Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Review: On The Bab

I’m just gonna jump right in and tell you that the main reason you’d really want to go to On The Bab is because of its fried chicken. And that glorious fried chicken, my friends, if it’s your only reason, is good enough reason. In fact, I liked it so much that after my dinner there, I came back the next day for lunch, ordered exactly the same thing, and felt just as satisfied.

If you’re heading there for dinner, I’d recommend arriving early because by 6pm, every seat was occupied. We got there at about 5.30pm, and within a minute of arrival, even before I managed to sit down, I did a very graceful, very me-like turn, and proceeded to knock over one of their vinegar (??) bottles and watched as it broke into pieces.

I blurted out repeated apologies as the staff cleaned it up and basically tried not to make a fuss when they were too slow to refill our water glasses, but I didn’t feel too bad when I came back the next day and saw that it had been replaced.

Phew!

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A visual aid of my klutziness.

Look, empty restaurant! But it filled up quickly soon after, and although I didn’t spot any Bao-esque lines, best to be early if you wanna avoid a queue.

So despite my horrific entrance, the staff were polite and service was prompt (besides the water). The menu wasn’t particularly extensive, but London places hardly are. It shouldn’t matter though because you’re there for the fried chicken, so keep your eyes on the prize, folks!

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The helping of chicken comes in 4 sizes of either Small, Medium, Large, or XL, and you get one flavour with Small, 2 with Medium, and so on and so forth for the bigger sizes.

We chose Garlic Mayo and Soy, which were absolutely fantastic. I haven’t tried the other two flavours of Sweet and Spicy and Spring Onion, but if they’re of consistent standard, then I would imagine them tasting amazing as well.

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This was Soy, topped with crushed peanuts.

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And here is Garlic Mayo, topped with fried shallots.

I kid you not, the chicken was heavenly! The skin was crunchy and the flavours were so so good! The Garlic Mayo could’ve really gone badly, but it was just the opposite, with it tasting absolutely wonderful. The taste of the garlic came out so well, with such a delicious aftertaste and although it was coated with mayo, it didn’t get sickening or cloying at all!

Gah, just thinking about it now is making me salivate. I’ll be back for an Extra Large helping the next time!

Their other dishes were alright-to-good and you could probably order them to fill up your stomach with more than just fried chicken.

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Their Prawn Noodle Salad was more noodle than salad, which I would say is a good thing since I took a bite of the vegetables on its own, and almost choked because the flavour was too strong. Give it a good mix before biting down and it should taste loads better.

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Got their On The Bab and tried both the chicken and beef variety over the two days I was there. I personally preferred the beef, which was well-marinated, but the chicken held its own. Decent bibimbap, but got me missing the claypot style way its served in other places as the food got cold very quickly, and egg wasn’t as runny as I would’ve liked.

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Got the spicy pork buns which, if we contrast with Bao, wins in some areas and loses in others. Its buns lacked the fluffiness that Bao boasts, but was bigger and more able to substantially fill you up. You can actually take a solid three mouthfuls with each one. The taste itself is pretty good and I prefer it to some of the buns Bao offered. However, that could be because I love saucy buns and this definitely delivered on the sauce department – so be careful when you bite!

All in all, definitely worth checking out so put it on your Food Bucket List! It was significantly less busy during lunch so whilst not quite a hidden gem, deserves more hype than its currently getting.

You can find it by Covent Garden (There’s a Shoreditch branch too!) at:

305 Old Street, London EC1V 9LA
onthebab.co.uk for more info!

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Yep, you know it. This is the opening sequence in all my dreams for the next couple of days.

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