Bi Bim Bap is one of family’s favourite places to eat (check out my original review of their Eglinton location from 2013 here), since it is one of the only places we can walk to from our house that offers abundant plant-based options including using organic, non-GMO tofu and housemade sauces. They also do not use nuts in their kitchen.
I heard this afternoon that they had opened a new location on College Street (just west of Bathurst in Little Italy), so my family and I chose to check it out for dinner tonight.
The narrow space features lots of orange decor, since that is the primary colour scheme of their logo – or perhaps it was leftover from the restaurant that used to be in the space. The restaurant is divided into two areas – the front and the back – by a few steps. Relative to the Eglinton location, there is much more space if you want to bring your whole family or a large party of friends to College.
Bi Bim Bap’s signature dish (also called bi bim bap) is served in round stone bowls that are heated to keep your food hot throughout the meal, which is especially nice during the winter! Be careful though – these bowls are EXTREMELY hot, so don’t touch them with your bare hands! You choose from white or brown rice and a protein plus it comes with tons of veggies and a varied selection of sauces to add once your bowl is in front of you. The heat of the bowl also keeps the rice and veggies hot and if hot enough keeps cooking everything, so by the time you get to the bottom of your bowl, you are left with crunchy rice that has a slightly nutty flavour – that is my favourite part.
Although their menu at this location is completely revamped aesthetically and is much more visually appealing from Eglinton, the same great food is served by smiling people in a great atmosphere! The owner, Sam, is a really nice guy and cares about everyone enjoying. Don’t miss out on ordering their kimchi fries and Jap Chae (sweet potato glass noodles) as appetizers or to share with your table. My parents love their kimchi (it’s vegan, so no fish sauce, and they even add side orders into their hot stone bowls).
Check out the short video below to hear the loud crackling sound made by the hot stone bowls!