Pia and I both love Korean BBQ, so we ended up having it for dinner every single day in Seoul. Our fist BBQ session was at Maple Tree House in Hamilton Hotel, Itaewon. It turned out to be a very good choice, and I regret that we didn’t dine there more than once during our stay.
We decided to try the Premium Korean Sirloin, and out came a perfectly marbled steak of a quality on par with Japanese wagyu at the upper end of the scale. It wasn’t cheap, but it was absolutely worth it. To fill our tummies we needed something else on top of that, so we also ordered thin slices of a cheaper cut as well as a plate of the inexpensive samgyeopsal, pork belly, which tastes amazing together with the Korean ssamjang dipping sauce.
Integrated in the table was a charcoal grill, which the staff took care of for us. I prefer the charcoal grills to the electric grills you’ll find at some restaurants, because the charcoal gives the meat a much better taste. Right above the grill was a huge ventilation duct, so not a single trace of cooking fumes was allowed to escape and get stuck in our clothes.
Maple Tree House is an upscale chain of Korean BBQ restaurants but the prices weren’t too steep, and even though we showed up just before closing time, the staff was friendly and accommodating.
Some might find Maple Tree House a bit too posh, and there’s no doubt that the décor and the concept have been developed with an international/expat clientele in mind. Though the different cuts and kinds of meat were the same as you’ll find at more traditional places, and so were the banchan (side dishes). Furthermore, a bottle of house wine was only 30,000KRW, so we could have skipped the “warm up” glass of convenience store wine, we had in the hotel room before we went:)
Maple Tree House, Hamilton Hotel 2F, 116-1 Itaewon-ro 27ga-gil, Tel:Tel. +82 (0)2-790-7977Seoul, Korea,