Food & Drink Life

Bibo Shoreditch

  • June 27, 2022
  • 4 min read
Bibo Shoreditch

by Philip Ashby Rudd

Just north of Liverpool St, in the City of London, is the impossibility trendy and vibrant area of Shoreditch. This part of the East End of London is steeped in a turbulent and exciting dark melting pot of history. Along the narrow Elizabethan lanes thronged with nightclub revellers, and packed with street vendors, Tuktuks and tiny historic London pubs, are numerous places to eat and drink. Diners and drinkers alike, spill out onto the pavements, under an explosion of extravagant hanging baskets, competing in colour with the overwhelming graffiti, which puts Camden to shame. The vibrant street art covers every spare inch of the building s, stretching up to the high rises that loom protectively above. Shoreditch is home now to Russell Brand and Damon Hurst, as well as the ghosts of Christopher Marlow and Barbra Windsor. Shoreditch is a glorious assault on the all your senses.

On the corner of Curtain Lane and Scrutton Street, can be found the Mondrian Hotel, previously the Curtain Hotel. A fitting name for a hotel that is surrounded by an eruption of colour and art in this trendy part of town. The trendy vibe is no less extreme on entering the hotel; it’s fabulously modern and urban chic. The large vaulted lifts, hanging massed greenery and exposed chrome pipe air cooling systems, are the designers nod to the building’s previous life in the Victorian garment industry. 

On the ground floor of the hotel, is Bibo’s restaurant, home to Spanish Chef Dani Garcia. It’s clear from the mock Spanish décor that the restaurant invites you to imagine yourself eating out on a balmy night at your favourite Mediterranean taverna, somewhere in Andalucía. At the back of the restaurant are the chefs and their smartly dressed team, cooking in full view of the well fed dinners, and adding a touch of theatre to the proceedings.

The atmosphere is lively, as one would expect in this part of Shoreditch, and the restaurant popular with the locals. Our lovely Spanish waiter, Hervé, was attentive from the outset, and full of the warmth, authenticity and hospitality, you associate with Spain. Professional and highly knowledgeable about what is a great authentic Tapas menu, Hervé, was quick to point out the most popular dishes and guided us through the Beverages, Tapas and Paella options.

Starting off with the Bibo’s house cocktails of ‘Smoked Pumpkin Whiskey Sour ‘(£13) and ‘Double R Bacardi’ (£10.50)’, and a well-priced house Chablis, we were set for the gastronomic “tour de force”. The Oxtail Ravioli (£17) was truly excellent, taking your taste buds, and memory, to the height of your mother’s finest Shepherd’s Pie. Then to the height of culinary finesse with the Gambas Fritters with Spicy Mayo (£12) Light, delicate and crunchy, the Gambas were cooked to perfection and full of flavour.  The Iberian Pork Presa (£18) too, was cooked to perfection, and when you thought it could not get any better, along came the Iberico ribs paella (£55). At this point a leisurely pace was required, as the fare is filling, and by the time the Crème Caramel arrived, I was debating as to whether this was one of the best meals I’ve ever had.

Swaying slightly as I came out of the revolving doors, and let the tide of the bustle of Shoreditch carry me along back West London, I resisted the urge to take a black cab. A brisk walk would be the order of the day to assist digestion. With a Cornucopia of sights and sounds, this magical Shoreditch enveloping me I set off at the saunter a very happy man. 

Image: Niall Clutton

About Author

Philip Ashby Rudd

Philip Ashby Rudd, a Dorset-based writer, artist, and hotelier, boasts a colorful past. After rubbing shoulders with Damien Hirst at Goldsmiths College, he took a brief detour as an army officer—albeit a short-lived one, thanks to a memorable encounter involving a taser and one too many drinks. Under the tutelage of Raymond Blanc, he honed his culinary skills before acquiring Bishops Cottage, a hotel in Lulworth Cove, once home to Bishop Wordsworth, the poet's great-nephew. Where he once spent his days channeling the spirit of Jeffrey Barnard, he now critiques restaurants for EyeOnLondon, a venture he co-founded.

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