On our last visit to the I’Park Mall we decided to try a new restaurant: Bulgogi Brothers. This mall is a favorite because it has an E-mart, a Daiso, an IMAX theater, several stores, restaurants and the Electronics Market. The I’Park mall is giant. It has two wings with the IMAX theater in between. There is a wedding banquet space, and an outdoor pavilion which hosts various activities. A foreigner’s guide in English to the Mall Directory can be found here.
The I’Park Mall sits atop the Yongsan subway/train station (line 1) but you can also get there by getting off at Sinyongsan, line 4 and walking out of exit 3. Head to the end of the block, go around the corner to the right and you will see the mall in front of you.
The mall has 8 floors from the ground up and at least 2 floors below which contain the E-Mart and Daiso. It’s my favorite mall right now.
I had seen the sign for the “Bulgogi Brothers” and was interested in trying it out.
Bulgogi is Korean for beef, usually marinated. We chose the option of 500g of meat plate, including heart shaped ground beef patties and wafer thin slices of steak.
This place was much more upscale than the local hole-in-the-wall places we had been visiting in our neighborhood. That being said, it was really nice to experience Korean food in a fine dining establishment. One example was with the sides. These sides were all chosen specifically to compliment the meat platter. I have noticed that in smaller restaurants the sides are a combination of regular things – like kimchi – and whatever they happen to get cheap at the market that morning. The atmosphere was much more westernized and the cooking unit in the center of the table was electric. Also, the wait staff cooks your food for you so you can focus on just on enjoying the eating experience.
Before the meal we were served cold green tea along with some sweet rolls that seemed to have poppy seeds in them. I’d go more into detail but my daughter at most of them.
Here is an attempt to describe the sides that went along with our meal.
- a spicy lettuce salad, 2. a small amount of cabbage kimchi, 3. jalapeño peppers filled with something, 4. personal dipping/seasoning plate (sweet and spicy sauce, salt and pepper, and a sweet sauce) 5. white radishes, onions and other white veggies in a sweet vinegary sauce 6. some kind of green leafy vegetable cooked (seemed like a cross between spinach and seaweed) and 7. a yellow dish that looked like some kind of egg salad (I wasn’t brave enough to try it but my toddler loved it).
The heart shaped burgers were much better than I expected. At first I thought it was a little cheesy but, then it’s Korea, so cheesy is the norm. They didn’t hold their shape well as they were cooked – but they were well seasoned and very tender. They were more like shredded beef patties than the hard texture of regular ground beef. They were cooked in a pan with some mushrooms, an onion, and something that must have been a slice of white radish but also had the texture of a dried apple. They tasted FANTASTIC.
Everything tasted amazing. I’m always fascinated by the timing with table cooking. They started with mushrooms, onion and radish first, and then added the beef patties. They know when to turn them so they’re not under or over cooked as well as how long to wait before checking back to see if we had finished and ready for the second part of our meal. This time, the second part of our meal was wafer thin steak with bean sprouts and mushrooms.
Koreans believe that the charred/burned parts of food give you cancer so they constantly switch out your cooking plates. I have noticed this in all of the restaurants I have visited thus far.
This restaurant also had special kid’s plates and cups just for our toddler which was much appreciated. This was the first time eating out that I had seen this.
Like most Korean restaurants, don’t expect a bill. Just go to front to pay and they magically know what your meal was and how much you owe.
Overall it was a fantastic dining experience. The price of our meal was 50,000 won, which was expensive but it was a special treat for us and it was very worth it. It won’t be something we will do all the time, but I will certainly go there again for special occasions.
Directions / Hours / Additional Information
Yongsan Station, Line 1 or Sinyongsan station, line 4, exit 3. Head to the end of the block, go around the corner to the right and you will see the mall in front of you.
Mall hours are from 10:30-20:00 with some variations depending on the specific stores. (E-Mart is open from 9:00-24:00) and the GCV IMAX is open from 10:30-02:00)
Bulgogi Brothers – Weststreet side, 6th floor near the CGV IMAX Cinema.
Cash won and credit cards are acceptable forms of payment.