For many Buenos Aires expats, Koreatown is quite the eventful destination where fun is to be had by all. What’s better on a Friday night than to trek ALL the way to Bajo Flores, listen to taxi drivers tell you how dangerous it is, stuff face with delicious Korean BBQ, drink face with Soju, and hop over to Chess Karaoke Club across the street for a night of sober singing? While that is all good and fun once in a while, most times I’m just not in the mood to get down and dirty in Barrio Coreano and dream about conveniently getting my hands on some spicy kimchi-grilled pork action close to home. No need to fret anymore, the recently opened BBQ Town (Juramento 1656) in Barrio Chino now offers the full Korean barbecue experience – cheap, tasty and right in my backyard. Barrio Chino, my culinary mecca, and home to many disappointing Chinese restaurants, has now just gotten a lot more interesting: spicy kimchee, beautiful bulgogi, more than 25 small plates of hot and cold dishes, soup, oysters, bacon, shrimp, lettuce wraps, dumplings – I could go on and on. And eat and eat. And that’s what I did. It’s Korean BBQ and it’s ohhh sooo goood.Upon sitting down, the mozo instantly brought the cold dishes, about 10, including kimchi, seaweed, boiled peanuts, parrilla salad, bean sprouts, octopus and more. Some of the dishes were great, others were good and the rest were not too my liking. One thing is for sure, there is no lack in variety.
You have a choice between spicy and non spicy, I chose spicy.Ideal to go with a large group, the space is large with tables that are designed for up to 8 people, with a moveable divider for smaller parties. There are two grills at every table – unlike Biwon, this place gives you the real barbecue experience where you grill your own meat at the table.
Mmmm raw meat. Pork, beef and octopus.Start grilling that shit. I wish the grill had been a little hotter, it took the meat a bit too long to cook, but when it did, mmmm kosher porky and beefy delights. Especially the pork. Marinated to porky perfection.Already starting to slow down, I thought that was the entire meal, until a round of hot small plates came to the table. Egg-like pancake, a Chef Boyardee type pasta, fried membrillo, dumplings, fried tofu, and noodles.Fried tofu – great spicy sauce on top. Really delicious.
I could pop dumps in my mouth all day long.How bout oysters? Sure, why not.Yes, that is what it looks like. Large shrimp and Korean bacon. The bacon is meant to be grilled, topped with some sesame oil and garlic, and wrapped in fresh lettuce. Too bad I didn’t know about that until after I was finished when the owner explained how to eat it and that it was a traditional Korean dish. The lettuce did have some bichos and needed to be cleaned better, but I ain’t gunna let no bugs stand in my way of a pork belly lettuce wrap. The space used to be a Chinese restaurant, until the owners (who come from Taiwanese and Korean descent), realized the appeal and great need to open up a Korean restaurant in the more accessible Barrio Chino neighborhood. Pure genius. Not only is the food good and the atmosphere very accommodating for larger groups, the prices are still very reasonable at AR$70 per person. Oh BBQ Town, I’ll be visiting you on a regular basis.
1656 Juramento, Barrio Chino (Belgrano)
Monday – Friday: 12:00pm – 3:30pm, 7:30pm – 12:00am
Saturday – Sunday: 12:00pm – 12:00am
AR$70 AR$85 per person (inflation’s a bitch) not including drinks.