Seoul: BBQ in Sinsa-dong

27 Oct

We were trying to find Garosu-gil, a street with trendy boutiques, restaurants and cafes in the Sinsa-dong area. Even though we later found out it was actually just at a parallel street, we ended up discovering an area in Sinsa-dong that had a huge number of restaurants, cafes and bars packed in a tight web of streets and alleys. It was Friday dinnertime and despite the abundance of dining options, most of them were filling up fast. We checked out a few BBQ places and decided on this hole in a wall restaurant as they served beef and we were feeling all (black) porked out after Jeju Island.

We ordered a 2 pax set that came with 3 kinds of beef (shaved slices, sirloin and wagyu), pork sausage, pumpkin, mushrooms, the usual BBQ accoutrements, banchan, steamed egg and a jiggae. It was our first proper BBQ meal in Seoul it was glorious. The sirloin and wagyu were both flavourful, and the pork sausage tasted freshly made. I actually preferred the sirloin to the wagyu as the wagyu was fattier and harder to chew. The pumpkin was sweet and an interesting addition to the usual BBQ items. And the tangy pajori (spicy scallion salad) that you’re supposed to eat the meat with was very tangy and delicious! Though the meat portions weren’t huge, you could order additional a la carte portions that were also very affordable.

Clockwise from top left: curry salt, ssamjang (spicy bean paste), garlic, spiced sea salt. There is nothing more I love, than dipping freshly grilled meat in spiced seasalt to bring out the natural flavours of good meat.

I love how good BBQ in South Korea can be a daily casual affair, unlike in Singapore where you either have to pay a fair bit at high end Japanese/Korean BBQ restaurants, or host a gourmet BBQ party which is a lot of work. I later learnt from my Korean friend that where we ate is actually a chain restaurant, but the quality is pretty good. Definitely not the best BBQ there is in Seoul, but good enough for me and really cheap too. If you’re visiting Seoul, you should have dinner in Sinsa-dong one day and try one of the restaurants that are crowded – you will be spoilt for choice but you shouldn’t be disappointed!

Loves: The sirloin and pajori
Price: $ (36,000W for the set for 2. Ridiculously cheap for the variety of food we had.)
Location: Sinsa metro, exit 8. This restaurant was on the alley leading to one end of Garosu-gil.

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