Cora Korean Charcoal BBQ Restaurant
I love a good Korean BBQ restaurant. Cuts of meat covered in delicious secret-recipe marinades. The only downside to it all is that you inevitably smell like the restaurant afterwards. In winter, Korean BBQ is just perfection! Simply because the stove keeps you warm! I am especially excited when the restaurant uses charcoal rather than the gas cylinders. The meats (no matter the marinade) just tastes so much better, the charcoal gives it that nice smokey flavour.
In Perth, it’s very rare to find a Korean BBQ restaurant using charcoal but there is a little gem of a place in Myaree that allows you to cook the delicious marinaded meats over charcoal fire – Cora Korean Charcoal BBQ! The best thing about Cora Korean Charcoal BBQ is that it’s a small family owned business, who are actually Koreans (so you know it’s authentic in flavour!) and it is all you can eat at $35-$38pp ($35 Tues, Wed, Thurs and $38 Fri, Sat, Sun) - all you can eat meat and seafood, all you can eat salad and dessert and unlimited teas and coffee, how is that not a bargain?? (soft drinks, beers etc. are additional charges.. they do also allow BYO wines).
The cuts of meat and seafood provided by Cora is varied and are much better cuts than the other Korean BBQ places. There are prawns, mussels and massive squid pieces. In terms of their meats there is the oyster blade (melts in your mouth once it is cooked and the marinade is delicious!), beef chuck, beef ribs, pork belly strips, chicken thigh and they also have a bit more exotic cuts such as ox tongue and chicken giblet. It’s such a refreshing change to get a variety of different cuts of meat than the usual Korean bbq places where you get the pork belly strips, beef chuck and ribs and chicken thigh (and variations of that). Each of their meat (exception of the ox tongue and pork belly strips) is marinated in their homemade secret sauce (which they won’t reveal to me – which I guess if fair enough!).
The marinated meat with the charcoal barbie was just divine. The marinade flavour seems to be richer with the charcoal bbq over the gas ones and provides that lovely smokey taste. Love it. Just remember to turn the heat down when the plate is hot enough because otherwise the fire gets a bit too much and it gets smokey pretty quickly.
To complement their meats they also have a variety of sauces to dip into – there is the Korean spicy sauce, soy and sesame, plain sesame and oil and just plain soy sauce. I really don’t think you needed to much of their sauces but adding the spicy sauce gives it that extra kick.
Of course your bbq should be accompanied by traditional Korean side dishes (or banchan) consisting of homemade kimchi, Sukju Namul Muchim (숙주나물 무침) aka Mung beansprout salad seasoned with salt, garlic and sesame oil, spicy spring onion salad and the traditional steamed cabbage rice wraps (also known as Yangbaechu Ssambap).
While the meat is on the barbie and you are hungry there is an array or fried goodies, such as gyoza, chicken wings and little drumsticks, tempura vegetables and kimchi pancakes. There is also potato/buckwheat glass noodles and skewed fish (MUST be dipped in sauce otherwise it is blend), along with soups (choice of miso or chicken).
My Korean friend also showed me how to eat Korean BBQ like a Korean. He told me that the non-marinated meats are to be dipped in the sauce of your choosing (usually the soy and sesame and spicy sauce) placed on a lettuce leave with a bit of rice and more spicy Korean sauce on top, a bit of garnish (in the form of shallots and fresh garlic pieces). The lettuce is folded and eaten with your hands. Kind of like a san chow bow.
There is also nice spread of fresh fruits, bite-size pieces of cake and jelly to end your night.
I was rather impressed that the buffet area was hardly empty (except when a rush of people pile up their plates!). It was regularly filled up so the meat was always full. They are pretty good at changing your bbq plate as well.
Cora Korean Charcoal BBQ provides value for money with all you can eat Korean BBQ (with charcoal!!) with quality cuts of meat and seafood for delicious marinated Korean BBQ with a smokey flavour. I also loved that for once I didn’t come out of a Korean BBQ place smelling too much like the restaurant!