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678 Korean BBQ

  • Restaurants
  • Haymarket
  • price 1 of 4
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
G2 Korean BBQ
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Korean cook-your-own with banchan of the gods on the side

What’s the best thing about Korean barbecue? Well, that would be the banchan. Basically it’s all the free stuff that lands on your table right before you kick things off with the coals. It’s the kimchi, the radish, the salads and soups.

At 678 Korean BBQ in the CBD, we count no fewer than nine banchan: there’s kimchi and hot sweet potato, pickled radish and some seriously delicious fermented chilli sauce, among other plates. They land at lightening speed on our table as soon as we sit down. It’s a bit like that at this place: all the staff in the vast, wood-lined space seem to rush about faster than you can catch them. When you do, though, order the pork belly and the marinated boneless short rib for your tabletop barbecue.

Leave the pork belly on and let it char up a little. Same goes for the short ribs, which need some time on the grill. The pork develops a nice caramelised outer layer, while inside it stays soft and juicy. The sugars in the beef marinade also respond well to charring; you’ll know the meat isn’t cooked well enough if you have to use your canines to tear it apart. Just pop them back on and they will soften up. But if that all sounds like too much hard work for a dinner date, then get the wagyu ribeye fillet instead, which cooks quickly and stays tender. For us, though, it’s all about the rougher cuts that provide intense flavour. The enoki mushrooms from the vegetable platter turn out especially delicious, taking on all the caramelised flavours of the meat that was there before them.

To wash it all down, the Cheoeum Cheoreom soju is strong and boisterous, or a Hite Korean beer will keep things on the light and bright side (and what Sydneysider should be barbecuing without a beer in their hand?). It’s damn noisy, so don’t go here for a heart-to-heart. But for a good time with tasty eats city-side, we’re definitely on board.

Written by Freya Herring


Level 1, 396 Pitt St
Opening hours:
Mon-Sun 11-12am
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