Galbi is the only authentic Korean barbeque restaurant in Cape Town. It is also pretty awesome. I currently have quite a lot of friends living it up in Korea, so it’s nice to get a taste of the type of food they eat. And since Galbi is in Long Street, it’s fun to combine Korean food and traditions with Cape Town’s awesome city centre. I haven’t actually been to Korea, so I can’t say with certainty that this is entirely authentic, but either way, it’s a great night out.
If you’ve been, you’ll know; if you haven’t well, here’s how it works. Your group of friends sit around a big wooden table with a grill in the middle. A fire is brought to the the table and put beneath the grill in its nifty slot. The portions of meat and sides that you ordered comes to you on what feels like a million little plates and bowls and then the fun starts. Take the meat, grill it, add some sides and eat it. We ordered the traditional Korean combo where you get enough meat/tofu and sides for two as well as a pile of lettuce. True to tradition, you wrap your food in the lettuce and eat it like that. And I promise you, the hot meat together with crispy, cold lettuce is a real treat.
I particularly like this interactive type of dining because it’s so much more social than merely receiving your own plate of food and eating it while throwing around a conversational sentence here and there. The meal is now an extended activity with a little eating, then some talking, some drinking and some grilling before eating again.
Where drinks are concerned, you can either order from the full bar, or you can try a few local beers or Soju-induced cocktails.
I’d definitely recommend Galbi if you’re in the mood for something new or different. It’s fun and you even have a little bell at your table that you can ring for service. Thus eliminating the waiter check-ups or the sometimes impossible task of locating one. The options on the menu are endless, so don’t fret if you’re not keen on foreign food. There’s a safari combo with game meats and sides like sweet potatoes and some such things as well.
210 Long Street (inside the little shopping centre)
Tel 021 424 3030