33A The Boulevard
Strathfield, NSW 2135
As far as Korean BBQs goes, Won Jo is pretty uninspired. Yet you wouldn’t know that just by looking. The generous space fills up almost to capacity on even a weeknight, and on weekends there are reliably crowds milling around outside, waiting for a seat. My guess is that the large, varied menu – with a good selection of wagyu beef – combined with the casual yet comfortable atmosphere, makes it a popular choice when trying to keep everyone happy. Service is pretty lame; not only do they not help you cook the meats, they’re also rather sluggish with changing your grill (electric, not charcoal) once it collects a layer of char. But then again, we are in Strathfield, and the odds of no one at the table knowing how to wrangle Korean BBQ is slim to nil.
Rating: 12/20 – it’s not bad I guess.
To-order: the wagyu, but don’t get overly excited or anything.
This is the first time I’ve ordered wagyu at KBBQ, so I’m not sure how the Wagyu Marble Beef ($47) measures up, but you can definitely taste the difference when you compare it to the regular beef. It is especially good wrapped in some lettuce along with ssamjang and kimchi, but it tastes just as good after a dip into salt and sesame oil. The only shame is that there are no perilla leaves available.
Comparatively, the Marinated Beef ($30) is distinctly lacklustre. It’s neither especially tender nor flavoursome, instead having to rely heavily on the addition of banchan to give it interest. At approximately the same this, I also discovered that Baby Octopus ($23) is not seen at KBBQ for a reason. That’ll teach me to try something new.
The banchan were similarly average, with the standout being the translucent daikon pickle. And can you believe we had to pay for Lettuce ($5) to go with our meat? Literal oak leaf lettuce. I would however recommend getting a plate of the Mushrooms ($16), which showcased all sorts of textures and flavours once seared on the grill.