After almost 2 years living in Korea, finally, finally, I came to appreciate the beauty of Korean BBQ yesterday at an unpretentious restaurant hidden in the quiet alley of Anam area. I have no reservation in declaring that it was the best BBQ I have ever had in Korea so far. It had everything that a BBQ needs: the grease, the taste, the afterglow tingling in your mouth after you leave your grilling table, and the simple desire to come back to indulge in this fatty, meaty beauty again. And again.
At 산적 (Sanjeok) in Anam, we three hungry girls decided to order 1 portion of Ogyeopsal 오겹살 (Pork belly–12000 KRW for 600gr–can you believe it?) and 1 portion of Dwaeji Galbi 돼지갈비 (pork short ribs; same price as above). 1200gr of meat is supposed to be shared among 6 people as indicated in the menu xD. But trust me, I still felt the need to order more of them after our meal ended, not out of hunger.
We were given a free bowl of doenjang jjigae (soybean paste soup) and another of gyeranjjim (steamed egg casserole):
Fresh pork belly ;-;
My oh my. Look at the fat. Look at that caramel color. So much grease and so much goodness. I loved to grill the meat for a little longer to get rid of the gamey taste and to enjoy that crunchy kick when each morsel melted in my mouth. Paired with a slice of garlic and dipped in the sesame sauce, heaven was on my chopsticks.
But I loved the short ribs even more. They were incredibly tender and seasoned so right. That gamey taste of pork was completely gone, replaced by the slight sweetness from soy sauce.
Sweet, salty, juicy, succulent, and deeply satisfying:
We almost cried when finished.
Sanjeok 산적 is simply a great place for anyone who wants to enjoy Korean BBQ at its utmost simplicity. The price cannot be more reasonable for such quality meat. I can see myself making a trek to Anam (30 minutes by subway from Sinchon station) just for this amazing place.
Sanjeok is 3 minutes from Anam station (line 6), exit 3. Take an u-turn to get to the main street of Anam, walk straight to McDonald’s, turn left, walk straight until you see Sanjeok to your right.