The Best Spots for Korean BBQ in Sydney
Warm yourself up this winter surrounded by mates and a sizzling plate of all your favourite meats.
The summer backyard barbie is a much-loved Aussie tradition. So, if you're looking to extend barbeque season into the colder months of the year, sans the freezing backyard, we've got the perfect solution for you. The family share-style menu of Korean barbeque is best enjoyed surrounded by enthusiastic mates and equally enthusiastic appetites.
Wander into any of Sydney's best KBBQ restaurants and expect to be presented with dazzling cuts of marinated and non-marinated meat, a bountiful array of banchan (aka side dishes) and a variety of hot soups in heated clay pots.
For some of the best soul-warming winter dining experiences in Sydney, head to one of these ten Korean BBQ restaurants.
678 KOREAN BBQ, EASTWOOD
678 Korean BBQ is part of Korean celebrity Kang Ho-dong's chain of BBQ restaurants around the world. It's easy to see why they're so popular with a no-fuss menu that focuses on delivery quality cuts in spades. The kitchen dishes and banchan aren't as extensive in comparison to other Korean BBQ joints, but the Eastwood venue features a small in-house butcher for diners to watch their cuts being sliced and prepared. You'll find glorious cuts of pork, beef and for good measure — a separate premium list of wagyu. Don't miss out on the soy-marinated pork short rib or if you're feeling adventurous, try the marinated beef intestines. Combined with attentive service, 678 is one of the top spots for diners seeking a casual spot with top-tier ingredients.
Where? 14 Glen Street, Eastwood. 678 Korean BBQ is also at Level 1, 396 Pitt Street, Sydney.
Searching for Korean BBQ with a dazzling venue filled with spacious booths and lovely décor? Look no further than Bornga, one of the fancier Korean BBQ restaurants in town. Another international chain, this time by celebrity Korean chef Baek Jong-won, Bornga features an extensive menu with high-quality meat and traditional Korean dishes. Expect steaming stews, traditional dishes like japchae (a Korean stir-fried glass noodle dish) and marinated samgyeopsal (pork belly). Grab their signature woosamgyup (thinly-sliced beef loin) which comes with a lovely ratio of fat. Leave the beef loin longer on the barbecue until the fat crisps up the meat into a bacon-like consistency — and you'll never look at thin beef strips the same way. Trust us.
Where? Level 1, 78 Harbour St, Haymarket.
Unpretentious and no-frills are the words that best describe Hanabi. Located in Lidcombe, this humble restaurant is a local favourite and it's not hard to see why. One of their main attractions is the 'cheese-pong' dish that either comes with spicy chicken or pork belly and baby octopus. The dish comprises of hot a plate with spicy marinated pork belly and octopus at its centre, while the edges are made of slots of grilled cheese, corn or egg so diners can dip the spicy proteins into melted stringy goodness. The result is all the cheese-pulling antics your social media heart desires. Their menu also includes a comprehensive list of wagyu and pork cuts for a more traditional KBBQ barbecue. Plates of fried chicken fingers and chips is another secret favourite among locals.
Where? 33 Joseph St, Lidcombe.
JANG TA BAL, STRATHFIELD
A buzzing atmosphere, beer towers and sizzling mayhem are what you'll find at Jang Ta Bal, particularly if you're at their Strathfield location. A favourite amongst the livelier patrons of Korean BBQ, Jang Ta Bal's menu here is first class with premium cuts of wagyu and extensive beef and pork menus. Order a whole wagyu scotch fillet for only $35 and sit back as their brilliant staff take care of the rest — cooking your meat to perfection. Their fresh crab marinated in chilli paste is one to try if you're there on the weekend, along with the fluffy egg soup, often touted as one of the best in Sydney.
Where? 48A The Boulevarde, Strathfield. Jang Ta Bal is also at Level 1, 73 Liverpool St, Sydney.
YANG SAN PARK, SYDNEY
Another favourite go-to location for rowdier patrons, Yang San Park is a place suited for any occasion whether you're after a fun date spot, a casual lunch with friends or a reliable dinner location before a big night out. You'll be delighted to find your favourite pork and beef cuts at much cheaper prices here with no sacrifice on the quality. The staff here are friendly, efficient and attentively cook your food for you. With great value on the menu, exceptional staff and a bustling atmosphere, this Dixon Street mainstay is the whole package for your next barbecue rendezvous.
Where? Shop 21, 1 Dixon St, Sydney.
SE JONG KOREAN BBQ BUFFET, CAMPSIE
Who doesn't love a good buffet? If you're the type that can feast on unlimited cuts of meat, Se Jong will offer you just that. You'll find all the usual suspects for protein here in abundance. The restaurant also services other delights like japchae, Korean fried chicken and Korean dumplings. The homey decor allows you to relax as you eat and no-frills service will ensure that you have all your needs met. At $42 per head, it's a reasonably priced buffet for the great variety you get in return.
Where? 8 London St, Campsie or 270 Castlereagh St, Sydney. You'll also find Se Jong Korean BBQ Buffet at 821 Pennant Hills Rd, Carlingford.
Kogi is run by General Manager David Bae who has a long family history of Korean BBQ venues in Australia. His father, Donald Bae, is credited with bringing the popular Korean dining concept to Australia in 1992 meaning Kogi is in very safe hands with this family. With attentive staff making sure that different grills are used for different proteins, diners can sleep soundly knowing they're getting the absolute best out of their barbecued proteins – over charcoal too for the traditionalists out there. Their menu features a series of fresh and marinated proteins, plus veggies to share. If you're feeling cold this winter, choose from an extensive range of hot pots to warm you up.
Where? Level 3 Market City, 9-13 Hay St, Haymarket.
SYDNEY MADANG, SYDNEY
This Korean BBQ favourite has gained cult status for being one of the most sought-after Korean BBQ destinations in Sydney. Don't believe us? Venture down the alley off Pitt Street during lunch or dinner hours and you'll probably find a decent crowd. Madang's reputation needs no explanation — with reliable barbecue meats, famed japchae and shallot pancakes. Between the barbecue and the boiling stews, expect a treat for the body and the soul.
Where? 371A Pitt St, Sydney.
If you're looking for something a little classier then you won't put a foot wrong with heading over to Madang's sister restaurant, Danjee. The self-proclaimed fine-dining restaurant focuses primarily on high-quality food, eye-catching presentation and elevated table service. If you open their menu, you'll find a beautiful array of delectable meats, stews, seafood and noodles. If you're feeling fancy, order the wagyu top blade or wagyu short ribs. The beverage list also offers slightly more refined options compared to other KBBQ spots, like premium-distilled soju, red and white wines. If you're in the mood for something more progressive, Danjee also offers some fusion dishes like bulgogi burgers.
Where? 1/7 Albion Place, Sydney.
WAGYU HOUSE, CROYDON
Another buffet venue to add to your list, Wagyu House enters in as one of the best in terms of quality and value. Their Croydon location is split into two sections; an indoor dining area on one side and a butcher department on the other which acts as the buffet spread. Featuring a variety of fresh and marinated proteins — expect seafood, pork, chicken, beef and wagyu beef slices. Wagyu House also features a buffet spread of Korean and non-Korean dishes such as pancakes, fried rice and sushi nigiri. At $36.60 (including wagyu) per head, Wagyu House is one of the most affordable Korean BBQ all-you-can-eat places available in Sydney.
Where? 668-670 Parramatta Rd, Croydon.
Top image: Supplied by Kogi.
Published on June 01, 2021 by Daniel Phu