Paik Jong-won is arguably the most famous chef in South Korea, with over 2000 restaurants across the world, a range of television series, and 5.2 million YouTube subscribers under his belt.
The secret to his success has been a focus on the comforting, classic dishes of his home, such as budae jjigae (a spicy war-era stew), jajangmyeon (thick noodles in a delicately sweet black-bean sauce) and kimchi pancakes. But now, he is extending his reach with a different approach, launching his new eatery called Paik’s Bibim in Melbourne – the first in all of Australia. Managing director Iris Cheng was recently quoted in an article by Broadsheet, saying Paik’s Bibim will, ‘focus on healthy Korean meals.’
Although part of a chain, Melbourne’s Paik’s Bibim is trialling a new menu, so in that sense it will be the ‘flagship store for the whole world’, Cheng says.
Exploring the Health-Conscious Menu of Paik’s Bibim
Bibimbap translates to ‘mixed rice’ in Korean, which given the name, is still obviously the primary focus within the restaurant. ‘[It] is one of the representative dishes in Korea,’ says Cheng, ‘[that is normally] served in a hot stone bowl and cooked on the stove with different vegetables, protein and eggs.’ This is what visitors of Paik’s Bibim can expect, with dishes served in bowls holding a base of rice mixed with multicoloured vegetables, alongside your preferred form of protein (such as tofu, beef bulgogi, and soy sauce-marinated pork).
The health-conscious elements are largely found in the sauces. While bibimbap is typically accompanied by sweet and spicy sauces, Paik’s Bibim opts for a more subtle, homemade variation that offers delicious flavour while using significantly less sugar, salt and oil. Furthermore, the team hope to soon introduce more options with brown rice and plant-based meat substitutes to their menu.
Alongside Paik’s Bibim new menu, you can still find a selection of Korean fried chicken (served with either chilli or yuzu sauce), japchae (stir-fried noodles), and range of different types of jjigae.
Be Part of the Future & Visit Paik’s Bibim in Melbourne Today
Paik’s Bibim is officially open, and can be found at Shop 2, 262 Spencer Street, Melbourne.