Korean barbeque is one of my favourite things to eat. My best friend introduced me to Gyu Ka Ku in New York in 2008. A few bottles of Demonslayer later, I was hooked. There’s nothing more fun than being able to cook your own food at your own barbeque station on your very own table.
|Shoju at Heng Bok|
Mumbai is not known to be a meat eater’s paradise. There are the standard cuts of meat on almost every menu, a slight differentiation with the sauces and vegetables that accompany them, but for the most part the food is unremarkably similar. Enter Heng Bok – an unpretentious place in Bandra that opened with absolutely no fan fare and has quickly become one of the few go to places on my list for amazing meaty goodness. Mumbai’s first Korean barbeque had a lot of expectations and I’m pretty sure that Heng Bok has satisfied most of them.
I’ve been there multiple times in the last few months, and what I’d like to do is a round up of the best food you can eat there. Naturally, we’ll start with the DIY Korean BBQ. You can opt for chicken, pork belly, spicy pork belly, seafood, vegetarian and once upon a time, beef bulgogi.
|Ready to rock & roll|
Go for the Samgyeopsal – which is the pork belly bbq. I’ve had both the regular and spicy ones, and I honestly can’t tell the difference. Your server will bring a huge platter of meat to the table, and well as a plate piled high with leafy lettuce, sliced onion, mushroom and pieces of garlic.
Once the pork has been put on the grill, the onions and mushroom go on too. Take matters into your own hands and add the garlic as well. There’s nothing better than sweet, charred garlic cloves – except for what it can do to your love life haha. Once the pork has been sizzling for a few minutes, your server will come and snip the long strips of pork belly into smaller bite size pieces. Here’s where you should turn the heat down and just let the meat sizzle slowly. Let the fat on the pork belly soften until the entire thing is melt in your mouth delicious.
I’ve also had the seafood barbeque which gives you a mix of octopus (don’t over cook it will be too rubbery to eat), squid, prawn and a little fish. The sauce needs a little time to dry up on the grill, but don’t over cook the seafood or you won’t enjoy it.
|Here fishy fishy fishy|
Order a Dolsot Bibimbap with pork (or beef) – it’s rice topped with vegetables and a soft fried egg that they mix up and serve you at the table in a hot hot stone bowl. Don’t burn yourself in your eagerness to eat this :)
The Tune Tartare is a refreshingly light dish of fresh soft tuna with avocado and spicy mayonnaise topped with roe. I would eat this as a meal in itself if I weren’t so greedy.
Heng Bok also offers a sushi menu – we tried the Futomaki (salmon, tuna, Hamachi & avocado) and the Tornado roll (spicy tuna, crab, avocado). They’re nice but I’d prefer to stick to the bbq next time.
|Roll to me|
I have never made it to dessert and with good reason. You stagger home sleepy and satiated.