Korean barbecue is probably the most famous food in Korea, or at the very least the most exported. Grilled meats over hot coals are a delicacy that is very hard to resist, just walking past a barbecue joint with its intoxicating smell will get my juices flowing. However with so many different styles of restaurants in the city finding a good place to eat isn’t always easy when there are so many places to choose from.
Yetgoltoseong is located just by Gangnam station and is a large restaurant on the basement floor of the CGV building. Despite being in the basement the huge floor to ceiling windows make the whole place feel very light and airy. The large wooden benches make it perfect for large groups, while the cozy private booths make a great spot for a more intimate dinner.
The specialty at Yetgoltoseong is the duck which is smoked for hours on a rotisserie, but they also serve grilled beef and pork. We of course couldn’t resist trying a a bit of everything so had a platter of duck and beef ribs (46,000 for 700g) and sam gyup sal pork belly (12,000 for 200g). Unlike other restaurants the meat is pre-smoked here to give it more flavour, you can eat it straight or grill it over the coals to make the fat all lovely and crispy. We of course chose the latter, and added a handful of garlic to the grill too.
The side dishes were the traditional mix of banchan that you will find at most Korean restaurants. Here they serve white kimchi which I so much prefer over the spicy red kind, it’s much closer to sour kraut which I love. There were also wafer thin slices of picked radish, slivers of spring onion which are another of my favourites, and salad dressed which a creamy black sesame dressing.
At Yetgoltoseong they serve a very special brown sauce for dipping the meat into, it’s like a salty take on hoisin. It was perfect to dip the juicy pieces of smoked duck into, and when topped with spring onions and wrapped in the wafer thin radish slices it was like a Korean take on the Chinese duck and pancake.The sam gyup sal topped with samjang and wrapped in the white kimchi was also divine.
To drink we decided to get a couple of beers as well as a bottle of the new, hugely popular, flavoured soju. Since I hadn’t tried it yet we decided to give the blueberry version a go. This one is much sweeter than the regular variety and goes down a treat, as there is no after shot judder with these babies, and it wasn’t long before the bottle was empty.
Overall I was very happy with our meal, and despite being three very large eaters we all left full to the brim, which we all thought very reasonable considering it cost about 20,000 per head. There were smiles all around as we left, although that could have been the blueberry soju.
Yetgoltoseong is located at 814-5 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Shinnonhyeon station(Line 9) and come out exit 5. Walk straight and the entrance is on your left, through the car park just before the CGV. From Gangnam station(line 2), come out exit 11 and walk straight. The restaurant will be on your right just after CGV.