Living in Springfield, Missouri, choosing where to dine can sometimes feel overwhelming and become a bit of a dilemma. Do I hit a drive-thru or dine in a seated establishment? Even after answering that question, the choices still abound. Then I have to decide on what type of food I’m in the mood for: Italian, Mexican, Thai, Chinese? Driving home one day, I noticed a sign for a new Asian place that I’d not even heard of yet. It read “Bibiya: Healthy Fresh Kitchen” and immediately my mind began to wonder about the healthy and fresh part. I’ve driven by it without ever stopping in for the past three months! This assignment seemed like the perfect excuse to get to know a new eatery.
As far as Asian fare goes, in my opinion Bibiya excels in both the healthy and fresh aspects. Their food style hails from Korea, and Bibiya means “mixing house” in Korean. I visited Bibiya with classmate Tammy Nilsen on Thursday evening, March 8. Neither of us had ever eaten there and I think we both enjoyed the experience. While it did turn out to be a counter order establishment, patrons are also waited on throughout their dining experience from the delivery of their meal to the busing of tables. The food and friendly service were well worth the cost, but the prices weren’t an issue for either of us anyhow. Much to our surprise, when we got ready to order, we learned one of the employees is a Drury student (whom Tammy recognized). While we did spend some time throughout our meal in conversation with him, we didn’t tell him we were writing a review for this class.
We approached the counter to order just before 6 p.m. and it was just in time. They had a major rush which lasted for about 15-20 minutes. Even though a long line formed quickly behind us, all of our questions were answered in a pleasant manner which helped us to make our meal selections without feeling rushed. After placing our orders and getting our drinks, Tammy and I found a table with tall chairs which suited both of us. Looking around the establishment, I found it immaculate with the floors free of stains and trash, every unoccupied table clean, and the décor free of dust. The walls, ceiling, and floors were all done in soothing earth toned colors which combined with the general ambiance to create a relaxed atmosphere.
When my food arrived, I delighted at its pleasant aroma and the visually pleasing manner of the food arrangement. I ordered the Traditional Bibimbap which includes mushrooms, cucumber, seaweed, green onion, kobi (basically fern stems), and egg; along with your choice of rice, topping (for $1 extra), and sauce. For mine, I selected brown rice, Bulgogi (beef), and Lemon Soy sauce. Since I only had water to drink with my meal, my total came to $9.15. Tammy had the Hot Stone Bibimbap which comes in a heated bowl. It has the same ingredients as the Traditional plus kimchi (pickled cabbage). The meal came with two complimentary items not listed on the menu, bean sprout soup and a small dish of sweet pickled onions and cabbage. All of it was quite tasty. I wish I had the words to adequately describe exactly how tasty it was, but I falter with every attempt I make as it all falls short in my mind. It was simply delicious!
The food’s tray had on its napkin a long-handled spoon and a pair of chopsticks, giving diners options. I opted to use the chopsticks even though I’m not very adept at wielding them. By eating with the chopsticks, it made for a more leisurely meal. And because I felt so satisfied by my meal and the little appetizers that came with it, I didn’t even give dessert a thought. Not to mention, I try to avoid dessert menus as a general rule anyhow since I have to watch my blood sugar. Honestly, since I didn’t look, I’m not even sure they have dessert! Or if they do it’s not listed on the To-Go Menu. However, if everyone is as satisfied by their meal as I was, dessert may be the furthest thing from the mind.
Our main server, Roy, checked on us frequently throughout our meal, though two others checked on us as well. It is because of this overwhelmingly positive experience that I fully intend to go back in the future to sample some of the other menu items. Already, I have two possible meals in mind from the other night: the Yaki Soba or the Bulgogi Bowl. Between the friendly service and the aesthetically pleasing, artistic food, I think Bibiya is a culinary treasure. Their food is an art form and full of simplistic beauty!
Location: 4121 S. Fremont Ave, Springfield, MO 65804 (Click HERE for site with attached Google Map for directions.)
Telephone: (417) 882-0077, Fax: (417) 882-0812
For Catering, email: email@example.com
Bibiya, Haruno, and Kai are all part of the JJ LLC restaurant group.
Prices: Meals start at $6.95 and range up to $13.50, though most are between $6.95 and $8.95.
Beverages range from $1.95- $7.00. Appetizers run from $2.00- $5.00.
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11AM- 9PM
Serves both lunch and dinner.
Order Dine-In or To-Go
As a Side Note: I could not get my break-away info box to format properly into this blog. In fact, I barely succeeded in getting the photos to work properly. I apologize if the set-up I went with is confusing or distracting in any way.