Address: 2/F, Po Hon Building, 24-30 Percival Street, Causeway Bay 銅鑼灣波斯富街24-30號寶漢大廈2樓
Telephone: 2561 6268
When I went to Seoul earlier this year, I had a great time visiting a bunch of local Korean restaurants (see my review here). Thanks to Hong Kongers’ love for Korean food, there are a number of excellent Korean restaurants in town, such as Mr Korea BBQ in Tsim Sha Tsui. Shin Mapo BBQ Restaurant, which is the largest Korean barbeque restaurant chain in Korea with 430 branches, opened its first Hong Kong branch in Causeway Bay in August this year, bringing even more options to our Korean food-crazy city.
My friend Daniel, who is one of the owners of the restaurant, suggests that we go early to avoid the crowd. We are able to get seated straight away at around 6pm, but by the time we finish dinner, there is a huge crowd waiting outside the restaurant!
(1) I order a glass of Blue Lemonade ($28), which has a pretty blue hue and tastes sweet and refreshing.
(2) The Hongchoade ($28), which is less sweet than the Blue Lemonade, is made with Korean red vinegar and is great to go with the Korean grilled meats.
(3) A selection of appetisers, pickles, kimchi and dipping sauces are served, and my favourite is the green salad which has a moreish black sesame dressing.
(4) The egg crust ($28) is definitely one of the highlights of the meal. Raw egg is poured into a metal rim around the barbeque pan, and the egg will be slowly cooked as you are grilling the meats.
The egg usually takes around 10-15 minutes to cook and you can either eat it sooner for a more moist, tender texture or cook it longer for a drier, crispier texture.
(5) A portion of Korean beef tartare ($148) is ordered. The cold beef is fresh and flavourful, and the seasoning is perfect.
(6) The beef torch rolls ($68) are highly recommended. A piece of torched beef, which is crispy on the outside and raw in the middle, rests on a small piece of rice, and I find the combination incredibly comforting.
(7) The pork and kimchi pancake ($68) is delicious and comes with a tangy dipping sauce, but don’t eat too much of this otherwise you will be too full to enjoy the grilled meats!
(8) There are 6 of us at dinner, and we share a beef BBQ set ($678) amongst us. Given the mid to low price range at this restaurant, adjust your expectation of the meat quality accordingly, but overall I find that the ingredients are decent and fresh.
(9) We also try out a portion of chuck tail flap ($198), which is beautifully fat marbled and has a great bite.
(10) For desserts, the Hanbing Injeolmi red bean snow ice ($88) turns out to be an utter surprise! The shaved ice is extremely finely shaved so it melts instantaneously in the mouth, and it is soaked in a milky syrup which tastes exquisite. The yellow bean powder and red bean paste add incredible flavours and there is some mochi hidden underneath the shaved ice. It is worth coming back to the restaurant just for this dessert!
Thanks to the wallet-friendly prices of the menu, this huge meal only sets us back around $250 per head. All the dishes are well executed, and taking into consideration the price range, the meats and seafood are definitely decent. The service is a little slow at times due to the popularity of the restaurant, but the staff are very friendly and helpful. My dinner at Shin Mapo is certainly a pleasant and fun-filled experience!