What used to be Kobe Ramen is now Baekjeong Korean BBQ House! Owned by the same people who run Dookebaeki, it’s no surprise that my meal and experience at Baekjeong were great (P.S. you can read my review of Dookbaeki here). Although there is noticeably a plethora of Korean restaurants in southside Edmonton, Baekjeong is a step above other places that claim to specialize in KBBQ. The food, service, and decor are all really great.
Unfortunately, they aren’t AYCE so don’t expect to pay a standard price and get a mountain of food. And for those of you that can eat a lot, expect to pay a little more in order to fill up. Nonetheless, I thought the food at Baekjeong was fresh and tasty, and my experience was worth the price in the end.
As I came during opening weekend, I made a reservation to hopefully avoid waiting. Though the place was noticeably busy when I came, there didn’t seem to be a wait for tables at all, perhaps just good timing. I was greeted promptly and within a couple of minutes, we were seated at a booth. With their traditional Korean style decor, the restaurant no longer holds the essence of a sit-down sushi restaurant. It’s a really beautiful space! Although it is a very open inside, be warned that you’ll still leave smelling like Korean BBQ lol.
On to the best part, the food. Baekjeong may be branded as a Korean BBQ House but they do offer a variety of main dishes, soups/stews, and large share plates. I felt that the prices for these options were comparable to most Korean restaurants. Main dishes ranged anywhere from $13 to $20 something dollars and dishes like bossam (braised pork belly) were a bit more – but still consistent with other places that I have been to. What seems expensive is the meats.
You can order the meats for BBQ as a combo or there are individual beef and pork options. With the cheapest cut being at $20, it feels like you have to spend a fair amount to try all the good stuff! I have to admit that the prices really reflect the quality of the meat and in the end, I believed I got my money’s worth of food.
The combos are a great place to start if you are looking to try multiple cuts. However, I was disappointed that combos only came with beef options. It would’ve been nice to have a platter of pork and beef to try.
For my visit, I ordered the Baekjeong B-Combo ($160) which was meant to feed around 3-4 people. We also added a dish of Thick Sliced Pork Belly / Saengsamgyeobsal ($24). I definitely underestimated how much meat this all was though. When the meats first came out, I didn’t think it was enough… but do not judge anything until you try to work your way through it. My party of 4 couldn’t finish all the meats and we were officially defeated by the end of the meal. We actually came in with hungry stomachs, ready to feast, too!
Before our main dishes came, we were served with the standard side dishes – kimchi, salad, and bean sprouts. The B-Combo came with 4 cuts of meat: thin sliced beef lower brisket, sliced boneless beef short rib, thick sliced prime rib eye steak, and marinated beef short rib. You also get a choice between Korean bean curd soup or Kimchi soup and steamed egg. We chose the kimchi soup and steamed egg. All combos include onion slices and king oyster mushrooms as well.
Out of all the meats, I liked the pork belly the least. It was fairly dry and didn’t impress me. On the other hand, while the cuts in the B-combo were all pretty good, some stood out more than others. My particular favourites were the marinated beef short rib and the sliced boneless beef short rib. These two were so tender! The marinated beef was especially tasty and the favourite amongst everybody at my table.
The prime rib eye steak was a great looking piece of meat but I probably wouldn’t order this if I was ordering individual dishes. Personally, steak isn’t exactly my main priority when I go for KBBQ! I also did not really care for the thin sliced beef lower brisket as this cut was… well thin and nothing special. It cooked really fast and it was actually the “last resort” on our plate – otherwise known as the one that you don’t touch until you literally have no other option left.
I also enjoyed the Korean kimchi soup, which was delicious! It was not as spicy as I was expecting and had bits of tofu, beef, and kimchi. I thought that having a soup was a nice balance between all the meat. And as basic as the steamed egg appeared to be, it was actually really good too. It was a unique looking dish because it came out like a big cloud but eventually deflated. Somehow the cooks at Baekjeong managed to turn a staple dish into something that was great with every bite.
Lettuce and seasonings/sauces are also served with the meat options. We got sea salt, sweet chilli sauce and wasabi soy sauce. Ssamjang, a red chilli/soybean paste mixture, also accompanied the bbq options. Rice comes at an additional cost too.
All in all, my first time at Baekjeong was enjoyable and I would definitely consider coming back – more for the KBBQ experience than other dishes – but I don’t doubt that everything on the menu is just as tasty. The food quality and taste are up to par with the prices and if you’re coming with a group, I believe that it’s a fair price to pay – especially when you’re getting so much food. Just be wary if you’ve got a big appetite because you might have to spend quite a bit to properly fill up. Service was friendly and attentive as well. Though the space that currently occupies Baekjeong has not had the best luck with business in the past, I am hopeful that Baekjeong is going to stick around for a while. Check them out for a different experience with Korean food!
Baekjeong Korean BBQ House
2874 Calgary Trail, Edmonton