“Samgyupsalamat sa Diyos talaga!”
…is a phrase coined by one of my friends a year ago when we first tried the sought-after Korean barbecue restaurant, Samgyupsalamat.
Contrary to the snaking lines outside, eating Korean barbecue is not linear—it can be complex and to the uninitiated, even overwhelming, but once you’ve got your meat and grill down pat, it’s an enjoyable dining experience worthy of another (and another) visit. Below, we’ve listed some of the tips and tricks on how to maximize your KBBQ experience.
Choose your meats wisely.
Learn the right way of cooking the meat.
One tip that works for both options is to grill the non-marinated pork or beef first, then the marinated ones after to keep all the original flavours at bay. This is so you get a taste of each kind of meat and let you decide which ones you want to order again later on.
Another tip is to watch when the little beads of sweat emerge from the pieces of meat, because that’s when you know it’s time to flip it. This is so you don’t overcook or undercook. Also, avoid filling the grill to the rims to allow everything to cook evenly.
Grilled kimchi is actually pretty good.
We know, we know. Grilled kimchi? But try indirectly heating the kimchi on the side of the grill to give it a nice, smoky flavour. The heat lets it soften a bit, perfectly complementing your choice of meat.
Use the cheese dip as a meat-topper.
Instead of waiting for the cheese in the metal bowl to melt, why not take little cubes and place them right on top of the grilling meat? That way, the cheese melts directly on the pork or beef faster.
Don’t hesitate to ask for another grill.
The grills on your table are removable, and when some of the charred bits start sticking on the metal, ask the servers to replace the grill.
Try all the sauces available on the table.
Samgyupsalamat, for one, knows their sauces and serves more than just the usual gochujang and sesame oil. Apart from the cheese, try the sarsa that comes on top of the grill. It’s a bit sweet, but not too much to be cloying, and makes for a delicious dip, too.
If you can, skip out on the carbs.
Rice and potatoes can easily fill you up, so try to maximize your food by skipping those and snacking on the banchan (side dishes) instead.
You can request for garlic chips and green chili.
Because some of us love that extra punch of heat.
Soju is a good drink to pair with your meal.
Turn your dinner into a night-out with the Koreans’ choice of drink, Soju. Pro tip: order their Melona ice cream and stir into your glass of Soju, it instantly makes an adult milkshake!
Lastly, don’t forget to bring a bottle of perfume or hair-freshner.
Chances are, you’ll come out smelling like cooked meat, so bring something to aid that!
Korean barbecue places have sprouted and mushroomed all over the metro, but Samgyupsalamat’s humble branch located in BF Homes, Parañaque holds a certain, homey charm amidst the busyness of Aguirre Ave. Groups of friends, couples, and colleagues comprise the crowd, ready to chomp down heaps of delicious meat over a few drinks and many, many laughs.