Sunday, 6 April 2014

Kalbi Korean BBQ - delicious meats and a social cooking experience

One of my friends recommended Kalbi Korean BBQ restaurant to me several months ago.  This was the first time I've had Korean BBQ since I went to South Korea last year, so I was really looking forward to it.  Would Kalbi be any good or would I leave disappointed, having had the real thing in Korea?

In short, I really enjoyed the meal at Kalbi and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys their meat and Korean cuisine.  Non-BBQ dishes are available too, including - perhaps oddly - Japanese sushi (not Korean gimbap).  But the BBQ is what I wanted.


Korean BBQ.

For the BBQ, the girlfriend and I ordered the galbi beef (middle), bulgogi beef (right), mushrooms and sweet potato.  A waiter cooks the ingredients in the BBQ embedded into our table - Korean style!  

The BBQ'd items were wrapped within ssam - a combination of round lettuce, chilli, garlic, cucumber and carrot, and then dipped into Korean ssamjang sauce, which tasted excellent.  We also had a bowl of steamed rice each.

The food was washed down with makgeolli - a milky alcoholic drink. 
We also ordered a side dish of japchae, one of favourite noodle dishes (though I am still not a fan of green peppers!).

Japchae.

The one disappointment compared to my experience in South Korea was that in Korea we essentially had an unlimited supply of ssam for seemingly one price and banchan such as kimchi was complimentary for every table.  In contrast, Kalbi charged extra for this - though from experience I would say that eating out in the UK is a lot more expensive than in South Korea.

Overall Kalbi was a really positive experience and I would certainly be keen to go again in the future - perhaps to try out their BBQ buffet menu (essentially all-you-can-eat BBQ meat within 90 minutes).

Closest Tube: Farringdon, Chancery Lane.