I am a big fan for Korean BBQ that I actually purchased a Korean barbecue grill at home (Which I use it a lot). Whenever I visit Korea, I will definitely find at least one Korean barbecue restaurants and try it out. Here are a few that I have tried in Myeongdong area.
TIPS: TYPES OF MEAT
Marinated steaks: Bulgogi (불고기-thin slices of beef ), Galbi (갈비-ribs), Jumulleok (주물럭-short cut steaks)
Marinated pork: Dwaeji bulgogi (돼지불고기-Spicy pork)
Barbecued chicken: Dak galbi (닭갈) Unmarinated beef: Chadol bagi (차돌박이- thinly sliced brisket), Samgyeopsal (삼겹살-PORK BELLY!!)
1. Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong Myeongdong (강호동 백정)
If you are familiar with the Korean TV/Comedian/Variety show, you probably know who Kang Ho Dong is.
Yep, that’s him! Doesn’t it makes perfect tense that he actually owns Korean BBQ restaurant? In fact, there is more than one Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong BBQ restaurant in Korea, and I believe he has extended his business to the New York City as well. I have heard that this restaurant is priced reasonably, so I didn’t expect much for it’s meat quality, and this restaurant prove me wrong with their fresh pork and beef.
Almost every single staff there can speak Chinese fluently and their menu has Chinese and English as well. Instead of the combo (which the staff said its typically for 3-4 people), I ordered the “Prime short rib” and “Pork belly”, as well as one lunch box.
Similar to most Korean BBQ restaurant, you don’t have to grill them yourself. (I tried to grill it myself and they came and stop me, probably because I flipped it too early…but I was hungry) The staff will cut the pork belly and grill it for you. Comes with side dishes and steam egg on the side, steam egg at a Korean BBQ restaurant often catches my heart. If you decide to refill the egg, you will have to pay, but the first steam egg is free of charge. Since Korean BBQ often makes you feel a bit oily and unhealthy, steam egg often lighten the the oiliness of pork belly and make the meal more completed.
The Lunch box is cute (as you can see), with a heart shaped egg. Comes with seaweed and a bit of side dishes. People usually shake the lunch box and mix them up, the lunch box doesn’t have much rice, its about half bowl of rice in the box. I would consider it not spicy at all. Since the seaweed and side dishes is crunchy and have different texture, this lunch box tastes rich but not too strong. I wanted to order a second one, but I guess that will be too much.
It’s weird that I am describing the pork and beef at the end. Costs around 30,000 won for both of them, the amount is perfect for two females. Since I ordered the one without marinated, I would taste the freshness of the meat better. With it’s price and amount, the quality of their meat is actually really good (Makes me wonder if this is a marketing technique to be a fan of Kan Ho Dong instead of Yoo Jae Suk). Of course it is not fair to compare it to Wagyu, but you can’t eat Wagyu everyday until you are broke right! I will honestly visit them again next time.
Price: Around 40,000 won for two person
Location: 9-3, Myeongdong 10-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul 04537, South Korea
Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Food quality: ★★★☆☆
2. Wangbijib (왕비집)
I actually wrote about this restaurant in my other article “Top restaurants to visit in Korea“. The first time I went there and tried their Wagyu, I was surprised by its juiciness. They have lots of sets for you to choose, including rice/noodle and bunch of side dishes. They have more side dishes compare to other Korean BBQ restaurant and their cold noodle are quite nice. Their seafood pancake is definitely out of my expectation, which is one of the best seafood pancake I have tried in Korea with lots of seafood and well-cooked pancake (crispy on the outside but soft in the middle, perfect!)
The cleanness and the food quality is good, and yes please try the wagyu set. Wagyu tends to be a bit more expensive than the regular meat, but its juiciness and tenderness is unbeatable. I tried their regular beef as well, but I will honestly order Wagyu instead if I visit this particular restaurant. Compare to the Japanese Kobe beef, I actually like Wagyu better, instead of the “OMG IT MELT IN MY MOUTH”, Wagyu actually allows you to taste the flavor of the beef while not being chewy, its tenderness is perfect and is not too oily. (Okay this is random but I would pick the regular sashimi instead of toro)
Price: 15,000 won to 80,000 won (Price varies depend on what you order)
Location: 63-6 Chungmuro-2ga, Jung-gu, 2f, Seoul, South Korea (Close to Myeongdong station Exit 8. Note: This is on the second floor)
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Food quality: ★★★★☆
3. Loco Quan 401 Restaurant
Okay, I actually came here for Haha and Kim Jong-kook. I have been watching Running Man since it started, so I guess I will come here no matter what. Famous for its Jeju black pig, this is my first time eating it. Jeju black pig is domestic pig found on Juju island in Korea. It actually has a slightly different taste and its more chewy.
I went there on Saturday around 6 p.m. and there aren’t many people. Throughout the meal, the restaurant still has couple empty tables, which is surprising to me. Anyway, the store is decorated in reggae style, and the seats are quite comfortable.
Same as the other Korean BBQ restaurants, the staff will grill the pork for you, which makes life so much easier (Especially their pork belly is really huge!) I am a big fan of pork belly, so to be honest this restaurant is perfect for me. The smell of the pork is different than the regular pork that I taste, the smell is a bit stronger but its not too oily. If you love the aftertaste of pork belly, then you would like the Jeju black pork. For lettuce, you can refill them for free if you ask the staff. Other side dishes like pickles and kimchi are self-served, there is a small counter outside where you can get them yourself. Each table also has a bottle of water.
It’s a bit more pricey than the Kang Ho-Dong one, I ordered the 41,900 won 401-Set that has 600g of meat including pork belly and the neck of pork. Other sets could costs up to around 60,000 won, but I still think that it is reasonable with its services and food quality. The only note is that the set that I ordered doesn’t have beef at all, and the other set only has beef. If you are going to a large group, then you might be able to order a huge set with both pork and beef. If you are just going with a small group (1-2 person), then you might not be able to try both pork and beef unless you ordered them separately. I ordered the 600g set and I am completely full without ordering a bowl of rice!
Don’t forget to take some photos before you go!
Price: 40,000 won to 60,000 won
Location: 8th floor, Champion bldg, 41, Myeongdong 10-gil, Jung-gu Seoul. (Exit 8 at Myeongdong station, the restaurant is on the 8th floor)
Hours: Monday to Thurs 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. ; Saturday 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Food quality: ★★★☆☆
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