I had never eaten Korean BBQ and really only had a vague idea of what to expect. I had heard really good things but the concept was foreign, to say the least. When our neighbor and food blogger Ron invited us to visit Seol Grille it seemed like an opportunity to explore. Prior to the visit I did a little research to see what to expect and more importantly how one might best enjoy the food. I was aware that the meats were cooked at the table by the guest and to expect an array of sauces, salads, and sides. I know there is no ‘wrong’ way to enjoy your food but often there are some better or more traditional ways to eat that help accentuate the nuiance of the flavors. I watched a couple of YouTube videos (1,2), read this article, and felt prepared to explore.
The meal starts with a table filled with unique salads, pickles, kimchi, and sauces and a brief warning about the grill being hot. It is in fact very hot. You place your first order for protein and plates of raw meat make their way to the table. Some are marinated and most are cut into thin slices to cook quickly. Choices are everything from beef brisket, pork bulgogi, shrimp, squid, pork belly, chicken and more.
The cooking is a lot of fun, the service was great, and the food is amazing. Given it was all you can eat it was a great opportunity to try a lot of different offerings to see what you liked. It is definitely an eating experience and needs to be seen as a slow meal and not a race to the finish. My suggestion would be to do a little homework if you haven’t been, talk to your wait staff and follow their suggestions, try everything you can. I highly recommend Seol Grille if you are interested but this was my first time trying Korean BBQ so I may not be the source you want for suggestions. Regardless it is definitely something to try and much less intimidaing than you may think.