Korean barbeque is one of the most popular types of food in Jakarta right now. It’s not hard to understand why – there’s a simple, elemental joy to sitting around a sizzling grill with good friends, cooking your own marinated meats, nibbling on kimchi and other beautiful banchan (all those delicious side dishes that you get for free at your finer Korean restaurants), and washing it down with some beer or soju.
But with its popularity has come an explosion in choices. Jakartans can now find good to great Korean BBQ everywhere from Kelapa Gading to Serpong, but which one to visit? Don’t worry, Coconuts is here to help!
And if you’re a fellow Jakarta foodie, be sure to check out our previous “Best of” lists of including The Best Burgers in Jakarta, The Best Padang Restaurants, The Best “Secret” Pork Specialists and The Best French Fry dishes.
And now, in no particular order, are Jakarta’s best Korean barbeque restaurants!
Bornga has quickly become one of Jakarta’s most popular Korean BBQ restaurants since launching a few years ago. Located all over town, its meat is fresh and of excellent quality, and surprisingly affordable. Most branches are packed at dinner time, but somehow service remains fast and polite. All dishes are served with a huge selection of fresh leafy vegetables and a number of banchan (side-dishes). Bornga also offers a wickedly-strong home-made makgeolli, a milk-colored grain-based alcohol served in copper bowls. Bornga, multiple locations.
Incredibly affordable for Korean barbeque, Gojumong is one of our solid favorites. The clientele tends towards Korean expats, the huge selection of banchan is fantastic, and the meat never fails to be superb. The free dessert is also a winner: we recommend the coconut ice cream. Gojumong, Jl. Panglima Polim, Kebayoran Baru.
Chung Gi Wa
Probably Jakarta’s most easily-accessible Korean BBQ restaurant, Chung Gi Wa is reliably good and comparatively cheap. A huge range of meat – beef, pork, and even duck – is available, from wagyu and ribs to tongue and belly. Not in the mood for barbeque? Chung Gi Wa’s dolsot bibimbap (stone-pot bibimbap) is excellent. Be warned: not all tables have grills, so make sure you ask for one if you want to grill yourself. Chung Gi Wa, multiple locations.
Korean BBQ Gahyo
Gahyo is one of Jakarta’s oldest Korean BBQ restaurants, established in 2005 and still going strong. Many call this the city’s best barbeque, and it’s not hard to see why. We suggest taking Gahyo’s recommendation of trying the beef intestine and pairing it with soju (Korean rice wine). Gahyo is halal. Korean BBQ Gahyo, Jl. Sudirman Lot 6, Kav. 52-53, Kebayoran Baru.
Meaning ‘original’ in Korean, Tobak serves only Korean food and nothing else – an approach we appreciate, as some restaurants continue to try to please local tastebuds by serving up random ‘other’ dishes like nasi goreng or pasta. Tobak is famous for its huge number of banchan: 15 at last count, including multiple kinds of kimchi. Tobak, Jl. Wolter Monginsidi No. 30, Kebayoran Baru.
Seo Seo Galbi
As the name suggests, Seo Seo Galbi (established 60 years ago in South Korea) specializes in beef short ribs, but also serve pork and an array of hot pot stews. The kimchi hot pot is a deliciously spicy soup filled with meat, tofu, and vegetables, and comes in two different serving sizes. For barbeque, all dishes come with eggs, vegetables, and garlic to cook around the edge of the grill. The banchan selection is small but well thought-out, with many vegetable options to balance out the richness of the barbequed meat. Seo Seo Galbi, Ruko Crown Golf, Blok A no. 31, Bukit Golf Mediterania, Jl. Marina Indah Raya, Pantai Indah Kapuk.
Wu Jang Gun
Offering up all beef barbeque, Wu Jang Gun comes complete with cherry blossom trees inside the restaurant. The yangnyeom galbi (marinated ribs) are particularly popular, although serving sizes are a bit smaller than other places. Some interesting banchan are also provided, including dried fish and spicy fries. Wu Jang Gun is halal. Wu Jang Gun, Jl. Wolter Monginsidi no. 34, Kebayoran Baru.
