Yes, that's right! Solo dining is now a thing in Korea. Solo dining has always been a thing for me since I was in university. I was never one of those people who felt awkward and couldn't do things alone--thanks to my introverted personality! Although, in Korea that has been another story. There has been many times where I wanted to have Korean BBQ and was turned away because I was alone (bbq restaurants require at least 2 people) or I would want to eat bbq and had no one to go with. Korea is not a very single friendly place. Couples are definitely favoured and it sucks!
Dokogin is a restaurant for us lonely people who love bbq but may not have anyone to eat with. This restaurant is just outside of Seoul, in a city called Bucheon. It's a bit of a train ride but you can make it a day trip and do other things in the city like Ains World or Bucheon Park.
When you walk into the restaurant you see rows of 1 seater cubicles with a TV, burner, fan, etc. You can chose wherever you want to sit and someone will come and bring you water and sides consisting of kimchi, beansprouts, salad, cucumbers and soup. You also get a side of ssamjang sauce, lettuce and garlic.
I first ordered Saeng Samgyeobsal and beer to start. The samgyeobsal I ordered was 150g which was 3 slices of pork.
How it works:
- An employee will turn on your stove, butter your pan then set a 5 minute timer.
- You need to wait until the time is up before you can start grilling your food.
- After the 5 mins is up put your meat on the grill and make sure not to burn it!
-- You can grill the garlic, mushrooms and kimchi also!
* There is also an apron you can use so that you don't get any grease on your clothes.
Yummy food! I was a bit busy taking pictures that I wasn't watching the meat carefully.
The proper way to eat Korean bbq is the Ssam style. The ssam style is when you take a lettuce leaf and put meat, ssamjang sauce, garlic, chili pepper and other toppings inside and wrap it then eat it. You get lots of different flavours when you eat it this way. Make sure to try it!
After I finished all the samgyeobsal I was still hungry, because I have a huge appetite, so I ordered a small portion of the thinly sliced beef (on the menu it is called yusamgyeob) which was actually perfect. I really could have done without it though because at the end of my meal I felt stuffed, and not in a good way lol. I also asked for refills of my sides. Talk about a lot of food!
This is probably one of the most unique restaurants I've been to in Korea. I hope more open a lot closer to me! If not, I'll have to go back again.
Want to visit?
From Bukchon City Hall Station
-Take Exit 2 and turn right and walk straight
- Once you get to the park turn left
- Continue straight, the restaurant is just past the second street on the left hand side
From Sinjungdong Station
- Take Exit 3 and turn left and walk straight
- Walk straight and turn left on the 3rd street
- Continue straight and turn left on the 5th street
The restaurant is diagonal of the park.
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