I know I have just written about Korean food in my previous post, but believe it or not, writing that post triggered my cravings for yet another round of Korean food! So last weekend, Saucer and I ventured to the Korean part of Eastwood to satisfy my cravings. There were plenty of Korean restaurants just along that stretch of street and after walking up and down, we decided on Jonga Jip Korean BBQ. There were 2 branches within walking distance of each other, one along Rowe Street and a new one next to Eastwood Hotel. We went to the latter because we saw suction hoods above each BBQ, while the former did not have that. Either way, I didn’t think that suction helped much because I still smelt like BBQ at the end of the dinner.
The restaurant was pretty crowded but we’re lucky to get a table just as a family left. I initially wanted to order a kimchi soup but I distracted by the BBQ on my neighbouring tables. There’s something about the aroma of Korean BBQ that always goes against my instincts! Since the minimum order for BBQ was 2 portions, I had to let go of the soup in case we over-ordered. And I think we did the right thing, because we were then presented with a whole myriad of side dishes or Banchan, that filled our tummy quickly.
BBQ on our table
Condiments for BBQ
Our BBQ was made from a combination of gas flame and charcoal, which was placed on top of the gas flame. This gave our meat a pseudo-charcoal type of cooking, which was better than pure gas-cooking, some might say. The condiments for BBQ came first – lettuce, green chilli, garlic, pickled onion rings and the all-important bean paste or ssam jang.
Marinated Pork Ribs (AUD19)
We ordered a portion of Marinated Pork Ribs and a portion of Beef Brisket. The marinated pork ribs were fabulous! They were extremely juicy and tender and literally burst with flavour. It was the type of meat that you couldn’t stop yourself from eating from, and that tasted so good on its own it didn’t need any condiments. I wished we had ordered 2 portions of just this, because the beef brisket paled in comparison. The marinade was savoury, slightly sweet and just so aromatic.
Beef Brisket (AUD18)
The beef brisket was not marinated, which was probably it lost in terms of flavour. This was when the ssam jang came in handy, because it gave the beef a little more flavour compared to its original form. We had to refill our ssam jang twice because of this, and also because the ssam jang was good, of course.
Side dishes or Ban Chan
As with most Korean restaurants, there’s always side dishes or Ban Chan involved. I counted, and there were exactly 11 plates of those for the 2 of us! We were really impressed. Plus, they were all in good-sized portions, nothing like 1-2 pieces each that’s just enough to tease your senses. These were actually enough to make you full. I loved the sweet chilli potato wedges, the fish cake slices and the seaweed. There was a plate of iceberg lettuce drizzled with black sesame dressing, which I found to be rather interesting. As for the kimchi, Saucer thought it was not marinated for long enough and tasted a little too raw. I could tell there was a difference to all the other kimchi that we had before, but I couldn’t quite put my finger to the reason. Perhaps it’s really not ‘old’ enough?
Fish cake and sweet chilli potato wedges on top
Kimchi, broccoli and beansprouts for the green in you
Lettuce with black sesame dressing
Mashed potato and pickled cucumber
The BBQ here was DIY, so we get to cook our own meat according to our own preference. It was also good to keep us occupied while waiting for the food to be cooked. This is the picture of the grilled pork ribs that were absolutely heavenly! Oh, did I mention that there were no bones in the ribs? Technically, ribs would have bones but these were de-boned so we got the goodness of ribs without having to struggle with the bones. Excellent!
Absolutely amazing boneless pork ribs
Half a portion of the pork ribs
The portion of meat given was sizable, with the amount above just halfway through. The way we eat the BBQ was to place some ssam jang on a lettuce leaf, then the grilled meat on top, followed by garlic, onion rings and green chilli before wrapping them all up. We had multiple servings of the lettuce to wrap all our meat and we were more than full by the end of our meal. I was actually really proud of myself for being able to fill up with very little carb.
How to eat Korean BBQ – wrap it all up!
Jonga Jip Korean BBQ
Jonga Jip Restaurant
86 Rowe Street
NSW 2122, Australia.
Tel No.:02 9858 5160