Address: 5, Gangnam-daero 122-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 서울특별시 강남구 강남대로122길 5 (논현동)
There are many different kinds of must-try foods in Seoul, but the most important one for me is Korean barbecue.
We have dinner one night at The Born Family (“Saemaeul Sikdang” in Korean), a chain restaurant specialising in Korean barbecue which is regarded by many to be the best in Seoul. The chain’s outlets are all conveniently located so you should have no problem getting to any of them, and the main store is the one in Gangnam. The decor of the restaurant is cosy and down-to-earth, and the service is efficient and generally helpful, though slightly unfriendly.
We are given a bowl of Korean seaweed soup, which tastes clean and soothing. The raw vegetables, raw garlic, kimchi and condiments are also swiftly brought to our table.
(1) We order a portion of bulgogi (W8,000), pork seasoned with Korean style hot paste, to share. The thinly sliced, frozen pork cooks very easily on the grill, and the seasoning is spot on.
(2) The seasoned meat with special sweet sauce (W8,000) has a good balance of meat and fat, and is tender and juicy after being grilled. The special sweet sauce, needless to say, tastes fantastic!
(3) You simply cannot leave the restaurant without ordering the Kimchi pork stew for seven minutes (W5,000). This dish consists of pork cooked in a hot kimchi soup, and is ready to be served in seven minutes (hence the name). The pork comes in one piece, and the waiter will cut it up into small dices by your table with a giant pair of scissors.
The kimchi pork stew is eaten with plain rice, and it is unforgettably delicious! The kimchi soup offers a stunningly tasty mélange of flavours, and the pork, which is soft and tender, is the perfect agent to soak up the kimchi sauce.
(4) We also order the anchovy noodles (W3,000), which are Korean style noodles with anchovy, fried bean curd and hot pepper. The noodles are enticingly smooth, but the clear broth, while flavourful, tastes like MSG soup and does not win us over. You can add seaweed to the noodles as you like.
There are no desserts available at the restaurant, but even without desserts, we leave the restaurant completely full and satisfied!