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REVIEW: On The Bab, Shoreditch

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Up until now, our only experience of On The Bab (and Korean food, come to think of it) had been a drunken evening at On The Bab Covent Garden, where we dropped by to sample a Soju beer tower and the restaurant’s signature egg muffin.

On, then, to On The Bab Shoreditch, for a proper taste of trendy Korean grub.

The area being a hipster’s paradise, the brick walls, high stools and filament lightbulbs were to be expected. It’s a young, chattering crowd, packed in tight through the tiny, narrow restaurant as staff flit around busily.

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London’s in the grip of a steamed bun obsession and here is as good a place to eat them as any. After sampling a Bab Twigum cheesy risotto ball each (good, but not mind-blowing), and Pa Jeon (a spring onion and seafood pancake), we moved on to perhaps the most highly anticipated of the restaurant’s dishes – the spicy pork bun.

As promised by emphatic friends, the bun was pillow-soft; squidqy but not soggy, soaking up the pork juices beautifully, while mixed salad added crunch.

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Sad to have finished them, we were recommended the Yangyum chicken (that’s Korean Fried Chicken, or KFC – smart), our waitress detailing their popularity.

One bowl zooming past our heads was enough to believe her – a steaming pile up of sticky, steaming hot chicken pieces that’d turn the Colonel green.

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We went for six in ‘soy garlic’ and six in ‘sweet and spicy’, convinced we could get through the lot. After three pieces each, the glutenous sauce slowed us down – but we were super happy to take the rest home for a real treat at lunch the next day. Covered in a layer of crushed peanut, these are really special with a cold glass of Korean beer – it’s the perfect dish for rolling your sleeves up and digging into on a tipsy Friday night.

To finish, I sampled a honey and ginger tea to soothe the onset of a sore throat – after watching the waitress melt a ready-made cube with boiling water, I didn’t know what to expect – but was pleasantly surprised to taste a warming tea packed full of sweet, comforting flavour.

This isn’t the place for lingering over dessert  – more often than not you’ll see a queue forming outside and if you can resist another beer (or two!), say your thanks, and head out into the buzzing nightlife for your next adventure. It’s the sort of place you leave feeling happy to have tried something new, and grateful to live in a city always striving to do the same.

Amy @ Fashionbite xx

Website: Onthebab.co.uk

Address: 305 Old Street, London, EC1V 9LA

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