When it comes to Korean-style cooking, Korean barbecue is an essential eating experience that you shouldn’t miss! Grilling large platters of meat and seafood on the built-in gas or charcoal grill, wrapping them in lettuce, and eating your weight in kimchi and vegetable sides – you’ll for sure get a meat-hangover the very next day. Even now that we’re back to Canada, I still drool over the photos of those sumptuous Korean BBQ meals we had in Seoul.
The streets of Seoul are crowded with Korean BBQ restaurants. It is certainly not difficult to spot one, but to find one with excellent food and service, that’s a different story. On our trip to Seoul, we visited 2 Korean BBQ restaurants that I highly recommended for foreign visitors. You can easily squeeze them into your itinerary on your way to popular tourist attractions!
Wangbijib is a famous chain specializing in Korean barbeque, with branches in popular districts including Myeongdong, Jongno and Sicheong Mugyo. Offering top quality hanwoo (Korean beef) at affordable prices, long queuing has become a common scene at each branch.
Right after we arrived at Seoul, we made our way to the crowded shopping paradise Myeongdong and anticipated a delicious BBQ dinner at Wangbijib’s 3rd branch. At around 9:30 pm, many tables had freed up, allowing us to easily snatch a table 😉
Located on the 2nd floor in a hidden alley, the restaurant displays intimate seatings and rows of tables with built-in grill.
Powerful giant exhaust pipe hover above each table to suck away any smoke from the BBQ grill, providing the guests a clean, grease-free experience.
One thing you no need to worry about is language barrier. No matter you speak Chinese, English or Japanese, there will be server in house that could speak your language fluently to make your ordering completely carefree! Even the menu is translated into multiple languages to make foreigners feel at home!
We ordered a beef tenderloin set for 2 (안심 구이세트, 69,000 won) and a plate of raw pork belly (숯불삼겹살, 13,000 won). The set meal included meat, side dishes, steamed rice, as well as banquet noodles (잔치국수) and spicy mixed noodles (비빔국수) which would be served as desserts. While the kitchen heated up a bucketful of charcoal, the server delivered a selection of side dishes to our table, along with the ingredients for the lettuce wraps. All refillable!
Approximately 15-20 minute safter, the server brought the warm charcoal and plates of beef tenderloin, beef brisket and pork belly. Now, let’s begin grilling!
If you’re not sure how to grill the meat to perfection, better leave it to the experts. Our helpful servers cooked all the meats for us, and cut them into bite-sized pieces. All we needed to do was enjoying the food!
Our server taught us that the best way to enjoy the beef is to season it with salt and sesame oil. That way, you can truly savour the texture and taste of the premium Korean beef. The top quality hanwoo meat has a desirable chewiness but remains tender in fatty parts. I could see why the locals are crazy over this badass!
For pork, we wrapped the succulent slices on a crisp, refreshing lettuce (or perilla) leaf, then added a clove of fresh garlic and ssamjang (a special chili paste) for extra bold, pungent and assertive flavors. Some people even put kimchi, pickled daikon or green scallion salad to assemble a more creative, unique wrap of their own!
Two bowls of noodles were served after all the meats had been cooked. Banquet noodles are traditionally served on festive occasions such as weddings and birthday parties, to celebrate longevity or happy marriage. It resembles bibimbap with its various vegetable garnishes with the only difference being a noodle soup. Spicy mixed noodles are served cold as a palate cleanser after a meat-heavy, barbeque meal. It has a sweet-and-sour flavor created by vinegar and sugar.
We were too loaded up to stuff more than a spoonful into our mouth. I wished they would cut down the portion size a little bit. I felt awful for wasting so much food 🙁
All in all, Wangbijib is an excellent BBQ restaurant – not only does it have top-quality ingredients, it is also priced reasonably. Thumbs up for the attentive service too! If you download a coupon from Konest, you could instantly save 10%!! What are you waiting for? 😛
About Wangbijib (왕비집) – Myeongdong branch #3 (명동3호점)
Address: 2F, 25-6 Chungmuro 1-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 중구 충무로1가 25-6, 2F)