon, which they did, but seemed surprised by the request. I always liked sampling them with a beer before the main course. Thoughts?

                                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                  Copy-cat!

                                  At WuChon and Buk Kyung II, the panchan is usually brought post soup/appetizer, but at Buk Kyung (in Union Square), I've had them bring them pre-appetizer, I think.

                                  I will add that going to a Korean place with a beer & wine license was fun for a change. My friend had the most adorable single serve choya plum wine I've ever seen: a tiny glass bottle with a single ume. She's a sucker for kawaii and so am I in this instance.

                                  1. re: Aromatherapy

                                    Thanks - good to know I wasn't hallucinating.

                                2. In Chinatown, on the corner of Beech and Tyler, there is a good place for bibimbap, but I don't remember the name. I had a cold version - it was during the summer and while I love the pot with the burnt rice in the bottom, I just wanted something light, and this really hit the spot. Kind of like having Hiyashi Ramen on a hot summer day.

                                  2 Replies
                                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                      Yes - that's it. I've only been there that once, so I don't know if anything else was any good.

                                  1. Along these lines, is there any market/restaurant where I can get bibimbap, man doo, bulgogi to go? I tried some at Reliable Market this week and it was sour. Who would believe I miss New Jersey?

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: margareteats

                                      I would imagine any of the above places will do take out.

                                    2. Thoughts on the new FUGU food truck?

                                      1. Not much in the way of panchan, but you the Korean stall in the H-mart food court does a nice stone pot Bibimbap. Never tried it, but that Korean place in Medford is a possibility - on Riverside Dr.

                                        1. No banchan, though I've been comped the occasional little side dish of house-made kimchi or japchae, but a worthy version of stone pot bibimbap in an unlikely location is served at the Hungry Traveler, a little diner that mostly serves Greek-American style diner food, but has Korean ex-pat owners, on a side street near Government Center.

                                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                            Wow, nice find. Will have to try it soon.

                                            1. re: lossless

                                              They have a rotation of two or three Korean dishes every day, including "BBQ" kalbi or bulgoki, kimchi jigae, regular bibimbap, and japchae. Occasionally they make other kinds of kimchi besides cabbage, like daikon. Pic of the dolsot bibimbap with bulgoki attached.

                                              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                               
                                            2. re: MC Slim JB

                                              Whoa, nice! Little finds like this are something I really love about Boston. Like the Regina Food Market in Everett that has Italian and Salvadorean goods, or how Capone Fine Foods also has homemade empanadas.

                                              1. re: lipoff

                                                For the record, I believe it was Chowhound Bob Dobalina who made me aware here of the presence of new owners serving the occasional Korean dish at the Traveler.

                                                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                              2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                just tried the bibimbap at the Hungry Traveler and wow, what a hidden gem! The egg on top was fried perfectly. Soooo good.

                                              3. Has anyone had the bibimbap at the Fugu Truck? Thinking of heading over there today at some point.

                                                11 Replies
                                                1. re: mkfisher

                                                  Don't think I've had the bi bim bap but really liked the bulgogi on a panini and the grilled buns w/pork belly.

                                                  It's 1 of my favorite trucks right now.

                                                  1. re: 9lives

                                                    Tried the Fugu Truck, went for the pork bao ($5 for two), which turned out to be pulled pork, not pork belly, a disappointment. Kind of wimpy accompaniments, too: not much heat or light in that bun.

                                                    Not everything I dreamed it would be, merely good, certainly a decent value. Will try to catch them another time when it doesn't take 25 minutes from the back of the line to taking my food away. Nothing could seriously detract from the glorious lunch break outside that was today.

                                                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                      I also tried it yesterday, and was surprised by the pulled pork in the bao, especially after seeing photos like this one on the Web site:

                                                      http://static.wix.com/media/91a75e_97...

                                                      I thought the pulled pork was decent but it certainly didn't meet my expectations.

                                                      I also tried the cold noodle salad with peanut sauce and chicken and I was quite pleased with the flavor of the dish. The chicken was fairly boldly spiced and actually had some kick (not a tremendous amount, but enough to wake me up a bit). The dish was nicely balanced and not overly gloppy, as peanut sauce sometimes can be. My only quibble was that the noodles were slightly mushy.

