Last year I went snowboarding over in Japan for a few weeks. And whilst the snow was epic, and the people were epic and the cute little vending machines were epic and trying to say “I need the strongest prescription painkillers you have for my agonising back” based on year 10 Japanese was…hilarious, and the cold was…cold, I have to say that one of my best memories from the trip was discovering this hidden Korean BBQ joint that a friend told us about. The whole concept was fantastic – I mean, it was great that it was an all-in eat and drink-fest, but it had these cool little ordering machines where you type in a number and then 5 minutes later a new plate of meat magically appeared. And it tasted bloody good as well.
Anyway, I massively digress. The point is, my universal love of Korean BBQ was reignited a few weeks ago when a friend and I visited Kozy Korean in Sydney. Now, I work down the end of town that has approximately 48 Korean BBQs per square inch, and the couple that are super well-known also bring with them a 45 minute wait. We decided to take a total stab in the dark and check out the Kozy. The restaurant looked a little sparse at first, but after taking comfort in the couple of tables of Koreans already there, the restaurant soon filled.
I think we both resigned ourselves to the fact that there would be no shame in terms of just how much we would eat. We just piled in. We decided on a bit (a lot) of pork, a bit of beef, a HUGE kimchi pancake and a kimchi pork stew-type dish. We also ordered what I like to call “mystery drink”. Ok, it was actually Soju, and sort of tasted like slightly weaker vodka – but it was definitely an acquired taste. I have to admit that I’ve been outrageously busy studying for a couple of exams so I may or may not have forgotten some of the specific details…
Not long after our table’s BBQ was lit, the food started coming. First, the fixins – kimchi (of course), crunchy little beansprouts, radish, potato/carrot.
And then the meat – pork belly and marinated beef.
And that was about half of it…
And then more beef:
And then the biggest Kimchi pancake I’ve ever seen:
In my excitement over…cooking my own food…I forgot to take a photo of a delicious stewed pork and kimchi dish – the pork was falling-of-the-bone tender with a tiny bit of spice – very comforting.
Basically, it was all delicious. The cuts of meat weren’t the most tender, but the pork and one of the beef dishes were nicely marinated. And the novelty of cooking my own meat on my own little BBQ in front of me never wears off. The kimchi pancake was different to the usual hum-drum shallot pancake and I thought it was interesting and tasty. I don’t know exactly how much kimchi was in there – it wasn’t an overly strong taste though. And too big for the both of us to finish.
Look, it’s not a place for a first date (do you really want to know that he or she has the ability to stuff down a kilogram of meat in one sitting that early on in the relationship?). But it’s a cool place to go with a bunch of friends, have a few cheap beers, a few plates of meat, a bit of cooking, a lot of laughter and a good little night.
Kozy Korean BBQ
7 Wilmot St, Sydney NSW 2000
Drinks? 6/10 – there were a few Korean items I’d never heard of, plus about 6 different sorts of Soju (for us, it was more a …point and see…when we picked ours)