Posted by: tonkatsudelights | May 23, 2007

My Korean BBQ Cravings

Haven’t been eating charcoal BBQ in a long time. In fact, the last time I ate this was… more than a year ago when I was on business trip to Japan. Man, that was a loooooong time!

Korean charcoal BBQ is quite popular in Japan. There are so many of them that I didn’t have to stick to one place. I tried several of them and found them equally good. Hehe. Of course I trusted my Korean colleagues to bring me to the good ones lah…

Craving for Korean charcoal BBQ, I don’t think I can wait until my next trip to Japan. So I decided to check the one recommended by Mom’s friend, i.e. Ju Shin Jung, which just opened their new branch in East Coast, near to my favorite Waraku Japanese restaurant. Again, I managed to persuade Yungni, She Ing, and Sanny to follow me to try this place. Hehe… With Ms. PF coming with us, of course.

A few days after, though, when I was in Guangzhou, I got a chance to try another Korean BBQ restaurant, Gu Xiang Wu (this is the Chinese name, btw. Didn’t have the chance to check the Korean name). Never planned to eat Korean food in China, but that evening I was so tired so I prefer a quick dinner at a nearby place. I roped in Ms. PS, my sweet andro Thai colleague, to accompany me for dinner and she showed me this place.

Gu Xiang Wu, however, is not charcoal BBQ. In general, I prefer charcoal BBQ vs. non-charcoal — however, I find that the fact that it is charcoal BBQ does not necessarily mean that it is better than the non-charcoal one! Charcoal BBQ that I have in Japan usually has charcoal burnt smell on the meat, which I truly love. However, Ju Shin Jung is a bit stingy on the charcoal. They put only so little charcoal… At the end, there isn’t any distinctive charcoal burnt smell on the meat at all…

To me, a good charcoal BBQ is a combination of good quality meat + charcoal burnt smell + tasty sauce/dip. Since Ju Shin Jung is so stingy on the charcoal, and Gu Xiang Wu is no charcoal at all, obviously the second factor is gone. Both serves fairly good quality meat (and mushrooms and/or ox tongue), but the dip in Gu Xiang Wu fares better.

When it comes to the other dishes I ordered, i.e. bi bim bab and yuk gae jang (spicy beef soup), I prefer the ones in Ju Shin Jung simply because of their stronger taste. Yuk gae jang, when the soup taste is not strong, will be on the borderline tasteless for me.

Final verdict for both places for me is … acceptable. They serve as temporary relief of my cravings for the Korean charcoal BBQ, but still… they are not the real thing…

Just a note on the interesting thing in Ju Shin Jung. In the beginning, they put a small plate containing a few white tablets thingy on the table. We were kinda wondering what those were. Then suddenly the waiter came and poured water on those tablets… and look and behold… the tablets suddenly turn to be… towels! Hehe… just something interesting to start the dinner with. 🙂

Ju Shin Jung vs. Gu Xiang Wu


The side dishes in Ju Shin Jung look a lot vs. Gu Xiang Wu. Simply because it’s for 5 people vs. 2 people. Hehe. Taste-wise, Gu Xiang Wu is good!


Bi bim bab in Ju Shin Jung definitely looks much better than the one in Gu Xiang Wu. Tastes better as well!


Same comment for yuk gae jang. Ju Shin Jung’s looks and tastes better!


We didn’t order ox tongue in Ju Shin Jung. So these pictures were only from Gu Xiang Wu. BBQ-ed tongue with lemon dip… slurrrrp…. 



  1. wah,…. all your blogs are about food… *never stop eating*.. hahahha
    eh how to afford such a lifestyle?… aarrrrggghhhh

  2. my philosophy, dear ms. VS, is as follows:
    1) we need to eat everyday
    2) good food makes us happy
    3) if the above 2 points are true, why don’t we try to eat good food everyday? then we will be happy everyday!

    btw, good food =/= expensive food. My popiah only costs $1.80 each!

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