Shortly before Christmas 2015, a bunch of foodies and bloggers took on the mission to try some of the best Bibimbap Berlin has to offer. Hosted by the dear Per from Berlin Food Stories and sponsored by the premium food delivery service Foodora, it was a one of a kind opportunity to discover four established Korean restaurants, that serve sizzling Bibimbaps to make us very happy bunnies.
Bibimbap is probably one of the most well-known traditional Korean dishes and something I can eat all the time. It’s a balance of proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and fat, the perfect combination of what I consider as comfort food. Translated, Bibimbap means “mixed rice” and is often eaten on the Lunar New Year’s eve to use up all the leftover ingredients from the passing year. Here are four of the very best you should try to gain the full Bibimbap experience in Berlin.
Ixthys is definitely the most odd Korean place I’ve been in Berlin, not because of the food, more due to the interior. The minute you enter this small intimate restaurant, run by some Korean women, you’ll notice their dedication to Christian believes. The walls are covered in biblical verses and the menu is showing obvious references. Aprat from this special decoration, the food is delicious. Ixthys is the only Korean place that serves their Bibimbap with iceberg lettuce, which makes everything a bit crunchy. The signature chilli paste is already put into the bowl and despite everything in the hot stone pot was bit oily, I still find it tasty.
Everyone who likes Korean food probably has heard of or has been to Arirang. By now, there are already four stores in Berlin called Arirang, Arirang Two, New Arirang and Ho Do Ri, that serve the same dishes on their menu. We headed to Arirang in Charlottenburg, that used to please people with Korean food in Wedding, before they moved to this new location.
Arirang is probably the most controversal Korean restaurant in Berlin, either you love it or you find it really disgusting. The furnishing is very pragmatic, the atmosphere is quite the opposite of cozy and everything is presented pretty low key, also the food. Though it doesn’t sound appealing, I like the establishment and how they just don’t care to adapt to certain expectations. If you’re looking for a down-to-earth Korean place that cooks delicious food, Arirang is the place to go. Funnily I don’t think Bibimbap is their best item on the menu. I’d recommend ordering the BBQ and the fried chicken in ketchup sauce instead.
I’ve been here before, not necessarily because of the food, more because of its convenience location in Mitte. The thing that get’s me flabbergasted everytime is to pay for side dishes. In Korean cuisine, side dishes are part of the meal and are usually free of charge and for refill. Aside from that, the Bibimbap was alright, the taste and the compilation of the ingredients doesn’t stand out and the whole dish didn’t make an outstanding memory.
Core was my personal favourite Bibimbap place of the evening. I really liked how you could taste each ingredient in that bowl, even mixed together. The seasoning was on the point, not too salty and not blunt at all, the bits and bobs in the stone pot are freshly prepared, there is no MSG or other artificial additives that overrules the eating experience. The restaurant itself is very clean, kind of the opposite of Arirang and it makes you feel comfortable having a good meal. Pricewise, the Bibimbap was the smallest and the most expensive one of the evening, I guess quality does have its price.