Food + Soju + Good Times
연타발 (pronounced yeon-ta-bal), is an upscale and highly regarded chain of beef intestine BBQ restaurants, with 8 locations throughout Korea. See my other posting for a more detailed write-up on beef intestine BBQ.
(I borrowed this picture from the website, I forgot to take a picture of the store front)
The interior is considerably nicer and cleaner than your average Korean restaurant and I didn’t see any drunk Korean business men smoking and cursing up a storm. This would be a good place for a date because Korean girls love 곱창, pronounced gob-chang. This is a fact! It’s supposed to have a lot of collagen which is good for the skin and you know how much Asian women care about their skin.
I appreciated that they went the extra mile to put together the great looking side dishes. I’m guessing they got a chef to create the salads and dressings because it definitely wasn’t someone’s grandmother that whipped up these recipes. And also you need a lot of vegetables and greens to offset the greasiness of the intestines.
I thought the meat was super fresh and chewy but the marinade was a little bland. If you are a gopchang purest then is the place for you. I preferred the marinade at 양미옥, it had a stronger vinegar taste which offset the heaviness of the intestines.
Raw beef salad (육회 pronouced yook-hwe) is another expensive Korean delicacy. In its simplest form, it has slices of raw beef (slightly frozen), slices of Korean pear, a raw egg, and the usual Korean seasoning all mixed together. At 연타발 the beef was completely thawed and I thought that enhanced the already subtle flavor of the raw beef. And I enjoyed the spicy kick from the slices of raw garlic and chilli pepper. I’ve had yookhwe at a couple different restaurants and this was by far the best!
Lastly, I learned from my coworker why they charge you $30 per order of beef intestines; it’s because it has a very short shelf life. It has to be cleaned and refrigerated immediately after removal from the animal and it has to be consumed within a few days or it goes bad. Think about fishing, they usually slice and remove the intestines right after catch, because if the intestines go bad it will spoil the rest of the meat.
Overall we had a great meal at 연타발, the restaurant looked nice, the service was excellent and the food was great. Of course beef intestine BBQ is expensive and not good for your waist line, so you can’t eat it everyday. But if you want to have a nice dinner without all the chaos at most Korean BBQ places, then I would highly recommend this chain.
Rating: 9 out of 10.
연타발: http://www.yeontabal.co.kr/ We ate at the Jongno restaurant but they have locations in Apgu-jung, Gangnam station, COEX mall, and couple spots outside of Seoul.