24 May Big Mama, Melbourne CBD
I knew Big Mama is quite a popular restaurant, but I didn’t expect it to be quite this busy. I entered at around 11:32 (Big Mama opens at 11:30) and there were already two tables taken. Other seats were quickly filled and there were quite a number of Korean patrons too, which was a good sign.
Bibimbap here only comes in beef; $13 for cold, $14.50 for hot. Whilst this was one of the more expensive bibimbaps I’ve had, it did come with banchan and a small bowl of miso soup. The banchan served were pickled zucchini and mushroom, fried seaweed and deep fried crispy batter. There was also a piece of deep fried calamari in the crispy batter dish.
This bibimbap consisted of zucchini, black fungus, carrot, taugeh, French onion, ?daikon (there wasn’t much of it), garlic stems and spring onion. The chilli sauce was quite a bright red and also had sesame seeds in it. Flavour-wise there wasn’t much to comment on; it definitely wasn’t bad, but there wasn’t anything that wowed me either. It did, however, have the most most crispy rice out of all the ones I’ve had so far (almost the whole bottom surface of the dolsot had crispy rice). Big Mama has to be popular and well-rated for a reason, but perhaps bibimbap is not one of them.