Meep & I have only been to Palace BBQ twice in the past 2 years, it is usually the 1 hour wait that puts us off. The we found out that they no longer serve our favourite cut of meat (the Wang Galbi) so there was one more reason to not go there. After over a year, I finally decided it was time to check it out again~
We went on a Tuesday evening at about 7 pm so there was no wait. The restaurant didn’t take long to fill up though.
Massive place, brightly lit and everytable has their own grill and giant exhaust (which doesn’t help because we always end up smelling like the BBQ at the end of the meal)
The moment you walk towards the food, it is just food porn! Amazing selections
Springroll, Deep fried Chicken Wings, Mapo Tofu, Sweet sour chicken, Fried rice, Fried noodles
Sauteed Bakchoy, String beans, Deep fried fish, Mussels
Bulgogi (Marinated rib eye), Galbi (Marinated Short rib), Marinated Chicken, Spicy Pork
Pork Belly, Chicken Gizzard, Cow Tongue, Beef tripe, Thin sliced unmarinated beef
Sliced beef, Octopus, Shrimp, Squid
Soups & Rice station
They had mixed rice (which I did not try because I didn’t see it till I was way too stuffed)
Sushi selection - about 7 different rolls.
Our grill all set up and we were also given some lettuce and ssamjang.
The ssamjang sauce was delicious. Especially with the sweet marinated meats, it gave it a nice salty kick. Wrap the lettuce around some grill meat and sauce makes for an amazing bite of food.
Galbi – Fatty, tender beef ribs that were marinated very well. Great quality meat.
Bulgogi – The marinated thinly sliced rib eye was good. It was marinated well, a tad sweet but it was tasty with the ssamjang and lettuce. Very tender and great quality.
Chicken – The chicken was all dark meat, which I really enjoyed. The meat was peppery, sweet and salty.
Spicy Pork – Another well marinated meat; sweet, salty and quite spicy. The meat slices were a little too big (albeit thin) and a lot grainier than I would have liked.
Beef slices – I enjoyed this alot more than I expected. I don’t know what cut it is, but cut a lot thicker than all the other meats. Just marinated with some salt and pepper so quite change from the sweet marinades of the other cuts.
Prawns – I ate about a dozen just by myself! They were so fresh and quite big in size. Loved every bite.
Chicken Gizzards – Just marinated w salt and pepper. Nice crunchy and still quite fresh.
Baby Octopus – Salty, spicy octopus. They were quite fun to look at when they were on the grill, almost like they were alive as they curl up. Another fresh delicious option.
Deep fried chicken wings – Salty, crispy with hits of curry powder. Tasted good but was cold and soggy.
Kimchi - OK, not very fermented and a bit too sour for my taste.
Seafood fried rice – Bland and not too exciting.
Pickled radish – tasted like it suppose to. Crunchy, tangy and a little sweet.
Pickled spicy radish – Crunchy, spicy, salty and tangy.
Japchae – bland and clumpy. Not so good.
Pickled cucumbers - Delicious. Spicy, sweet, salty and tangy.
Yangnyeom gejang (Spicy raw crabs) – best dish of the day! addictive baby crabs that I could not get enough of. The raw baby crabs are tossed in a sweet, spicy, salty marinade and just absorbs all the flavours. Sounds a little strange but who knew raw crabs could taste so good.
I ended the meal w a nice glass of the sweet rice drink. It was refreshing, gingery,sweet and just a great palate cleanser along with the fresh fruits.
Total Damage: $65 (including tax, tip & a coke)
Personal Rating: 3.25 out of 5 (Good)
Great range of different well marinated fresh cuts of meat and ban chan. These are the only reasons I keep going back. I don’t care much for the sushi or the cooked noodles/rice/springroll dishes. The yangnyeom gejang is so darn addictive, and this is the only place I have ever had them. I would come back just for that and the meat selection.
It is a tad pricey, but there is definitely value for money. Not only are all the BBQ meat of great quality, they are constantly replenished and for that price, you get just get so much more bang for you buck than any other a la carte Korean BBQ . That being said, other than the meat the cooked dishes are not very good.
Service is good considering this is a buffet; our plates were cleared constantly AND the fact that there was no wait was a plus. I remember having to wait 45 minutes or more for a table just to eat here a year ago. That being said, back then they offered the amazing Wang Galbi (the long ribs). I wished they still served that, it is harder to justify the price w/o those amazing ribs.
Why do i make such a big fuss about missing the Wang Galbi in Palace bbq? you have to try it to understand… here is a better explanation of the differences between Wang Galbi & LA Kalbi: an article I found in 10 Magazine.
Palace BBQ Buffet
1092 El Camino Real
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
(408) 554 9292