Gamcho Sikdang 감초식당 (Jegi-dong, Seoul)

Today’s lunch reunion with an old friend in Jegi-dong (specifically inside Gyeongdong Oriental Medicine Market) had me thinking 🔥 and the importance of charcoal for top-notch Korean BBQ. Most BBQ restaurants will utilize gas burners for easier cooking and lower costs, but if you want serious BBQ with extra smokiness and flavors, make sure to look for certain types of charcoal.

Cham-soot 참숯 (hardwood charcoal) is arguably the best for premium cuts of meat, giving off a more natural smokiness while locking in precious juices. In hanwoo country (Gangwondo), it would be a travesty not to use cham-soot as the area also produces the most hardwood charcoal. Go to my Instagram page or search the tag #chamsoot and you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about.

One notch below cham-soot is the more common coal briquettes called yeontan 연탄, equally effective at achieving desired smokiness but at a fraction of the cost. One of my favorite old-school BBQ establishments is Gyeongsangdo Jip 경상도집 where they meticulously grill their famous pork ribs over yeontan in order to get the perfect crust and smokiness. It was so good that I finished a two-serving plate without any issues. Likewise, this local hotspot Gamcho Sikdang 감초식당 (almost a copycat in some ways) follows the same formula for success: Marinate quality pork ribs, hand-grill over yeontan, serve with excellent sides, sell at a modest price point (13,000 won), and expect a loyal following. Needless to say, I am a big fan of this business model and wish more restaurants would follow suit because there’s a considerable difference in food quality.

In conclusion, make sure your next Korean BBQ outing includes some type of charcoal, not gas, for the ultimate BBQ experience. And if you don’t want to smell like BBQ after your meal, visit the aforementioned places that’ll save you the hassle of cooking and won’t break the bank. Pictured is a two-person serving for only 26,000 won, available for lunch and dinner.

Food: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Ambiance: ★★★½ out of 5 stars

Value: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Gamcho Sikdang 감초식당

Jegi-dong 892-12 (제기동 892-12)

Phone: 02-962-4570

Hours:  Open every day 11:00 am ~ 10:00 pm except Sundays

Click here for an interactive map:


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  1. JS.LEE
    April 5, 2019

    I am co-worker at LG.( it was related with corpus….)

    Anyway. Good to see you in the blog!
    I envy you going aroud to eat Korean food!

    Sometimes I will check your blog to try to eat Korean food with my family!

  2. April 8, 2019

    Hello Mr. Lee!

    Wow, it’s great to hear from you and thanks for commenting.
    I have missed LG for the past three weeks, but, I don’t know if you heard from coworkers that I will return this week.
    I will work part-time for the next six months to be exact.
    We can talk about Korean food in person! See you soon.


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