Last month I had Korean BBQ four times in the one week – definitely a record for me!! It started at Took Bae Kee on Barrack Street thanks to Groupon who kindly provided me a $50 coupon to spend on whatever my tummy desired. Dinner at Took Bae Kee was on Monday. Tuesday night I cooked up the marinated Korean meat I bought from the Korean grocer next door. Thursday night a bunch of us Perth food bloggers caught up initially for drinks but ended up at Tong 86 for Korean BBQ for dinner. On the Friday night, I went with my bro and his gf little miss bacon for an impromptu dinner which ended up being a Korean BBQ / steam boat buffet at Sanabro.
So starting with Took Bae Kee…I was a little skeptical when I first called Took Bae Kee in August as the first question I was asked when they picked up the phone was “do you have a groupon coupon”, when I said yes, they told me they were fully booked for their “groupon nights” until September. I did kind of expect that, as I understand you need to leave enough tables for full paying regular customers too but the initial service/impression I received wasn’t that great. When our Korean BBQ dinner finally arrived, my bro was pretty excited. I was still skeptical but it didn’t take long for Took Bae Kee’s service and food to win me over – it was nothing like what I had experienced on the phone.
Our $50 Groupon coupon entitled us to Korean BBQ for four plus two servings of dumplings which I thought was amazing value, usually it’s $147 which I would have been more than happy to pay. At the end of the night, we just paid for the drinks which worked out to be $35 and both my bro and I were a bit tipsy off this delicious Korean black raspberry wine.
It’s only a small bottle and you drink it in these mini glasses. As the wine tastes nice and sweet, we didn’t realise how much alcohol was in it until we were half way through! Our waitress explained that best way to have Korean BBQ is to fill a lettuce cup up with rice, meat, rolling it and dipping it in the sauce.
The service was amazing Took Bae Kee cook everything for you. This is our marinated meats and veggies cooking on the hot plates…
The steamed beef dumpling came out next, the pastry was cooked right and the dumpling was soft & silky.
The pork belly was both spicy & sweet and super tender. The beef like the pork belly was tender, soft & delicious – we loved the sweet caramalised sauce! One of the highlights at Took Bae Kee is that we were able to leave without smelling like Korean BBQ everywhere else I’ve been for Korean BBQ I walk out smelling like the marinade – they must have really good ventilation! Thanks for dinner Groupon, it was an awesome new foodie discovery and we’ll definitely be back to Took Bae Kee for dinner again.
Having Korean BBQ first up at Took Bae Kee really set the bar for me as I was really impressed and my Korean BBQ expectations had been somewhat elevated So moving along to Tong 86, the setting is super casual and filled with backpackers and students. Us food bloggers got there around 9pm after a few drinks at the Pica Bar – it was great to find a place close by as I was starving! As you can kind of see by the bloggers in the pic, we were all very patiently waiting for the hot plates to heat up…it did also take awhile to catch the attention of the staff at Tong 86.
The meats unlike Took Bae Kee weren’t marinated – as you can see below, the meat was fresh so you just really got to know what you’re doing and mix up your own sauces to make it into a tasty meal. I didn’t manage to get a pic of the kim chi pancake but it was amazing – nice & fluffy and super tasty. I could have just had kim chi pancakes all night!
From memory we spent under $20 each and rolled out of there all pretty stuffed so it was value for money and a good place to go on a budget.
The last Korean BBQ dinner for the week was Sinabro on the Friday night with my bro and his gf little miss bacon. Our tables had a sparkling peach waiting for us on arrival, it was a bit warm and tasted odd but hey it was part of the buffet so I drank it anyway. I also had a Korean beer with my bro…
As it was a buffet we just helped ourselves to meat, seafood and veggies the whole night. There were some pre-cooked hot foods too.
What was different about Sinabro was that you could cook your food using the hot plates or via the steam boat…
It was $35 each for the buffet including the sparkling peach drink. Beers were on top, it was value for money considering that seafood was involved and it was a nice setting. Taste-wise I did prefer Took Bae Kee though.