Friday, May 15, 2009

Shilla Korean Barbeque House

Most New York carnivores like us don't have backyards to grill meat when that certain craving starts coming on. So we head to Midtown to places like Shilla Korean Barbeque House on 37 West 32nd Street between Broadway and 5th Avenue. This restaurant is located right at the entrance to "Korea Town" Street (a street of side-by-side Korean restaurants). It's a clean restaurant that consists of three floors where you can barbeque away. It's apparently the restaurant where celebrities from Korea like to visit when in New York.

The banchan here was great - a good mix of dishes and several different types of kim chee. For those new to Korean food, banchan literally translates to side dishes, but in fact banchan is in many respects the highlight and main focus in many Korean households. We appreciated that Shilla put out a lot of banchan. In contrast, when we've visited Korean restaurants in the East Village, West Village, or Union Square area (areas catering more to people not very familiar with Korean food), the banchan consisted of two or three dishes.

And this is what we came here for. We were drooling . . .

Thin and tender pieces of Cha Dol Bae Gi (thinly sliced brisket of beef). We oinked these in about a New York minute.

The Sang Gal Bi was a nice thick and fatty contrast to the Cha Dol Bae Gi.

The waiters and managers were very attentivie to our needs - they cooked our meats for us and kept checking back to make sure the meats were getting flipped and cooked properly. When you order a lot of meat at Korean restaurants, they're very good at giving you table service. And though we appreciated it, we would have preferred a bit less attention. It's a bit odd having a stranger standing at your table watching you pig out.

This was definitely a different way to end the meal. Normally at Korean restaurants you get a variation of the ginger, cinnamon or rice drinks, but at Shilla we received Yoguroto, a very popular Korean sweet yogurt drink, especially popular with children and the grandmas and grandpas.