Originally reviewed on August 31, 2019
|한글 🇰🇷||ENGLISH 🇺🇸|
|설도||Beef Round [Specialist]|
If you're looking to take some pics for the 'gram, sit near one of two windows; otherwise, it'll be quite dark, even if you go during the day.
|Korean Won 🇰🇷||United States Dollar 🇺🇸|
For this flat rate, you get unlimited beef for one person. There are different tiers, but they may have changed recently due to COVID-19.
Drinks, sides (stews, soups, noodles), and additions are extra, but very affordable.
Open daily unless stated otherwise; hours have shifted due to COVID-19 as of 2020.
Seoul Seek Recommendations
- 👑 Signature
- ✅ Counting Calories
- 🌶️ Spicy
|한글 🇰🇷||English 🇺🇸||Price 💵|
|무한 소고기||Muhan [Unlimited] Beef Special for 2 👑||₩43,000|
|소고기 된장찌개||Beef Soy Bean Stew||₩5,000|
|등심||Top Sirloin 👑✅||N/A|
|부채살||Flat Iron Steak ✅||N/A|
|갈비살||Tender Rib Meat||N/A|
|살치살||Chuck Flap Tail||N/A|
Depending on the type of tier you get, the meat may vary; ironically, although the place is named after a bottom round cut of meat, that specific cut is not popular here. Although the yukhoe served is created from this cut.
The signature is the top sirloin, which is aged in a premium way by wet-aging it. This is common for unlimited beef restaurants, and is mostly used as a marketing tactic. Buzzwords, sort of. Sounds good though, right?
Tucked away within a side area of a planned apartment city, this establishments sits a stone's throw away from a cinema and mall, which lies adjacent to the apartments. It is in a quiet residential area where you'll be hard-pressed to ever see a foreigner.
The restaurant itself is quite spacious in the back, but narrow in the front (where the light is good for photography). Luckily, we got the front-row seat as it were, and had the ability to get some good shots off.
One of the most strange things was the addition of a tortilla-like disc of flatbread, coupled with undercooked onions and random cloves of garlic and fusion pesto.
An empty and lackluster attempt at Mexican street food, this didn't work at all. It was a strange wrap-like construct that clashed with the otherwise run of the mill Korean BBQ joint. The triangle pieces they gave were way too small, too, if you couldn't tell.
For the sake of everyone involved, I'm going to act like that didn't exist, as the rest of the meal was great.
The Main Event
You may be looking at this from a Western perspective and wonder why the charcoal is shaped like this; this is what's known in the restaurant industry as a long burn briquette, and the reason they're shaped this way is to aerate better while burning. This allows for the customer to experience a longer burn time while eating, preventing burn out.
Essentially, it keeps the meat at a higher temperature, cooking, longer. The reason this is useful, is because in Korea during BBQ sessions, between talking and drinking, they may very well last upwards of 3 hours. If you run normal-grade burn charcoal, that is usually broken up and charred, it'll lose steam after about half an hour.
You'll see unlimited beef places, and higher-end meat places usually go for the hexagonal briquettes, although there's no real correlation or hard statistic out there which supports this; just an observation.
Here's a pro-tip: whenever you're in a situation where you are designated as the Korean BBQ cook at a gathering, don't sweat it. Keep in mind when you have meat which has a very high fat content (check out the ratio on that picture above), you're going to have to tend to it way more. Why? Fat melts faster than the meat itself, and that changes the temperature and speed of the cook-time.
When that fat hits those long-burn briquettes, it's going to flame up. The reason being is, those types of briquettes are heated to a much higher temperature than your average meat spot, so that they can maintain that heat over a longer period of time.
You'll always be given metal tongs, no different than the ones you'd get in the West to cook a steak on a grill in your backyard. Use those to roll the meat side to side after cutting (or in the case above, just as they are due to the cut). Repeat this every 10 or 15 seconds, until cooked.
Another tip is to always take the meat off when it is partially raw, if you like it medium-rare. Why? When meat rests, it cooks more. Common knowledge. What isn't necessarily common knowledge is that in Korean restaurants, there is very rarely a dedicated tray, or dish, that you plop the meat onto once it is considered done.
Watch a Korean movie or drama with an eating scene in it; almost always, people will take the meat directly off the grill and eat it, or put it out on the ends where the heat is less. Keep this in mind.
These are things people rarely take into consideration, which results in meat being overcooked. Look around, and gauge how fast people are eating; are they ready to take a bite?
Cook it a little more, almost near medium-rare. Are they talking and taking it slow? Cook it blue-rare and let it sit on the outside a bit and throw out a quick indication to them that it'll be ready in about 30 seconds.
Although it is "just a meal" to the majority of people, when you break down the craft of Korean BBQ, and the timings needed to make things flow smoothly as the designated cooker, there are many layers you can unravel to make the guests' experience better; these are just a few off the top.
The salt here was higher quality than I had experienced at places similar to this (unlimited beef outfits). It tasted like it had a touch of seaweed to it, but had a strong finish. As you can see by the picture, it is a sea salt that is coarse, but had the flavor profile of a finishing salt, almost one that was pure flake.
If you're a salt enthusiast like myself, you'll notice a strange pattern where the crystals which appear to be more octahedral in shape (rock salt being one of them, which checks out here) have this same flavor profile, whereas the more delicate monoclinic prism shapes tend to lean sharper (more elegant fleur de sels). Table salt is, of course, cubic.
This is not a fancy place, nor is it one with many frills or flash. Seemingly catering to families that want to just chill out and have a nice lunch or dinner, Seoldo offers a relaxed atmosphere with a clear-cut and easy-to-understand structure.
The wait staff are very friendly, and offer you help if you want to learn more about any type of meat on the menu, where it is from (all Korean, if you ask), or general insight into the side dishes.
As mentioned, it would be very rare for a foreigner to ever come across this place, so there is no English support. However, with this guide, you should have no problem at all.
If a friend or family member was visiting Seoul, I would take them here, or recommend it to those wondering where a good place would be. Affordable, very clean, and great quality.
You can't ask for much more.