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Spotlight: Scott Joseph Reviews BaBbi BaBbi Korean Kitchen

Soondubu or Korean stew at Babbi Babbi. Photo: Scott Joseph
Soondubu or Korean stew at Babbi Babbi. Photo: Scott Joseph

BaBbi BaBbi Korean Kitchen wasn’t exactly what I was expecting it to be. In fact, I’ll admit to being a bit disappointed when I walked into the new eatery at Phillips Crossing and discovered it was a quick-serve operation.

But I soon learned that even though one orders the food at the counter, service is supplied throughout the meal. And even better, the food was quite good.

And there’s a lot of little extras. The first began right after I paid and was told to help myself to one of three soups in black cauldrons on a counter next to the pay stand. I went with the seaweed, and what a lot of seaweed there was in that little bowl. A real taste of the ocean.

And no sooner had I taken a seat in the large, bright dining area than a young woman brought an array of typical Korean side dishes, including a variety of kimchis, Korean coleslaw and pickled daikon.

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Kimbaps at Babbi Babbi. Photo: Scott Joseph[/caption]
If I’d known these unexpected treats were included I might not have ordered as much as I did, but I enjoyed it all.

Well, enjoyed might be going too far with the Tteobokki, a relatively modern Korean street food. It features doughy, chewy rice cakes that resemble elongated gnocchi dumplings served in a spicy chili sauce.

My order of Soondubu came to the table all abubble in a black clay pot. The stew had a spicy broth with lots of soft tofu cubes. There might have been more beef in the mix, but I enjoyed all the flavors and the soft, silky texture of the tofu.

The atmosphere is a bit sterile. There’s an open kitchen and four televisions on a back wall that play travelogues and K-pop music videos (though the music from the sound system doesn’t match any of the videos).

But the staff certainly warms the ambiance. As I left, several people thanked me and said goodbye. Babbi Babbi wasn’t what I thought it would be but it turned out to be much more.

If you'd like to listen to Scott's review, click on the clip above.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.