First let’s talk about the egg soup. All the regulars rave about it. There’s a good reason. The gyeranjjim looks ominous at first, a bubbling mass of pale yellow that arrives in a ttukbaegi, a traditional Korean earthenware bowl. This Korean favourite is made by steaming eggs with seasoned stock so the egg puffs up like a mattress. As it rises, the egg soaks up the stock resulting in a kind of soupy soufflé deliciousness with every spoonful. What’s even more amazing about the egg soup here? It’s free.
The dinner crowd at Jang Tur, a Korean barbecue house hidden on a bleak stretch of Canterbury Road, is almost always completely Korean. Some nights the place is heaving with big groups and cheerful family gatherings that span several generations. Other times it’s a lonely set of couples huddled over the grill. Décor is minimal. In fact the best things in the room are the red metal drum tables with stainless steel tabletops, a charcoal grill recessed in the middle.
The one-page menu doesn’t muck around, reading more like a shopping list with minimal descriptions. Garlic tiger prawns, chilli marinated squid and marinated scotch fillet are all $15 for a plate. You’ll have to cook your own on the thick wire grill, set over slabs of charcoal that add an unbeatable smokiness to each protein.
Jebichuri ($15) is translated as “inner part of beef” but really it’s thin skirt, part of the diaphragm muscle that’s much loved because of its intensity of flavour. “Meats between spare ribs” ($15) is the literal explanation of intercostals, sometimes known as rib fingers. Wrap up the cooked meat in the free lettuce cups provided and dunk them into the dipping sauce. A free salad (ours even came with avocado) will help delay the meat sweats. Wash it all down with Korean beer or sake. They do BYO for $3 a head too.
Delve into the ox tongue, small beef intestine or chilli marinated giblets (each $15) if you’re game, but whatever you do, make sure you order the marinated beef rib ($20). Unwrap the scroll of thinly sliced meat from around the rib bone and slap it on the grill. You’ll have to arm wrestle for the ultimate trophy: rights to gnaw the fatty bits straight off the bone.