HALIFAX | Kor-B-Q: All You Can Eat Korean BBQ
Updated: Apr 12
Recently a brand new Korean Barbeque restaurant opened up in Halifax, Kor-B-Q! It took over where Sushi Nami Royale used to be in Clayton Park. As soon as I saw this was opening, I was excited and knew I would have to check it out once it opened. We don’t seem to have a lot of All-You-Can-Eat Korean BBQ places, and those we do are in the heart of downtown Halifax. So this location had great prospects, especially since it has a parking lot, which is the drawback to many of the other Korean restaurants!
So we noticed it up within the New Year, and decided to go for my birthday. It was my spouse, my friend and I who went together. They have an alternative menu for when you don’t go with the all-you-can-eat option, but we didn’t bother looking at anything else. When the waitress came over, she explained that they bring out all of the items at first, then you can order more of what you like after. If there was something you didn’t want, you just let them know. We let them bring everything so we could try new things and enjoy our old favourites.
So for us, they brought out everything on the menu with the exception of corn. I’m not sure if they didn’t have it that day, or just forgot. So the options were: Beef short rib, ribeye beef, beef tongue, chicken breast, chicken thigh, pork belly, pork loin, sausages, fish fillet, shrimp, zucchini, asparagus, mushroom, and sweet potato.
You also get an assortment of side dishes and appetizers. The all-you-can-eat menu also includes rice and fountain pop for the price.
Once your first set of items comes out, you have a time limit of 90 minutes. I find this to be slightly shorter than other all-you-can-eat restaurants I have been in, but only by about 30 minutes. However, we didn’t find that this affected us and the time limit was fine. Perhaps for larger groups, it may have been an issue. This is one of their means to control how much you order, and prevent you from wasting food. The other method is the restriction of only ordering three items at a time.
Let’s start off by talking about the appetizers and side dishes. I’m not sure if the appetizers are seasonal, or change at all, so I’m just basing this off of our experience.
For appetizers, we ended up with a salad and miso soup. The salad was simple, as you can see in the photograph, that had a ginger dressing. This is pretty standard for Japanese and Korean restaurants. The miso soup also was fairly standard, with the exception that it was slightly spicy. I personally enjoyed it, but those with me didn’t like it as much.
Our side dishes included kimchi, seasoned potato, spicy bean sprouts, and spicy cucumber. Honestly, none of us were sold on most of them. I’m the one who mainly eats all the spicy side dishes, but even I didn’t really eat too much of them. Everyone seemed to like the potato, although I personally found them a bit bland. Their kimchi was good and seemed pretty standard. The bean sprouts were spicy (hot) in your mouth but didn’t have a lot of flavour, and I don’t like cucumber so it just tasted like spicy cucumber to me.
We had to ask to receive rice right away. The waitress mentioned they don’t usually bring it out right away because it is a lot of food you’re about to eat. However, we all love rice and we tend to eat the meat on top of our rice with the sauces. We asked for ours right away, so it is an option you can request!
I unfortunately have to make a confession to all of you. I was really excited to go out after work, and try all their food… and forgot to take a picture of all the types of meats we received. I’m very sorry, please forgive me! Just know they all looked really pretty and good quality. Please enjoy the photos I was able to prepare for you though! You can see the chicken thigh (I believe) and ribeye beef photos.
Once we received the first order, the waitress went over all the different meats with us. She also showed us how to control the grill, and where to not turn the settings (all the way up). They also come and switch out the grill plate if it becomes too dirty. You can always ask them if you want it changed sooner than they notice.
If this is your first time having Korean BBQ, or are just unfamiliar with Korean BBQ, then know it is very normal to have large lettuce leaves to make wraps with. They often put meats, toppings, sauces in the leaves and wrap it up to pop in their mouths. It’s a great way to eat a lot of meat, and isn’t as heavy as wrapping in pita.
Also, it is good to know that they use scissors for cutting food. This is a normal method in Korea.
