seoul buffet korean bbq & steamboat – victoria park
It’s official…I have a 99% chance of going to hell.
S and I went out for dinner on Good Friday with the Munsters (aka my parents). Them being them, the venue of choice was Seoul Korean BBQ Buffet Restaurant.
Excuse me what? (I hear you say..) A meat buffet? On Fish Free Friday?
Good god…my parents have actually gone out of their way to cross the line this time. And I’ve just blasphemed. I am definitely going to hell.
Unfortunately my love of Korean food outweighs the obedience of what I think is an oft-misused “tradition” (if you are Catholic and actively follow the religion then by all means, follow your beliefs….but to the woman at the Red Rooster Drive Through who told S’s brother “It’s not religious, it’s like cultural and stuff”, I’ve got news for you buddy…)
Part of my passion for Korean food stems from my love affair with Japanese food. Similar in some ways with its sweet salty flavours…Korean food is made all the more better with the addition of my two favourite flavours, garlic and chilli.
And did I mention kim chee! Who can resist the hotter (literally) cousin of sauerkrat with its garlicky soury goodness.
But really…my love for Korean started way back in Singapore. Before the days of Wii and Nintendo, my favourite childhood game was “masak masak” (which translates literally to “cook cook” and refers to well…playing with pots and imitatating/irritating my mother in the kitchen). Naturally then, my all time favourite restaurant was Yakiniku Daidomon, a chain of Japanese restaurants which offered the novelty of DIY cooking at the table. Who could resist a combination of my favourite cuisine and childhood activity! Moving to Perth, I found the only substitute was Seoul Korean Restaurant in Northbridge..which offered the same DIY cooking experience.
It was then I found out…noone beats the Koreans at the old “Barbie”. I’m sorry Australia, you just have to give it to the Koreans, whose liberal use of marinades and charcoal flames provide rich rustic flavours second to none.
Seoul Korean Buffet is run by the original Seoul Korean Restaurant Owner’s son (sheesh that’s a mouthful). It is incredible value for money and the quality and array of food is impressive. This was my second visit and I still haven’t quite honed an appropriate buffet sampling technique.
For $39 per adult, you have the option of BBQ-ing or steamboating your ingredients. Both devices are at your table and you are welcome to use them both at the same time.
At the buffet bar, there is a row of cooked foods/entrees. The selection included giant mandu (fried dumplings) and some sticky chilli fried chicken drumsticks that Herman and S went crazy over. I had a nibble but chose to restrict my meal to the BBQ meats.
There are two main sections of ingredients. The first is predominantly for the BBQ and consists of 7 different types of meat. These included but were not limited to:
- Thinly sliced Ox Tongue
- Thinly sliced Beef
- Beef Bulgogi
- Chicken Bulgogi
- Marinated Spare Ribs
- Marinated Chilli Pork (my favourite)
and one more that I can’t recall…
The first section also houses an array of side dishes such as the obligatory kim chee, pickled fried anchovies, marinated onions, gamja jorim (marinated potato), lettuce cups to wrap your meats in and so on (pictured above).
The other section consisted mostly of seafood for the steamboat. These ranged from mussels to prawns, fish, fishballs, fishcake (do you see at recurring theme here?) and so forth. There was also a selection of noodles, tofu and fresh vegetables.
At the front of this section there are tubs of sauces…sigh..condiments are my best friend. Loading up my sauce trays you will see I went for:
- A sweet soy with chilli
- Chilli Oil
- Chilli Flakes
- A salt concoction of salt (obviously), pepper, garlic, oil and sesame (this is my favourite and is good on everything…particularly the ox tongue)
- Chilli Bean Paste
- Plain sweet soy (douse your rice with this stuff…deeeelicious)
There was also a choice of Beef or Chicken Stock for the soup and some nice short grain steamed rice. My only complaint is I wish there was a Hot & Spicy (Kim Chee flavoured perhaps!) stock for the steamboat as I get a bit bored with the plain steamboat option.
Just as my pants started to protest in agony, I spotted a dessert station with some Watermelon & Sago (more of the former than the latter), a selection of Ice Creams and a Coffee Machine. The coffee machine provided some of the better coffees I’ve seen come out of a buffet… decent crema.
All in all, Seoul Buffet is one of my favourite places to dine at with fantastic value for money and quality buffet ingredients (nice and fresh!). Coupled with the ability to BYO and the lack of having to interact with incompetent waitstaff…I think we’re on to a winner.
Ps – We got through the whole dinner with no impropriety on the Munsters’ behalf. That is until the slightly goggly eyed waitress came over to collect our plates. Herman couldn’t resist but tell her she was the most beautiful goldfish he had ever seen. Like I said earlier….hell.
4 out of 5 Golden Spoons (did you see how deliciously marinated the meats were! they were swimming in all the good stuff).
Seoul Buffet Korean BBQ & Steamboat
425 Albany Hwy
P: 08 9470 1133