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베테랑 – Fusion BBQ at its best

I was introduced to this restaurant a while back, but I hesitated reviewing it for the site, as it’s already quite busy, and I didn’t want everyone rushing out to try it, making it impossible for me to get a seat. But I’ve decided to not be so selfish, and to let you all in on this secret (which I’m sure some of you are familiar with already).

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Outdoor seating in summer!

Beh Teh Rang (literally “Veteran” or “Expert”) Barbeque (베테랑 바베큐) is yet another bulgogi restaurant in Samsandong, but this place blends Korean and Western style barbeque in a great way.

Rather than the thin slices of meat normally served, which cook to “well-done” in a matter of moments, Beh Teh Rang serves thick cuts of Black Angus beef and pork that look more like steak than galbi.

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Dweggi Mok Sal, or pork neck

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Beef steak

When cooked (thoroughly for the pork, but the beef is best when still rare -> medium), you chop the steaks up with scissors, and eat the meat the Korean way, wrapped in leaves with garlic.

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Is your mouth watering yet?

IMG_1874Your order comes complete with banchan (side dishes) such as leaves and garlic, kimchi and samjang (the red pepper and soybean mix ubiquitous to Korean barbeque meals), and a bowl of refreshing, vinegary soup filled with veggies and acorn-paste jelly (not as gross as it sounds, though I don’t blame you for thinking it’s odd at first – it’s similar to tofu in texture, and doesn’t have much taste of its own). This is one of those “Try it, you might like it” moments that Korea is happy to offer you quite regularly.

Beh Teh Rang also has their own house barbeque sauce, which they heat up for you on the fire. It has received mixed reviews among my dining companions, from loving it, through indifference, to dislike. Personally, I liked it, but I prefer the burst of flavour from a rare piece of steak, sprinkled lightly with the coarse salt they serve.

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Light and refreshing soup

The restaurant is usually quite busy and buzzing with energy. It’s not the place to go for a quiet evening, as the crowds seem to be bent on a rowdy night of fun. The tables are similar to picnic benches, and the barbeque grill is placed at one end. The staff are friendly and will often help you out if you are new to the cook-for-yourself style. The last time I was there, they also had an English menu, and a server with a Union Jack pin on her sleeve who seemed to be the Designated English Speaker.

The servings are a little pricier than your local neighbourhood galbi-jim, with the beef steak (American Black Angus) coming in at 25,000W for 250g, and the pork neck (Korean) at 18,000W.  They offer a few other choices of cuts beyond these.

To find Beh Teh Rang, head towards the Samsandong bus terminals, and walk down the street between the two. When you get to the batting cages (on your right at the second intersection back), turn left down the side street beside the parking log. Look for a black sign with a glowing white bull on it (the name is in Korean only – 베테랑). The location is pinned on the Interactive Map under Dining.

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