The Seafood Tower
It’s all seafood all the time at The Seafood Tower. Everything is fresh – prawns, mixed clams, crabs, lobsters, scallops, and fish are served in stacked towers on your table, along with beef, cheese tteokbokki (rice cakes), and soup. Diners can choose from just three tiers of food up to a full nine tiers, or you can build your own towers or order it all-in-one in a seafood pot. Be warned: there’s no chance of going home hungry. The Seafood Tower, Ruko Crown Golf, Blok A no. 29, Bukit Golf Mediterania, Jl. Marina Indah Raya, Pantai Indah Kapuk.
The Grill Sudirman
One of the classiest Korean and Japanese barbeque joints in Jakarta, The Grill is located in MidPlaza 2 smack bang in the center of town. The meat is incredibly high-quality, service is excellent, and they have four different kinds of pickles on their menu – always a winner. They also offer a great array of weekday lunchtime specials, including a beef belly set with rice, soup, and salad. The Grill Sudirman, MidPlaza 2, Lower Ground Floor, Jl. Sudirman Kav. 10-11, Tanah Abang.
Mapo Galmaegi Korean BBQ
With over 450 franchises in South Korea, Mapo Galmaegi’s grills are a bit different. Each grill had a ‘moat’ around the edges, which is filled with an egg and pickle mixture that cooks as you barbeque your meat. Its best dishes are pork ones, especially the pork belly, but unlike many other Korean BBQ restaurants, Mapo Galmaegi also offers prawns, chicken, sausages, and mushrooms. Their kimchi pancakes are also highly recommended. Mapo Galmaegi Korean BBQ, Jl. Senopati no. 60, Kebayoran Baru.
K-pop music, watermelon soju cocktails, and frozen beer: this is not your usual Korean barbeque restaurant. Seorae is particularly known for its samgyeopsal, pork belly, which comes in three different marinades, and for every two meats ordered, diners get free eggs and cheese to grill around the edge of the burner. Seorae even serves up patbingsoo, shaved ice desserts with fruit, to round off your meals. Very popular on weekends, and queueing may be necessary. Seorae, Ruko Garden House, Blok B no. 19, Bukit Gold Mediterania, Jl. Raya Pantai Indah Kapuk, Pantai Indah
Beef ribs, beef bulgogi, spicy pork, prawns, enoki rolls wrapped in beef – whatever you want to grill, you will be able to find it at Ssikkek. Stuff yourself silly with an affordable all-you-can-eat buffet, most popular for weekend brunches. Not into grilling? Hot pots are also available, with delicious kimchi or beef broths. Ssikkek, Mall of Indonesia, Blok A no. 5 & 6, Jl. Boulevard Barat Raya, Kelapa Gading.
Who hasn’t seen the huge queues outside Ojju recently? Ojju is clearly doing something right, and we suspect it’s their unique take on combining barbeque and cheese. Most popular are their chicken wings and drumsticks, rolled in spicy sauce and cheese, particularly when washed down with their famous corn tea. You can also create your own hotpots, choosing from beef, chicken, seafood, and vegetables, and adding up to 26 different extra ingredients, including crab, ramen, and, of course, cheese. Ojju, multiple locations.
Like your barbeque with extra egg, cheese, and garlic? Koba might be the place for you, with all three extras cooked around the edges of your grill. The menu is small, with only four beef and one chicken grill options, but meat is good quality and affordable, especially if you come with a group and order the family platter. Banchan selections change every day. Koba is halal. Koba, Living World, Jl. Alam Sutera Boulevard, Serpong Utara, Tangerang.
Beef ribs are the specialty at Jjang. The meat is cooked in the kitchen, not at your table, but is incredibly tender and juicy. While Jjang does not serve any banchan, portions are generous so there is no chance of going home hungry. Stews filled with meat or seafood, vegetables, noodles, and egg are also popular, served in ginormous metal pots. Jjang is halal. Jjang, Jl. Wolter Monginsidi no. 39, Kebayoran Baru.
A perennial favorite at Pacific Place, Bibigo’s most interesting dishes are its cheese fondues, served with mountains of spicy beef or chicken in the center of a hot pot. The cheese melts in front of your eyes – we dare you to not be tempted to try it before it’s all melted. Portions are huge; bring friends. Service is fast. Bibigo is halal. Bibigo, Pacific Place, Jl Sudirman Kav. 52-53, Kebayoran Baru.
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