Bibigo Kitchen recently opened its first location in San Diego. Unlike the fast-casual location inside UTC mall, Bibigo Kitchen is a full-service restaurant offering modern Korean cuisine including chef’s creations, bbq plates, alcohol and more.
Bibigo is a well known Korean food brand. They sell frozen dumplings and other prepared foods. And they have several fast-casual food court restaurants. Bibigo Kitchen is their newest concept, a standalone restaurant with an expanded menu and bar.
Bibigo Kitchen is located inside Fashion Valley mall. I previously tried the food court rendition of Bibigo inside UTC mall and was excited by the expanded menu of this new restaurant.
Because we couldn’t decide which mandu to get, we got the sampler, which let us try their shrimp, kimchi and galbi mandu. My favorite was the galbi. I did like the presentation of the shrimp ones but they fell apart quickly when we tried to eat them since the wrapping was not as secure.
Korean Fried Chicken
This was a beautiful plate of fried chicken, finished with a sweet chili glaze. The chicken was wonderfully crisp and the fat had been completely rendered off the chicken skin as proper Korean fried chicken should be.
My one qualm was because we were served such a large unseparated section of chicken, it was difficult to eat. I usually prefer just wings and drumsticks when I’m eating Korean fried chicken.
Short Rib Plate
I was very excited for this one, especially because it is served on a sizzling plate and with my favorite Korean cheese corn.
I liked the concept of being able to dip the beef slices in gooey melty cheese and corn.
Unfortunately, our plate of meat was a far cry from the menu photos where the beef is grilled to a medium rare. Instead, our meat was overcooked and it became even more overdone on the hot plate to the point where the exterior was edging towards beef jerky territory.
The cheese corn did not have any sweetness to it like it usually does. I guess it was to balance out the sweet marinade of the short ribs, but it did feel unusual to not have any sweetness in the corn.
Galbi Hot Stone
I almost didn’t order this because we had so much food already but I was very curious about the seaweed rice base. I’m so glad I did order this because it was my favorite dish from what we tried.
The stone pot is served with seaweed rice and we also opted for the sous vide egg for an additional two dollars. Unlike our short rib plate, the galbi in this bowl was cooked to a medium rare, with each slice boasting a lovely pink center.
I really enjoyed the seaweed rice. I grew up eating roasted seaweed snacks and this rice has a similar flavor to it and adds so much flavor to the bowl.
The rice edges touching the stone pot did not crisp up like they usually do which was a little disappointing, but I loved the bowl overall and would definitely get this again.
Overall, we had a good experience at Bibigo Kitchen and will definitely be back to explore more of the menu.
(located inside Fashion Valley Mall)
7007 Friars Rd #357B, San Diego, CA 92108