No matter where you live in Seoul, you’ll be spoiled with excellent Korean BBQ ranging from ubiquitous slabs of samgyeopsal (pork belly) to premium cuts of domestic beef known locally as hanwoo. There are off-cuts equally as delicious and memorable, Solbaht Sikdang coming to the top of my head, for its unique serving of tail meat, head meat, and the regulars. Innards like gopchang (intestines) have a special place in my heart as well. For samgyeopsal and hanwoo though, I travel exclusively to Cheonho-dong and Wangsimni (Daedo Sikdang) for some of the best BBQ in town. But now that I’m busy working in the kitchen and have little time to travel across the city for certain cuts of meat, I am fortunate to have this local hotspot near my current residence (Bulgwang Station) to satisfy both meat cravings.
Ungteori Jip is a 40-year-old, family-run business employing close relatives and friendly staff who treat customers as if they’re family. This unexpected focus on customer service is a rarity at most BBQ joints, which is one reason why many customers – who eventually become regulars – make this their go-to spot. Along with attentive and excellent customer service, the meat here is top-notch with housemade banchan that’s equally delicious, especially the refreshing dongchimi: a perfect balance of sweet, sour, and slushy. The meat here is cut fresh (not frozen) on the spot by the owner at the makeshift butcher’s table. Popular menu items are the combination sets featuring samgyeopsal (pork belly) + hangjeongsal (pork neck meat) for 25,000 won and sogogi modeum (beef platter) for 38,000 won. Both are cooked on a cast iron grill with the help of one of the emos (aunties), who lovingly grill the meat alongside with kimchi and beansprouts for the perfect mashup. Then in true Korean BBQ fashion, you’re left to wrap (aka ssam) desired ingredients for the ultimate bite with available lettuce leaves and ssamjang.
Last but not least, the bokkeumbap (fried rice) is another highlight that deserves mentioning. Meat (if there’s any) is cut into small pieces and then mixed with rice, kimchi, sprouts, and the all-important remaining fatty oil from the pork. Pure deliciousness. I’m usually stuffed with the meat alone, but after one bite of their bokkeumbap, it’s not hard to make extra room for a proper post-meal dessert. All in all, this is a terrific spot for Korean BBQ done right. To lessen the guilt (and gluttony) from all the food you’ll undoubtedly gorge on, you can do a short hike up beautiful Bukhansan, which is a stone’s throw away from Bulgwang Station.
Food: ★★★★ ½ out of 5 stars
Service: ★★★★★ out of 5 stars
Ambiance: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Value: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Ungteori Jip 엉터리집
Address: 12-12 Daejo-dong, Eunpyeong-gu (은평구 대조동 12-12)
Hours: Every day 3:00 pm – 11:30 pm
Click here for an interactive map: http://naver.me/FY7CtWPg