It is a glorious hot, sunny day in Ottawa this Friday. Time to take advantage of the city’s new food trucks and carts. Bap by RaonKitchen, a Korean cart specializing in bimbimbap is close by, located on Bank St. between Albert and Slater.
We head on over and get in line with about 20 people ahead of us. The wait, just under fifteen minutes allowed us to soak up the beautiful weather. Three types of bimbimbap are on offer, tofu, beef and chicken. I choose the chicken, advertized as spicy, and Rob gets the less spicy beef option so we can share a bit with Josie.
We snag a nearby street-side bench and dig in. Bimbimbap, Korea’s national dish and a a meal in a bowl, is characterized by a crispy, chewy, delectable rice with a crust, that forms when serving the dish in a hot stone vessel. I was curious as to how this would be accomplished by a small cart serving takeout. It’s not. The bap, although missing this component is still a thoroughly satisfying rice dish, flavourful, creamy and studded with mushroom, spinach and shredded carrot. The obligatory fried egg topping is added to the dish in omelet strip form. This really adds little to the overall taste. The bap would be markedly improved by adding a whole fried egg although I admit this may be difficult to accomplish given what they are working with on the street.
The proteins, chicken and beef, add taste and texture and round out the ingredients. They soak up the Korean BBQ sauce and spicy kimchi adding to the overall deliciousness of the bap. The chicken bap packs a flavourful chili heat that leaves your mouth tingling for a good ten minutes after. Quite nice. The beef added a meatiness to the overall dish.
$17.00 for two meat bimbimbaps (about two cups of food each) and two cans of San Pelliegrino. I would certainly enjoy this for lunch if I were in the area. A nice addition to the Ottawa street food scene.