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How Good Is? Episode 1 : Korean BBQ

January 27, 2017


In today’s very first episode of How Good Is? I am quite keen to talk about Korean BBQ.

How Good Is… Korean BBQ?!

We went out for Korean BBQ on Tuesday night for Ari’s birthday (he turned seventeen!) and I was super surprised at how great it was.

I’d never been to KBBQ before, it was Ari’s choice, and when we all finally managed to descend on the correct Richmond eatery and settle ourselves into our very sunny seats, we could not have known what a lovely dinner we were about to have.

I mean… we suspected, but it was actually extra good and has indeed sparked a whole new column here, about Good Things of all persuasions.

So let’s truly begin:

How Good Is… Korean BBQ?!

For one Korean BBQ is not just about the meat. I actually like the little side dishes and rice even more than the meat. If you were a vegetarian, you could have vegetarian-ish BBQ, like tofu or tempeh, I am sure.

I won’t talk too much about the meat, in case you are non-meaty… so let’s talk about the side dishes.

How good are side dishes?! I like them a lot. I’m heavily into condiments AND side dishes, truth be told. I could sustain myself on both.

Our side dishes included mixed pickles and cabbage kimchi and some kind of Korean potato and maybe daikon? I think that’s what it was. Also, onion. Chunks of onion, which sounds bad, but was actually very, very good.

They gave us little bowls of rice, chilli sauce and some other kind of sweet vinegary stuff… and a big bowl of salad which we all descended on.

Then a staff member BBQd our chosen things as we all chattered and acted like The Very Hungry Hooligans that we were.

(They had those steel chopsticks which could take someone’s eye out, too, but no injuries, which was great.)

Rin ordered a jug of beer – Brunswick Bitter, which I actually would highly recommend – and everyone had an icy glass, except for me. I had half a glass because I can not feel okay about driving, otherwise. I get really anxious, and feel like I’m tempting fate and being a criminal.

If I have a full glass of anything alcohol-based and drive, I am a delinquent. I have imaginings that the world is a giant martini glass, dream sequence-style. Drink-one-drink-and-drive-dream-sequence-me is hurtling around inside that martini glass, trying to get somewhere, but making no progress, clinking like a noisy ice cube, my badness on show to all.

In this illogical and nonsensical anxiety-ridden scenario the police are in the giant martini glass too. With their breathalyser machine. Lucky them. They know I had three mouthfuls of wine and are whizzing around after me, semi submerged, driving a green olive.

It doesn’t end well for anyone and is not worth the bother. I’m crazily literal about ‘drink driving.’ It’s not about the feeling boozy, it’s about feeling like I am doing the wrong thing. Drink-staying-at-home, I’m good with. Drink-taxi-ing is okay too. Drink-getting-a-lift is fine too. It’s just that I can’t get behind the wheel myself.

Max said ‘It’s because you are a good person’, but I’m not sure if that’s the truth. I think it’s because I am an anxious person. Possibly because of the green olive, too…

So now that you know just how neurotic I am*,  let’s get back to the KBBQ, post half glass of beer.

I had a Diet Coke and felt instantly bolstered and like less of a criminal-to-be.

We kept serving ourselves morsels of rice and morsels of kimchi and morsels of those delicious potatoes. They were slippery suckers, those potatoes, elusive to the shiny chopsticks, but we persevered because they were that good and each of us wanted to eat more than the other.

We kept chatting and snacking, helping ourselves to BBQ bits as we went, and the kids were being slightly nuts and it was just really nice. I found time to interject something impassioned about Dominick Dunne and John Dunne and Joan Didion and the kids were polite about it and did not roll their eyes a single time.

Eventually, we had eaten every bite and the sun had swung lower in the sky and stopped sunburning us on one side of our faces. I had stopped complaining that our table was sticky, by this stage, too.

I paid our bill – after three loud men paid for their fried chicken and beer, which is another thing you can have at KBBQ – and then we hugged each other goodbye and all wandered off in our various directions, because a lot of us live in different houses now.

How weird is… it when your own children live somewhere else? WITH NO PARENTS.  Poor orphans. Sob.**

But also,  how good is Korean BBQ? Do you ever go? Or have it at home? Please spill the beans!


PS: Blog With Pip is back on sale – by popular demand – but be quick!

*I never said I was normal!

**Later one telephoned to ask me how to buy bed sheets, so that made me feel a lot better.


  • Reply Kirstin January 30, 2017 at 2:18 PM

    Oh yum, that looks great. Sounds like you had a great time with your family too. I love family dinners like that where everyone is relaxed and having fun. I too am paranoid about drink driving even just one drink :). Then if I have a few drinks of an evening at home and have to go somewhere the next day I have to do all the sums of trying to work out if the alcohol has cleared my system yet *sigh* diet coke sounds like the way to go :).

    • Reply Meet Me At Mikes January 30, 2017 at 2:45 PM

      Oh my gosh. I do that exact same thing re ‘the next day’ too!! ALL of the worries, Kirstin! I thought I was the only one! xx

  • Reply Amy January 29, 2017 at 12:18 AM

    I love Korean bbq!! It really is the best! We took my mother-in-law there recently and I was a bit worried she’d hate it because she has pretty plain non-spicy food tastes. But she loved it! And has been raving about it ever since!! Great for family catchups!

    • Reply Meet Me At Mikes January 30, 2017 at 1:54 PM

      I think it’s the great equaliser! In fact it may be the answer to World Peace! (I wish. Sigh.) x

  • Reply Adele January 28, 2017 at 9:04 AM

    !!YES!! HOW GOOD IS IT?!! We only recently discovered KBBQ too, but it’s now our family bday destination of choice. My kids (the 6yr olds) are super picky eaters still but LOVE the chicken. We’re still getting to know what all the side dishes are but everyone tastes good so we just eat them anyway. We are in Sydney so Strathfield is the suburb to go to for KBBQ.

    • Reply Meet Me At Mikes January 28, 2017 at 10:54 AM

      It’s totally our new favourite, too!!

  • Reply Paula January 27, 2017 at 11:03 PM

    Sounds fab! Reminds me of when I lived in Hong Kong, but with a twist, Korean Bbq we cooked ourselves at our table – downside being your clothes often carried the cooking odour once back home. But there was also the Mongolian Bbq where the chef cooked what you chose – sounds a bit like your dining experience.

    • Reply Meet Me At Mikes January 28, 2017 at 10:53 AM

      Oh yum! This place had smokeless hotplates – so no cooking smells, which is a bonus! Just delicious food and good company!

  • Reply Clare January 27, 2017 at 10:38 PM

    Korean BBQ is AWESOME! perfect for a 17th birthday. I love the marinated meat. Would you believe he first time I had it was in Thailand! lol. Teppanyaki is pretty cool too where they cook the food in front of you and sometimes do some tricks like the onion ring fire volcano or flip fried egg into your mouth.

    • Reply Meet Me At Mikes January 28, 2017 at 10:55 AM

      If someone tried to flip an egg into my mouth, I might launch into an anxious dream sequence..! (Thank you for reading!!!)

  • Reply Little White Dove January 27, 2017 at 7:02 PM

    Oh you know you’ve had a great night with the kids when there’s not one single eyeball roll!

    Gorgeous post x

    • Reply Meet Me At Mikes January 28, 2017 at 10:54 AM

      YOU are gorgeous, actually!!! Hope you are well and having ace times. xx

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