Written by Rae
Photos by Ben and Rae
Have you heard the the neighborhood Bogwang-dong? It’s a tiny residential neighborhood away from the hustle and bustle of the Itaewon main road. You can find it by walking down the antique road street, going towards the Han River. This is the neighborhood we live in. It’s quiet compared to the main road, and the neighborhood is mostly Korean with a few other foreigners. Here you can find lots of delicious restaurants! This includes the Bogwang-dong Jip, although Ben and I don’t even identify this restaurant by name, we mainly call it the “one (고기집) close to our house.”
This is one of the best bbq joints in Itaewon. It started out as a small little restaurant that served dwaejigalbijjim (spicy pork stew) baek-bans, but expanded and grew into a gogi-jip (bbq house) after it became popular in the neighborhood. The reason why we like this place so much is because the banchan is always fresh, and the meat is very good. Each and every banchan is excellent, which is special because it’s hard to find restaurants where all of the banchan is good, moreover fresh. This restaurant pays attention to the quality of their food. The service is also good. Throughout the bbq the waitress changes your grill a few different times, as the the grill top becomes burnt.
Today we ordered dwaeji-wang-galbi (marinated pork meat). They have other meat like samgyupsal, beef, galmaegi-sal, etc., but the dwaeji-wang-galbi is particularly good. It was 11,000 per person (250 grams/pp) – which compared to the prices in Sinchon or Hongdae, might seem expensive – but having a Korean meal where everything on the table is delicious is worth paying more for. Here’s what the full meal looks like!
You can see there are two salads, radish kimchi, seaweed salad, mashed sweet potatoes, and pickled onions with wasabi vinaigrette. Also not shown is the soybean soup, and the mul-kimchi (very refreshing!, says Ben)
Seaweed salad: pickled seaweed in vinegar and soy sauce with hot peppers. Served cold. Refreshing during the summer.
Sweet potato mayo-mash. It’s like a tiny potato salad with a few raisins inside. A little taste of America at the Korean table.
This salad is so so good. Unlike other bbq houses that serve a vinegary red pepper salad (초고주장), which usually has beansprouts and green onionㄴ or Korean chives, this salad is made of bitter mountain greens and lettuce. It is dressed with a savory sauce made from crushed red pepper, lots of sesame oil and maybe a few other secret ingredients.
Iceberg lettuce with sesame mayo dressing. Another refreshing side dish for summer. Iceberg lettuce tends to be underrated, and it’s good during summer, especially when pared with a yummy dressing.
This bbq house can be found in Bogwang-dong, near Itaewon, after the Polytech College.
By walk: Go down the antique road street (going away from Hamilton Hotel). Walk all the way down and then up a small hill until you see Polytech College. Go down the hill towards the Han River, and it is on the right side, about two minutes down the hill. You can see the sign above.
By bus: Take the 421, 400 or 405 across from the Taco Bell in Itaewon. Get off at Polytech College and walk down the hill. You will see the restaurant on your right, a few minutes down the hill.