                                                      I have to give these guys a huge plus for customer service. I tweeted to them suggesting that they might investigate the noodle texture a bit more and they tracked down my e-mail address and sent me a fairly lengthy reply. That's better service than I'm used to getting from companies I've spent thousands of dollars with. So that simple gesture made me a big fan.

                                                      I just e-mailed back to ask about the bao; I'll post an update here when I hear back.

                                                      1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                        And here's the reply:

                                                        "To you question, we have introduce the pulled pork option during last Sunday at SoWa market as a special. A lot people love the option, thus we brought it back to our regular schedule. It is not the traditional Asian style, however, we infuse Asian elements into it.

                                                        We are constantly trying to keep our menu fresh and interesting, but we would certainly listen to our customers comments. The pork belly option is for our weekend events and SoWa market. We can certainly put it back if there is high demand for it."

                                                        ... and there you have it.

                                                        1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                          Walked by today and noticed that the sign said "pork belly" for the buns, so decided to give it a second shot. Just ate them and yes: actual pork belly this time.

                                                          Not the most flavorful belly I've ever had but definitely pretty good. I'm glad I repeated.

                                                          1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                            We had the pork belly buns tonight, too, and liked them.

                                                            Loved the cold peanut noodles with pork, we'll go back to get more of that.

                                                            The bibimbap was kind of odd...when I placed the order, the woman told me that they only had pork for the noodles. I think she meant to say that they only had pork for the bibimbap - it was topped with what looked like the same meat that was on the peanut noodles. The other toppings were: diced pickled radish (not my favorite thing, but this one didn't have that strong aftertaste of artificial sweetener so it wasn't so bad); steamed broccoli; blanched mung bean sprouts (very fresh); kimchi (decently spicy & a bit on the sour side, but I like it that way); and half of a hard-boiled egg. No gochujang.

                                                            The whole dish was cold. Not pre-assembled and refrigerated cold - the rice wan't hard - just, cold. It came in a plastic bowl with a lid marked MICROWAVABLE, which perhaps should have been a clue...has anyone had their bibimbap at lunch? Was it hot? I was thinking maybe it was a concept to sell it chilled at dinnertime, so that people could take it home and heat it up?

                                                            All that being said, it wasn't bad, all of the ingredients seemed very fresh - no limp scallions or squishy bean sprouts in there - and the flavors were good, but it just wasn't bibimbap to me.

                                                            Slightly out-of-focus cellphone photo is of the bibimbap.

                                                             
                                                            1. re: gimlis1mum

                                                              Summertime bibimbap in Korea can mean using cooled barley rice instead of hot white rice. I remember eating such a version in the countryside - out in the yard on a warm evening, sitting on straw mats - barley rice, piles of crisp fresh veggies, gochujang. Very refreshing.

                                                              I don't mean to say this is what Fugu was going for. Just a data point to say one can use cooled rice.

                                                              1. re: lossless

                                                                Hm, that's interesting - and would explain the rice temp/texture. Thanks!

                                                    2. re: 9lives

                                                      Good to know. Didn't make it over there today, but plan on doing it next week.

                                                      On the bright side, I did end up with an outrageous panino from Figaro's that had purple, green, yellow and white cauliflower, fried in a tempura curry batter w/ sliced tomato, watercress, pickled onion and jalapeño, and a curry Remoulade.

                                                    3. re: mkfisher

                                                      I was hoping to try them for dinner tonight, but they weren't at Malden center (it was early though, like 5 pm). Ended up with some good chicken and decent oxtail from Makin' Jamaican since the Chicken & Rice Guys truck was out of lamb.

                                                      1. re: mkfisher

                                                        Had Fugu's veggie bibimbap - it was pretty good, a few funky veggies, the tofu was quick grilled and was decent, the spicy ketchup definitely was on the mark. Wish they had included some sort of umami flavor, i.e., mushrooms, but for food truck bibimbap, it was overall decent.