Japanese (erm... Korean) barbecue is fun for everyone... aside from vegetarians I guess. You get to grill the meat yourself and come out smelling like smoked meat, it's win win! The one thing I could never stomach in NYC though, was the price. Yes indeed, it's more whining from the person who wasted a quarter mil on tuition... ha. I never understood how a plate of thinly sliced pork belly could even come remotely close to costing $20+. Theoretically, I could go to any Asian supermarket and buy damn near 10 pounds for the cost. For that reason, it was something I rarely indulged in. Taiwan fixes all this. Like pretty much everything food related, Japanese barbecue is super cheap. Like 399 NT ($13) for all you can eat cheap. In this post... we explore how I stuff my face with pork and beef!
I actually don't think this place is all that special in the grand scheme of things. There's a lot of these places similar to this, and they're probably more or less the same. Fundamental differences... some places have all you can drink beer, some places have more flavors of ice cream, and some places use gas ranges instead of stone pots. Whatever... 大同小異吧. Why'd I pick this place out of the blue? The name is straight awesome. Named 我!就厲害, it loosely translates to 'I'm the best.' With that kind of self-proclamation, how could I not eat here? Bonus points for using an old fashioned stone pot...
PORK! Since it was all you can eat, it seemed like a more prudent decision to get a mixed platter of meat. Instead of... you know, like 10 plates of pork belly and only pork belly. They brought this out. If you expect me to remember everything on that plate, well, sorry... I promise you I enjoyed it very much though. The cuts were decent (and supposedly 'black' pork). No complaints.
And the same thing with beef. It's just a mixed plate of random cuts of beef. There was actually another tray with more beef, but I came to the realization that everything looks relatively similar when it comes to meat. If it's not red, it's white. Mmm, these were good too. It's pretty hard to screw up barbecue methinks. Unless you forget something and it catches on fire. That didn't happen to me at all multiple times that day. Nope, not once.
Cooked meat! I'm pretty sure the only things on the grill in that picture are pork belly and beef short ribs. When the fat from the meats melted onto the hot coals... damn, that smell is something you just can't describe or replicate outside of a barbecue house. It's a culinary wonder to say the least. The smell alone is enough to drive me insane. The meat most certainly didn't disappoint either. Fatty enough for the meat flavor to linger in your mouth, but not so much that it's overwhelming or disgusting to chew through. Like I said, with good cuts of pork or beef, it's hard to screw up something as simple as putting meat to heat. Okay, maybe I have one complaint. They wouldn't serve me cow tongue because it wasn't dinner time. What kind of nonsense is that? Hrmph.
They also gave us chocolate marshmallows and pieces of sliced mochi. I had this great plan of making mochi smores with the marshmallows, but alas... I am an idiot, and this plan definitely did not work out as I imagined. Basically, I burned my fingers in liquid marshmallow and tried to salvage the situation by shoving mochi in my mouth and licking my fingers. I probably looked like I was an 8 year old with fine motor skill problems. Sigh.
The mochi by itself was pretty good. Nothing spectacular, but if you grilled them until they just began to show grill marks, then dipped them in the peanut flour provided, they tasted just like the traditional stuff. Except... hot? Yeah, that's pretty much all there is to that. Anyway, it was a fun meal, and amazingly, the cost was less than that of a single tray of pork belly in Manhattan. The conversion factor still amazes me when I truly sit down and think about it.
PS - they have apple milk tea here... and strawberry milk tea. Do you have any clue how fat I'd still be if I grew up drinking apple milk tea instead of Yoohoo? Ho-ly crap.