The Singaporeans have a snack known as barbecued pork and the primary chain which sells it is Bee Cheng Hiang. It is a snack that almost every Singaporean has to snack on during the Chinese New Year period. One of its official CNY snacks! Interestingly, it sells very well and the chain has since expanded its franchise to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. So, it's definitely a hit with all these countries.
In fact, amazingly, I've a cousin in Toronto who actually yearns for this snack. I only found out about this last year on my visit to Toronto. I'm very surprised! No doubt it's a good snack but I really am not hooked on it. Considering that some would queued for hours just to buy a pack of bbq pork? That's beyond me!
Anyhow, when it comes to Korean barbecue, known locally as Gogi gui, I'm totally hooked! This is a full meal comprises of not just barbecue just also a varied array of banchan (Korean side dishes).
Korean cuisine is as interesting as Japanese cuisine, with a wide variety of dishes to choose from. Don't worry though, they are mostly cooked, unlike the Japanese sashimi & sushi.
As the fascination in Asia in recent years with Korean dramas escalates, Korean cuisine has become highly popular as well. Afterall, the first major Korean drama, Jewel in the Palace (Dae Jang Geum, 대장금, 大長今) was based entirely on Korean cuisine! If you haven't seen this drama, you must! It's the best of Korean dramas and you will certainly enjoy it! It is the Korean drama that has epitomized everything Korean and pushes Korean food to center stage in the whole world so much so that one can find many Korean restaurants by the name Dae Jang Geum in Korean towns across United States & Canada! Unbelievable!
Well, in the palace they don't eat Korean barbecue, not in those days anyhow. But it is Korean barbecue that I choose to write a review on because this is one of my favorite Korean way of dining.
I was a child of 10 when I first visited Korea in the middle of winter and boy was it one of the coldest places in the world! It must have been -20 deg. C or even more. I don't remember. Neither do I remember much of that trip but one thing I did remember was a full course Korean meal (known as Hanjeongsik in Korea), aromatic barbecue & the practice of feeding the diners!!! Yes, not only children but also adults alike! I felt like a royalty back then! Boy, it was awesome! Imagine, dining on tatami mats and being fed spoon by spoon, I think men would love the idea every day of their lives!!! ;-)
I haven't tried Korean barbecue in Korea since then but have had them in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong instead. It is still as good and I am still hooked on Gogi gui! I'm a meat person generally and the way the Koreans marinate their meats are just beyond words! You'd have to experience them personally to know. So far, my friends have led me to good restaurants and I haven't had any that's not great. Generally though, it's good to ask around first. Otherwise, if it's packed, then it's guaranteed to be good!
Gogi Gui is best when in the company of friends. Grilling meats is fun at the table and everyone has their fair share of cooking. I love my steaks although you may actually order pork or chicken if you wish to. The meats are usually marinated with soy sauce garlic, sugar, sliced onion. With a wide array of side dishes and beers, you can easily chat with your friends and eat till early morning! Spare lots of time if you're going for Korean BBQ with friends, that's the best way to enjoy this awesome meal!
Korean barbecue, or gogi gui, refers to the Korean method of grillingbeef, pork, chicken, or other types of meat. Such dishes are often prepared at the diner's table on gas or charcoal grills that are built into the center of the table itself. Most diners enjoy doing their own grilling at the table. Some Korean restaurants that do not have built-in grills provide portable stoves for diners to use at their tables.
The most typical form of Korean barbecue is galbi made from marinated beef short ribs. However, Korean barbecue also includes many other kinds of marinated and non-marinated meat dishes, and can be divided into several categories.
Korean barbecue is not only popular among Korean consumers but enjoys international popularity.