Anyone who goes to Seoul -or any part of South Korea actually- has to try Korean barbecue at least once. Korean barbecue will be the “the bomb.com-dinner” of your vacation. Guaranteed. That is, if you’re not vegetarian ofcourse. As me and my boyfriend both are huge meatlovers (especially my bf hehe..), we enjoyed it to the fullest. The average Korean barbecue meal is a bit more expensive than most dinners you can have in Seoul. On average, I think we spent about ₩ 60,000 – ₩ 70,000 ( ~ € 50,-) per barbecue experience. This, in contrast to the ₩ 5,000 – ₩ 10,000 ( ~ € 6,-) we’d spent on a “regular” day. So you could say it’s quite expensive. However, the food and the experience of Korean barbecue are totally worth it. Today, I’ll be sharing my experience on the three restaurant we tried. And if you’re interested, you’ll find the businesscards in the post too. ^.^
This was the first Korean barbecue restaurant we tried. We stumbled upon it while roaming around Myeong Dong. I feel like it was also the most authentic barbecue in terms of the type of barbecue: And actual charcoal grill (instead of the grillplates you’ll see down below at the two other restaurants). We randomly ordered a combo for 2, which was served with the usual Korean side dishes. And because they noticed it was our first time trying Korean barbecue, one of the employees barbecued the meat for us. The waitress was super nice and she served me all the first pieces of meat (which made me like her even more hehehe… ^_~) Additionally, she was very patient explaining to us how to eat korean barbecue, while making very sure she did not touch our food with her hands. So sweet. Furthermore, the meat at this restaurant was really superb! It was the best out of three. The meat was amazingly tender. Really delicious. Till this day, my boyfriend still raves about this restaurant’s meat haha..
The second restaurant we tried was right in Chungmuro, the district in which our guesthouse was situated. We found this restaurant through the “With Kids, We Go”-blog. Surprisingly, the restaurant was only a 5 minute walk from Mago Guesthouse! (You’ll find it in the street right across Daehan cinema) What we loved most about this restaurant was the warm cosy ambience. It’s like the “coming home to mommy”-dinner. The waitresses (? I feel bad calling them waitresses, because their service is so much more…) were so nice. They were very friendly in a caring-way. It was different from the first restaurant which was more professional-friendly. One of the waitresses made me a wrapper with different kinds of leaves and fed me (yes, FED me. She held it in front of my mouth and told me to open my mouth ‘Aaah…‘ ). She told me it was very good for fatigue. (Maybe I looked really drained XD ) Although this was just a small gesture, it made me feel so welcomed and “at home”. I felt really happy eating there.
As for the meat, the quality is good, but it is a bit tougher than the first restaurant. However, this restaurant does serve all kinds of leaves/lettuce in contrast to the “regular” salad from the first restaurant. I loved all the different flavors of the greens with the meat. Really special. Additionally, this restaurant serves a special rice filled with beans and nuts in a bamboo cup. If you’re looking for a special Korean barbecue experience, this is the place. The food is so much more special than the first restuarant I mentioned, which was delicious but very simple.
Finally, we paid a visit to this rice wrapping restaurant in Myeong Dong. This restaurant had a bit of a street feel to it, partly because it was quite noisy due to a lot of diners. Also, this restaurant felt more commercial. Commercial as in “serve quick, move out customers quick and get in new customers quick” with emphasis on quick. The meat at this restaurant was good, but not as good as the first restaurant. However, the meat was tender, flavorful and prices were lower too. Additionally, you get a lot of side dishes. A LOT of kimchi, cold korean soup, different kinds of lettuce, pickled veggies and and a plate of colorful rice wrappers too. I must say the service isn’t that great, but the staff isn’t rude. They try and help you as good as they can, but it’s just really busy so they’re not able to give you the same service as the other two restaurants. However, if you don’t mind a crowdy place and you’re looking for a good cheap place to enjoy your meats, this is the place.
Each restaurant had its pro’s and cons. In a nutshell:
- The first restaurant has really good meat, but is the most expensive
- The second restaurant has a special menu, serves special lettuce, has great service, but the meat is average
- The last restaurant has the best quality/price ratio, but is really crowdy andservice has no space to pay extra attention to the customer
Whichever restaurant you choose, I’m sure it’ll be a food-memory to never forget 😉 I hope you’ll enjoy it at least as much as we did.