Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

Eating and Cooking all the things in Melbourne

Melbourne Food Review: Korean BBQ, Box Hill

We ended up in Box Hill one night since I felt like lots of meat. I’m really not a big meat eater generally and I tend to stay away from all-you-can-eat because I have this bad habit of killing myself at all-you-can-eat. It’s a serious bravado thing. It is fortunate that Josh is not competitive (I can out-eat him by about three times) when it comes to eating otherwise I would probably be dead by now. Anyway, on the night I figured we should try the all-you-can-eat deal, just because.

(grilling pork belly slices)

We got there at about 7.30 on a Thursday night and the place was absolutely packed. It seemed like the all-you-can-eat barbecue ($27.50 per person) was very popular! We previously visited one late Saturday afternoon and we were the only people there so we didn’t think to make a booking. Because we weren’t that hungry, we left our name as a reservation and they promised to call us when the table became available. So we went and did some grocery shopping in the mean time. I suspected we went behind a queue of other reservations because we didn’t get a table until 8.15!

Since we already decided on the all-you-can-eat, we quickly ordered that. The all-you-can-eat menu consisted off various meats, side dishes and a ‘main’ meal.

Our side dishes arrived. First up was mixed green salad leaves. The salad was nice and fresh with a touch of dressing. The sides were complimentary even if you don’t order the all-you-can-eat.

(beansprouts salad with sesame oil dressing)

The beansprout salad with sesame dressing was always a bit of our favourite wherever we go. It seems to be one of those dishes that Korean restaurants do well consistently.

(fish cake with dressing)

I do believe this was some sort of fish cake that had been sliced into strips and dressed with a bit sweet-ish of sesame oil dressing. It was rather good.

(marinated eggplant)

The eggplant was marinated in the same sesame dressing as the fish cake. Josh isn’t generally a fan of eggplant but I liked it.

(kim chi)

And of course, kim chi. The kim chi was perfectly aged. I hate it when Korean restaurants serve me kim chi that hasn’t been aged long enough.

We could only order one main meal per person. There wasn’t a lot of choice so I ordered rice with fried egg and beef, which was basically rice, all the side dishes above (except the kim chi and eggplant) and cooked beef. Josh ordered rice with seafood, which was basically the same thing without egg and some cooked marinara. The main meal wasn’t anything special but I was glad we ordered rice rather than soup because rice was really needed to go with the barbecued meats.

(clockwise from left: marinated chicken, marinated beef ribs, marinated beef, sliced pork belly with sauces in the middle)

We figured we would get to choose what meat we wanted from the menu but it turned out they brought a plate of four different meats.  All the meats were really well marinated and good. I particularly liked the beef ribs which needed a lot of cooking so don’t be too impatient with these ones!

After we finished our plate of meat, another one was brought out. Again, we didn’t really get to choose. By now we were getting almost full. That was rather a lot of food! Our next plate was brought out, it was spicy pork and spicy octopus. Both brought red from the chilli powder although it wasn’t very spicy.

(marinated pork and octopus – didn’t look very appetising really!)

By now our grill was getting rather grotty. They changed our grill plate without us having to ask. Although busy, the service was rather good (compared to our previous visit when we were the only people in the restaurant!).

(see? alien octopus!)

We put the octopus on and it started squiggling around! It was rather freaking and slimy and alien looking. It looked pretty bad that I didn’t want to eat it! But I took a bite anyway and it turned out to be the second best dish of the night (after the beef ribs). Josh had liked the beef bulgogi the most.

By then we were absolutely full. I’m pretty sure we could have just asked for specific meat rather than having to eat through the course. They did ask us if we wanted more meat and what we wanted. Next time, (if there is a next time, all-you-can-eat is so so bad for me) I would bypass the spicy pork altogether because that was just not interesting.

Meanwhile, pictures from our previous visit. Seafood ramen and beef bulgogi ( slightly different from the one off the all-you-can-eat menu with some vegetables add to it). The ramen was nice but the seafood bits were just the cheap frozen marinara mix I wasn’t too impressed with it. The beef was excellent as usual.

I should also mention that the all-you-can-eat was limited to a 90 minute sitting. We were way too full before that time was even anywhere near up.

I recommend not washing your hair right before you go for a barbecue. You’ll have to wash it again anyway. Don’t wear your good jacket that requires dry-cleaning either.

Korean BBQ Box Hill, 1C Bank St Box Hill VIC 3128

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