Sunday night, I capped off my weekend of Korean culture with a trek up to Richmond Hill to the brand spanking new Bulgogi Brothers restaurant. Thanks to Jenn (who has a car) the trek was much easier than my other trips up north (via transit). I’d been looking forward to eating there since I found out they were opening it – which, by the way, is the first Bulgogi Brothers in North America. Yep, we got one before New York or L.A.
For those of you who haven’t heard of Bulgogi Brothers, it’s a Korean restaurant chain that started in Kangnam, Seoul. And it specializes in delicious BBQ beef that you cook right at your table. Don’t worry if you don’t know what you are doing, their friendly staff are there to help!
I was totally laughing inside when we arrived because I can count on one hand all the times I’ve been to Richmond Hill, and on only one of those times did I eat there (well, had coffee/bubble tea). Bulgogi Brothers turned out to be in the same plaza/area as the only other place I’ve eaten at before – what are the odds? I’m just going to pretend it’s not weird that the only reasons I’ve ever ventured to Richmond Hill is because of either Korean food (Bulgogi Brothers), or Asian food with Korean people (coffee/bubble tea), or Korean movies (last year’s Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival).
But back to my review, I’ve literally been looking forward to eating here for months and Bulgogi Brothers didn’t disappoint. On any level! The food was both delicious and beautifully presented. They took the regular Korean BBQ experience and turned it into fine dining without sacrificing flavour or quantity. Some nicer “fine dining” places leave me feeling empty but not so with Bulgogi Brothers, all four of us (three girls and a guy) left feeling pleasantly full and happy.
I went with friends but it would be a wonderful date night restaurant. Especially with the heart shaped meat – no joke, I loved it! So cute!
We ordered the B9 combo which had three different kinds of beef, each one yummier than the last. I swear, the last one – a galbi – literally melted in our mouths. They were all delicious but that one was divine. We also ordered a small doenjang jiggae (된장 찌개, spicy soybean paste stew) and a small mul naengmyeon (물 냉면, cold noodle soup) to go with our meal. Both were delicious and I’m a bit of a connoisseur of doenjang jiggae (it’s my favourite Korean dish).
The side dishes were also both beautifully presented and lovely to eat. I loved how they had baek kimchi (백김치, white kimchi) along with the more common kimchi. We each also had our own dipping sauces. Yes, I said sauces. There was ssamjang (쌈장, which is doenjang and gochujang mixed together with a few other things and is perfect on grilled meat), a salt & pepper mix, and a red sauce that I didn’t recognize (it was too thin for gochujang) but that was mildly spicy. The mystery third sauce (I really should have asked, all the servers were so friendly) was perfect for the heart shaped patties.
When we finished our meat, we were almost but not quite full so we decided to try one of their bulgogis as well. Hey, we were at Bulgogi Brothers… how could we not have bulgogi (불고기, marinated thinly sliced beef). We opted for the Seoul Bulgogi (which I believe is B1) and it was so full of flavour. I absolutely loved the broth it cooked in. So delicious!! Most bulgogi I’ve had in the past was barbecued or stir-fried but this one was cooked in a wonderful broth along with glass noodles, onions and a few other ingredients. The bulgogi was great but the broth… that was heavenly!
We washed all the tasty meat (oh, so much scrumptious meat) down with a bottle of soju served in the neatest decanter. And yes, just one bottle because it was a Sunday night. I was a little sad that they didn’t have bokbunja (복분자, Korean black raspberry wine) but they did have some interesting looking cocktails. I might try one the next time I go. 🙂
Oh, I haven’t really mentioned the service which was super friendly. There was always someone to help us cook our lovely meat or refill our banchan (반찬, side dishes). And I loved how they didn’t rush us out when we finished.
All in all, it was an absolutely wonderful restaurant from the delicious food to the lovely service. I would highly recommend that you visit. And I’m not the only one who loved it. All four of us really enjoyed our dinner. The only thing I would change would be to have a location in Toronto but that’s just because I live in Toronto.
Have you been to Bulgogi Brothers? What did you think?