You can never go wrong with traditional, old-school Korean BBQ with its no-frills decor and straight-forward, in your face service. Throw in the ubiquitous round metal tables, the center side grill, the slightly uncomfortable plastic stools, and then you have dining at its best. And most importantly, I can’t forget the endless varieties of delicious meat and banchan that are gloriously sprawled out in front of you. Now that I am on Jeju Island—the mecca for BBQ pork lovers and home to the famed Jeju Black Pig (yes, it deserves its own capitalization)—I have definitely had my share of BBQ in all its glorious forms (mainly pork belly samgyeopsal and ogyeopsal). I’ve gotten spoiled by eating so much BBQ (intentional or not) that I kind of promised myself that I would take it easy for the new year. Well, that hasn’t been working out for me as I keep finding great place after great place.
This new great place is called House 142. It’s another BBQ joint that my girlfriend and I stumbled upon recently during our treks into the city. Although you can’t tell from the outside with its modern, slightly upscale appearance, this is a traditional BBQ restaurant with a twist in presentation, service, and ambiance. I was hesitant at first of the “fusion” concept, but I have to admit that everything works great together and the BBQ is top-notch. We ordered the House Yangnyum Salgogi (Sweet Soy Marinated Pork Steak @ 300g) and House Byu Yangnyum Kalbi (Sweet Soy Marinated Pork Rib @ 400g) for 14,000 won each. Without much hesitation, my girlfriend and I agreed that it was as close as you could get to perfect BBQ: tender, moist, sweet, savory, rich, flavorful, and start-your-diet-tomorrow addicting. The nice selection of fresh banchan and other sides didn’t hurt the experience either.
There is so much more to this place than the meat itself. Here are some examples to prove it:
*You like S’mores? They’re served as a quasi-dessert after your meal and you toast them right over the grill. Awesome!
*Don’t you hate it when your meat gets burnt? Two wire racks are prepared, one for cooking and one for keeping the meat warm. Brilliant!
*It stinks when you have to cook the meat yourself, right? Here, they partially grill the steaks outside before they’re served to you, meaning little or no work for you. Cool!
*Why don’t BBQ joints serve wine? In addition to regular beer and soju, they carry a nice list of affordable wines for those who like to “wine-n-dine.” Super!
*What else is special about House 142? They’ll be doing brunch in the near future consisting of bulgogi ciabattas, Korean tacos, and other fusion dishes. Rad!!
“Vegetables are interesting but lack a sense of purpose when unaccompanied by a good cut of meat.” ~ Fran Lebowitz
Food: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Ambiance: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Value: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
House 142 하우스 142
142 Ogwang-ro, Nohyeong-dong, Jeju City
Hours of Operation: Open every day from 11:30am ~ 11pm
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/house0142
Click here for directions: http://me2.do/GCb7Pw6D