South Korea

What is a roast?Where to Find the Best Korean BBQ


All hail Korean BBQ, surely the greatest culinary gift the Peninsula has ever given us. Diners sit around a table with a gas or charcoal grill in the middle and cook a variety of meats to their liking, paired with a range of spicy, tangy side dishes, and finish off with beer or somaek (or somaek, a type of both) exciting cocktails). One of the most popular and delicious dishes in Korean barbecue is bulgogi: thin slices of beef – sometimes pork or chicken – marinated in soybeans, sugar, garlic, black pepper and sesame oil, then grilled over high heat. Tucked into a lettuce leaf with some rice and ssamjang (a spicy sauce), you’ve got yourself a delicious bite that leads to lots of beer and more roasts.


I said this dish is from South Korea, but it’s actually from the Korean peninsula, technically from what is now North Korea. Yakiniku was developed in the northernmost province of Ping’an in the peninsula in the early centuries BC as a skewered meat dish that gradually evolved into what we know today (the word is a compound of “fire” and “meat”) in the Ping’an dialect middle). It became popular in the South after liberation from Japanese occupation in 1945.

order there

In Seoul, head to the ever-popular Yetmat Bulgogi in Hongdae ( for old-school bulgogi with stewed noodles, mushrooms and vegetables.

order here

In Sydney, visit one of the classic Korean BBQ restaurants, 678 ( in Haymarket or Eastwood. Melburnians enjoy a roast at Hansang in West Melbourne (

And one more thing

While I’m focusing here on the popular grilled form of roast, this dish can also be something close to a soup. Ttukbaegi-bulgogi is beef stew made with roti seasoning and cooked in clay pots. And it’s delicious.

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