Shop 256, 30-34 Churchill Avenue
Strathfield, NSW 2135
I had naively shown up at Strathfield at 5:45pm on a Saturday night, absolutely starving, with the intention of having some Korean BBQ. As it turns out, this is actually a rather popular pastime for the locals, and not feeling like waiting upwards of 2 hours at the restaurant I had originally intended to eat at, I decided to have a wander around and see what else was available. And although most places in the area were plagued with a dismally long queue, I was lucky enough to nab the last remaining table at Jo Ja Ryong.
The menu at Jo Ja Ryong looked suspiciously familiar when I first laid eyes on it. As it turns out, they are affiliated with Yang San Park in the CBD, which also happens to be the place I last had Korean BBQ. Having had a great experience there with the set menu, I decided to go with the Jo Ja Ryong Set ($32pp) this time around as well, which came with a generous smorgasbord of 5 different meats, a steamed egg pot each, and the ubiquitous side dishes.
The banchan here are pretty run-of-the-mill, but it’ll have everything you need. There’s also a range of condiments for your meat, my favourite of which is a robustly earthy spicy bean paste.
The steamed egg here isn’t as good as what you get at Yang San Park, being somewhat denser and less creamy, and a little burnt at the bottom. It was however still pleasant, and a good alternative to rice if you’re looking to cut down on your carb intake or something crazy like that.
But the real question of course is: how is the meat?
Just like Yang San Park, the meat selection here consisted of Marinated Beef Rib, Marinated Chicken, Marinated Pork Rib, Pork Belly, and Thin Beef Skirt. And although there wasn’t anything remarkable, everything here was up to scratch. The meat was tender and well-marinated, with just enough fat to ensure that every bite is succulent without losing its satisfying meaty flavour.
In a suburb that is rife with the best KBBQ in Sydney, there’s a reason why Jo Ja Ryong is slightly slower to fill up compared to the rest. Aside from the cheap prices, there’s certainly nothing specifically noteworthy about the meal. Don’t get me wrong – it is a perfectly good place to get your meat cravings sorted, but if you’re used to some of the more high-end places, you might find Jo Ja Ryong a tad underwhelming.
Rating: 13/20 – good but not great.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit,