My partner and I have a lot of Korean BBQ, but it is rare for us to do it with actual Koreans. Recognising the experience of our senior Korean colleagues HWJ and CJP (both PGY8 medically and PGY30-ish Koreanly), we put our faith in them to lead the meal.
We started off with some pork belly. During this encounter I learned about the difference between the two main types of cooking surfaces used in Korean BBQ. The above pictured grill plate, contrasted with the mesh-type grill plate pictured below, is used preferentially for high-fat cuts like pork belly. The reason for this is that it has far fewer holes for fat to escape into the fire through, reducing the frequency of flare-ups. How did I sleepwalk through life not knowing this until now?
The second part of our highly-focused Korean BBQ experience was the rib eye. The meat was fresh and highly marbled – generally a delight to eat. Our friends knew exactly what they wanted meat-wise, and stuck with it. One pork option and one beef option, and both were very good.
The marinated baby octopus was cooked on the other type of grill – the same type as the beef – that allowed greater direct contact with the heat and more evaporation. I wasn’t a big fan of this octopus, despite it having been ordered at my request. They were large babies.
I just generally love steamed egg. (But I think BBQ Biwon‘s was softer and better)
This soft tofu chilli pot ($10) was cheap (commensurate with its lack of animal protein) but otherwise not much to write home about.
I enjoyed this cold noodle soup ($10) but wonder if in Korean culture these are not meant to be shared. One of my colleagues certainly acted like it was the personal order of the other colleague, but in the end no one stopped me from taking some. Actually very good value.
The banchan was good, plentiful, and quickly resupplied. The grilles were swapped out meticulously, so as not to leave too much burnt char on them for too long. Service can therefore be considered to be quite good. We paid a total of $55 per person for a very big feed for four humans.
Would I come back? Why not. The nearby Juwon Butchery is also a great place to pick up some wagyu Korean BBQ cuts to take home for a repeat meal a few days down the track.
Stoneage Korean BBQ
1B Chatham Rd, West Ryde NSW 2114
0401 167 688