How to Enjoy Your First Visit to a Korean BBQ
Have you been thinking about visiting a Korean BBQ restaurant but have been worried that you won't know what you are expected to do there? Eating out at a Korean restaurant can be confusing on your first visit, but with a little help it can become an extremely rewarding experience and a great way to enjoy an evening with friends. Here are four tips to help you make the most of your first visit to a Korean BBQ restaurant and ensure you have a great time.
Don't go alone
Not only is a meal out more enjoyable in company, but with Korean BBQ, attending as a group helps you to get more out of the experience. A Korean BBQ is a large-format meal where the whole purpose of the meal is to sample the widest possible range of food, and the greater the number of guests you bring, the greater the number of dishes you will be able to try.
Coping with chopsticks
When you walk into a Korean BBQ restaurant, you might see wooden or metal chopsticks on the table. There is no fixed rule about which chopsticks you should use for which dish, although many people prefer to select wooden chopsticks for noodle dishes since they grip the noodles more effectively. If you can't see any wooden chopsticks on the table, then don't be afraid to ask the server for them. When you have finished with your chopsticks, you can just return them to the bowl, or, if you prefer, you can act like a Korean and make a little paper stand for them out of the paper the chopsticks are wrapped in.
Don't forget the side dishes
Banchan are the side dishes served at every Korean BBQ. These dishes are generally brought out at the start of the meal before the meat is ready, but don't make the mistake of thinking they are intended as an appetizer. The banchan is intended to be consumed throughout the meal, with the vinegar and acids complementing the meat. Don't worry; if you finish your banchan, the serving staff will be happy to bring you more.
What should you order?
Each Korean BBQ will have a slightly different selection of meat, but one thing you can be sure of is that there will be plenty to choose from. Whether you want to try pork collar, brisket, beef tongue or something else, you will have the opportunity to sample a wide range of meat. While you could easily be overwhelmed by the choice of meat on offer, don't be afraid of picking an old standard. Marinated ribs are a traditional staple of every Korean BBQ, and you won't go wrong with them. Just remember to order plenty of rice to accompany the dish.