LingLing and I were staring at KFC and McDonald's, both of us not wanting to eat fast food but also not wanting Chinese food either, when we noticed this new Korean restaurant right in between the two. I, for one, was really excited. I've been dying for some barbecue!
They have all the usual stuff on the first few pages of the menu: kalbi, (beef) sam gyeop sal, (thick bacon) and on the next few pages, not so usual things. I don't think I'll be ordering the Roast Chicken Stomach, Roast Chicken Heart or Sliced Ox Tongue today. I ordered bulgogi and something for LingLing as she doesn't really like meat that much.
One of the differences between here and Korea, and I didn't find this out until the bill came, but they actually charge you extra for things like the coals, 6 Kuai (about 75 cents). It's not really a big deal, but why not just add the price in with the meat. I mean, who's going to order raw Chicken heart and not cook it? Then again, this is China.
Also, and I can't see this going over well with the Korean population - you have to buy kimchi for 8-10 kuai (over a dollar) and even the leaves are not free, another 10 kuai. My favorite extra charge was 2 kuai, for the dipping sauce which we dodn't order but came with the meal. We were shocked they didn't charge us when we asked for more garlic!
LingLing doesn't really like Korean food, to be honest. I can't blame her as she's only had it a few times and for most people it's an acquired taste. However, most of the places we've tried have been Chinese Korean style, which is much different. This is the first authentic place I took her and she really enjoyed it. Notice the change in her expression when she sees the food come...
She mostly likes vegetables and so this was a nice surprise for her: bimim bap, which is basically mixed vegetables with rice in a stone bowl. It's pretty much all I ate when I first went to Korea and hence why even now I can't eat it anymore.
Here it all is. You can see that 2 kuai sauce there in front. I think the soup was free, but I could be wrong.
Despite the pettiness of being charged extra for every little thing, the food and service was very good. They came to change the grill every 5 minutes. And even with all the hidden charges the total came to much less than it would in Korea. I think we paid 75 kuai, just under $10. In Korea all this would have been around $20. I guess the way they do it just seems sneaky, but as LingLing said to me, "In China, nothing is free." I'm just happy I found such a place to get my Korean fix of barbecue. I also found a Korean fried Chicken and Hoff place, too, which I'll have to get pictures of next time I go.