decently average korean barbecue/grill at chijmes. we have passed this place countless times after dinner at sun with moon, made a resolution to come here the next time – and consequently never did, until a visit a few weekends ago. it’s a surprisingly large restaurant specializing in the traditional korean grill, with a large dining area as well as some small rooms on the side.
the food wasn’t too bad actually, and was pretty much what you’d expect – marinated meats, lots of ban chan – those small plates of appetisers korean places dish out, but nothing really stood out for me. service alternated between being attentive (which was good, seeing as how most of the food was doled out by the waitresses) and harried (the restaurant wasn’t really full so this was rather strange) – I suppose its most stand-out quality is its convenient location.
ban chan are my favourite part of a korean meal actually – think of it as korean tapas, where you get lots of tiny plates of well-seasoned and appetite-inducing food, and it’s usually order-as-much-as-you-want. there were about 6 varieties on offer when we visited, and my favourite were actually the fresh salad which came doused in a pink vinaigrette – beetroot, perhaps? – that was mildly sweet and refreshing, as well as the seasoned blanched greens. it was just as well actually – korean food has a dearth of vegetables apart from the lettuce used to wrap grilled meats and cabbage variants.
the menu itself runs the full gamut of (actual) appetisers such as kimchi pancakes, to tofu soups, grilled meats, cooked dishes and noodle/rice options – and we stuck mostly to the grilled meat section. that included rolled strips of belly pork, marinated bulgogi beef, as well as marbled beef, all of which cooked up juicy on the grill. not too bad.
we also the egg dish you see above – we expected something closer to a silky chawanmushi but it was rather more like chinese steamed egg – and slightly oversteamed at that (you can recognize this by holes appearing in the steamed egg). very tasty though, and we had two portions of this, most of which were finished by me. the tofu-seafood soup we ordered also made for bog-standard drinking.
the grill is supposed to be a special one imported from korea for its extraction properties, and the waitresses changed the grill rack between each new meat – so you don’t get the stickiness/burnt bits that you would otherwise, and this was a nice touch. we did come out smelling rather a little more food-fragrant after dinner, but it wasn’t as bad as it could be for what we were eating.
this is rather a difficult post to write – average food is very difficult to expound upon, and perhaps that in itself says as much about the food as what I could write. not bad if you know what you want to eat and you’re in this area where similar options are lacking, but certainly not the best in its class, and we don’t forsee coming back soon – but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a try if you haven’t been!