Hearty, all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue and therapeutic hotpots in District 7. By Ruben Luong. Photos by Sarah Joanne Smith.
If you’ve ever watched a Korean drama series, some of the most common scenes are the ones where families share elaborate meals of barbecue and traditional side dishes in between waves of scandal and heartbreak.
At District 7’s Galbi Brothers Korean barbecue, these family-style meals are beautifully recreated and fun to eat, whether you have an unrequited love or are plotting heartfelt revenge.
That said, it’s best to enjoy in groups, as there are booths outside and a large floor table inside. Each table has a built-in stove. Unlike some Korean barbecue establishments, the waiters will grill the raw meat for you over fiery coals. You will instantly feel the heat.
There’s no better way to describe the menu other than meaty. It features an assortment of beef and pork, like special beef ribs (VND 320,000/150g, VND 1,100,000/600g), grilled marinated beef ribs (VND 320,000/300g), herbal belly pork (VND 160,000/200g, VND 350,000/600g) or special herbal pork ribs (VND 190,000/200g, VND 450,000/600g).
All barbecue comes with eclectic side dishes, some spicy and some not, like soybean paste stew, steamed egg, traditional spicy kimchi, stir-fried glass noodles, water spinach, chilli tofu, mayonnaise dressing salad and six types of vegetables. Each item on the lunch menu also includes a stone pot of white rice mixed with beans and slices of mild sweet potato.
A must-have is the kimchi hotpot (VND 130,000/one person, VND 250,000/two people), which tastes great by itself or ordered with barbecue. It is an energising, therapeutic dish, made so spicy and addictive with its ample, crunchy kimchi and firm glass noodles which are slurped from a broiling red-hot broth.
Galbi Brothers is definitely worth a visit for its all-you-can-eat barbecue every Thursday and Friday for VND 150,000 per person. Every day also boasts favourable lunch specials, like VND 99,000 spicy marinated pork with vegetables on Mondays or VND 400,000 steamed spicy beef ribs for four on Saturdays and Sundays.
Make sure to call and reserve a table beforehand, as spots are limited especially in the evenings. Otherwise, you might find yourself in the midst of a little drama.