They brought out three dipping sauces and a paste. The paste that is next to the vegetables is really tasty. I don’t know exactly what it is, but based on experience I feel that it is their version of ssamjang which is a type of Korean BBQ sauce. I don’t exactly remember what the three dipping sauces were, but I know that the first one was just a spicy dipping sauce, the middle is a soy sauce based one, and the last one was a honey mustard based one. They were all very good, and that is saying a lot from me as I don’t enjoy soy sauce in general. The paste and the honey mustard were my personal favourites.
So, what about the meats? Well I was super excited for the variety that they had and was intrigued by beef tongue at the same time of being terrified.
The chicken breast and thighs, and pork belly and loin, were exactly what you’d expect. Very tasty, and with the pork belly you can crisp it up like bacon.
The ribeye was super thinly sliced and you barely had to touch it to the grill before it was cooked. The short rib still had little pieces of bone in it, so I wasn’t as thrilled with it but it was still very tasty! Beef tongue, to my surprise, wasn’t bad at all. It is sliced thinly, so you don’t have to worry and think they are bringing you out a huge hunk of tongue. You can easily identify it before it is cooked, as the texture is very visible; however, once cooked I couldn’t notice the texture and it was just like slightly more chewy beef.
The fish fillet and shrimp were pretty disappointing for me, and I love shrimp. The shrimp are still shelled, and the one that I had wasn’t completely cleaned so I had to waste time cleaning it and then deshelling after it was cooked. Not usually a big deal, but when you’re in a time limit, it’s not my favorite. Honestly, I don’t know what the fish fillet was, but I didn’t really like the taste of it. It still had skin on, but it was very fishy. If anyone who knows fish and eats a lot of it, fishy fish usually means it’s not super fresh. I’m very fussy about fish in this sense, and if it’s really fishy I won’t eat it. My company enjoyed it though, so it’ll just end up being your personal preference.
The sausages were amazing. They reminded me of breakfast sausages but really tasty. They recommend cutting them into pieces with the provided scissors, yes scissors, to help them cook faster.
The vegetables were just vegetables. If you like them, then you’ll probably love them grilled! I always enjoy them when I eat BBQ as it’s nice to take away from some of the meat every now and then. I was hoping to get the corn, but since we didn’t I’ll have to hope to get it some other time. My main suggestion is to be careful with the more juicy vegetables. For example, zucchini is very watery and when you try to bite it after grilling it you will be greeted by very hot liquid everywhere and may burn yourself if you are not careful.
Our waitress was very friendly and funny. We had no problems with her at all. When we arrived there weren't many in the restaurant, but it picked up shortly after we sat down. So we didn’t see a lot of her, but she did make sure we were always topped up on our drinks and checked in as she could. She even gave us a warning when there was only 15 minutes remaining.
So, what is the overall opinion? Well, quite frankly I was a little sad. I had hyped it up a lot in my head, and it wasn’t anything special. It was great to have convenient parking, and the waitress was nice and the staff took care of us as they could. Price wise, we didn’t eat that much more than when we go to our regular Korean BBQ restaurant so it doesn’t really warrant the price difference for us. The food was good, and they do have a bit wider selection of options than other places. So it will be dependant on what you’re personally looking for and wanting to eat.
I will mention, as this was a big negative for us, that they do automatically apply at 12% “gratuity” to your bill. I’m not sure why, or how they justify this but I don’t like that they just try to work it into your bill and then continue to ask for tipping. I know some restaurants have this as a standard for large groups, but we were only a group of three. I will admit and say that I don’t like North America’s tipping culture. I know here it isn’t as bad as it is the United States, and am thankful for that. I do tip, but on the overall experience of their service. However, in other parts of the world tipping is not normal, and in some places it can be considered rude.
So, we may go back in the future but we will stick with our regular Korean BBQ location. We may end up there just for the convenience of parking when we have a craving, we will have to see.