Sherman's Food Adventures: Arisu Authentic Korean BBQ

Arisu Authentic Korean BBQ

Let's get this out of the way first - eating at most Korean restaurants is a pricey proposition.  Yes, I put "most" in there because making a blanket statement like that is neither accurate nor fair.  However, it is true that many Korean restaurants are not cheap where some prices are rather mind-boggling ($20 for a Japchae???).  On the other hand, I can understand why Korean BBQs can be higher priced due to the abundance of meat provided (depending on quality) and also what is included (such as Banchan, soup and rice etc...).  Now when we get a Korean BBQ that is both decent and well-priced, that is a winning formula in my books.  We headed over to Arisu Korean BBQ on North Road since this was the scoop on the place.

We ended up doing 2 of the BBQ combos which included the usual Banchan, rice, romaine lettuce and such.  Arisu Combo A consisted of sesame oil-marinated boneless kalbi short rib, marinated pork collar, pork jowl and bulgogi while Arisu Combo B featured sliced beef brisket, beef tongue, bulgogi and chicken bulgogi.  Although raw meat on a platter never looks like "enough", believe me, it was enough.  Naturally, the charred and caramelized short rib was a table favourite while the tender chicken was good too.  The beef brisket was a bit dry and chewy while the beef tongue was surprisingly tender with a bite.  Sliced thin, the beef bulgogi was tender and charred up nicely (when we turned up the burner).  Predictably, the pork jowl and collar were tender with a buttery bounciness.

Ensuring that we wouldn't go hungry and to provide some variety, we also had the Japchae and Dolset Bibimbap.  These were also quite good.  Sure, the Japchae was at its usual expensive self at $16.95 (less expensive than some other places though), but at the very least, the portion size was large.  Noodles were chewy, yet tender while mixed in with plenty of tender beef and crunchy veggies.  I liked how it wasn't greasy nor was it over-seasoned (as in too sweet).  As for the Bibimbap, the hot stone bowl wasn't hot enough to create a rice crust even though I had squished the rice onto the sides so that more surface area touched the stone.  It might've had to do with the rice being on the wetter side as well.  Despite this, it still ate well with a liberal squeeze of the gochujang.

Our last 2 items were the Gamjatang and Steamed Egg in Clay Pot.  As shown in the picture, the gamjatang arrived bubbling hot.  There was plenty of tender pork bones within while the broth itself was meaty and slightly spicy.  As excited we were about the steamed egg, it wasn't exactly what we were expecting.  With other versions we've had, the egg has been usually silky, barely done (or bordering on not done) and in a deep shade of yellow/orange.  This one was pretty pale and overdone.  Either they messed this one up or if this is usually how it is prepared, I would highly suggest you skip it.  Other than this, the rest of the meal was rather pleasant and reasonably-priced.  We got attentive service and are looking to return soon.

The Good:
- Reasonably-priced
- Above-average
- We got great service

The Bad:
- That egg...
- Parking lot sucks


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