Beef and Leaf: Korean Barbecue

We have been avoiding Korean barbecue restaurants (nicknamed “beef and leaf”) since we arrived here a little over a month ago.  Why, you ask?  Our reason has a name.  It’s name is Gabriel.

I know he looks angelic.  He takes after his father like that.  And truly, he is a sweetheart.  With just a little bit of pirate thrown in.  Yes, I said pirate.  He walks around all day “marauding.”  He jumps on his brother and hugs and kisses and mauls him.  Marauding.  He runs around the house pulling things off of shelves, out of drawers and closets.  Marauding.  Today he walked in front of me at church and stepped, with the full force of his weight on my very injured toe.  Marauding.  (I know it was accidental.  It’s still marauding.)
What does all this have to do with Korean barbecue, you wonder?  Korean barbecue, called “gogi gui,”  is healthy and delicious food here in Korea.  You receive lots of little bowls of banchan, or side dishes, like salad, kimchi, various soups, etc.  Then they bring you a basket of lettuce leaves, some sauces, garlic, and a platter of meat.  You then cook the meat on the charcoal grill in the middle of your table.  There is a vent above the table that sucks the smoke out so you don’t suffocate.
Did you get that last part?


To review.  We have one small, fiery, unpredictable toddler.  We have one small, fiery, burning hot grill.  Within inches of each other.  Are you with me here?  Do I need to spell it out anymore?

So it’s taken us awhile to get up the courage to try it.  Tonight turned out to be the night.  We found a great place, right around the corner from our new apartment.  We seated our little four-ring circus in the corner and ordered the family meal.

Kevin and I cooked the meat, garlic, and chili peppers while the kids looked on.  And truthfully, it was incredible.  The best food I’ve eaten here in Korea thus far.  Our fears turned out to be for naught, as Gabriel stayed far away from the heat and we enjoyed delicious food all around.

As you can see, the only thing Gabe “marauded” was his baby brother.  And the only thing that got burned was a little bit of meat, and my left big toe when I crossed my legs under the table.  Ouch.


  1. YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!