The gratifying sizzle and smoke of the table top Korean BBQ in Auckland never gets boring.
DIY, grill-your-own meat is as much part of the encounter as quick waitresses and smoke-filled dining rooms that vary from elegant and intimate to simple, no-frills affairs. You can have fun barbecue up various meats like pork belly and marinated short rib, while beer, soju and colourful sides are always nearby.
The best part? Korean BBQ is group-friendly, so it’s perfect for social catch-ups with friends or filling up before a late-night of K-pop karaoke or the nightclubs of Auckland.
Korean BBQ is an unashamedly hedonistic meat paradise, so not one of the vegans or vegetarians. There are more than 50 Korean restaurants in Auckland, so it can be overwhelming when you’ve got that bulgogi yearning, and you’re trying to pick where to go.
After all, how can you tell good kbbq from great kbbq? Much like a good steakhouse, it’s by the freshness and marbling of the meat along with the side dishes (banchan). Based on these rules, these spots are the only Korean BBQ in Auckland you ever need to involve yourself with.
New to Korean BBQ? It’s easy to become a bbqmaster by learning these fun & easy steps! There is no need to feel nervous, either buffet-style or table-service works the same.
- Select from the menu a variety of meat, seafood & veggies. You’ll typically get a choice of marinates, so you can either go for spicy or traditional BBQ.
- Second, you grill! Depending on how you like your meat done, you’ll need around 30-60 seconds for sliced beef, 3-4 minutes for pork &chicken and 2-3 minutes for all other items.
- Dip, baby, dip. There is always an array of elicious sauce’s. Galbi-Jang is best for marinated beef, peanut sauce for chicken, roasting salt for most other things — and ssamjang, a thick, spicy paste that accompanies lettuce wraps for Korean BBQ. Again, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Now you are ready. So grab your friends, order up some meat, a few beers or maybe some soju, and get excited for a carnivorous feast to jolt the pleasure centre of your brain!
Dae Jang Geum Korean BBQ Restaurant
22 Torrens Road, Burswood
A cheap-and-cheerful Korean BBQ in East Auckland operating in a self-service buffet style with various meats, sides and spices to select from.
There is a fixed all-you-can-eat price of around $25 per person (not including drinks) making it a good place to hang out with friends and family without having to worry about splitting the bill at the end. S, the overall buffet is outstanding. There is a decent selection of foods, including a range of seafood with well-flavoured marinated meats along easy to use grills.
If you know what you are doing and want authentic Korean BBQ on the cheap without heading somewhere central, Dae Jang Geum Korean BBQ Restaurant is always a great option.
99 Albert Street, Auckland CBD
Chosun Galbee is one of the best buffet-style Korean BBQ restaurants in CBD hidden in an alley off Federal street between the AA building and Sky Tower. But dining Daebak is only half the adventure.
Everything here is high quality, especially their lovely flavoured kimchi and the pork belly dish marinated in their special sweet-savoury sauce. It’s the sort of meat that makes you want to go full (Lady) Gaga and wear it as a dress.
The downside? There aren’t any extractor fans, so it gets really smoky inside, so try to sit outside or by an open window unless you want to go home or back to the office with that BBQ cologne.
There are many sauces and condiments on hand; fresh lettuce regularly beginning replenished and even fried chicken and squid. Though you’ll have to be quick to get there, it is just too delicious. Dining times are limited to 1.5 hours, with lunch being $23 and dinner $26.
Dak Hanmari Korean BBQ
5 Auburn Street, Takapuna
The one of the best Korean BBQ on the North Shore, Dak Hanmari in Takapuna offers unlimited buffet dining with cast iron grill trays, and chimneys at each table, so it is not too hot — or smoky — inside.
Prices have slowly crept up and are now almost $30 at dinner, but the food is really fresh with plenty of meat and seafood choices. There are plenty of delicious pre-cooked dishes if you can’t wait for you raw meat to cook. It gets really busy, so it’s best to book if you plan on visiting during the dinner rush.
5 Lorne St, Auckland CBd & 49 Nuffield St, Newmarket
Faro is where to bring the parents, first-dates or out-of-towners. This beloved Korean BBQ hotspot has two location — in Lorne St in the CBD and Nuffield in Newmarket — and offers an upscale setting with impeccable service and freshness. With the more modern vibe, the food leans on the less traditional side by way of a less-is-more approach to meat and the array of banchan. This isn’t your chaotic all-you-can-eat-buffet but a civilised service where everything is brought to your table.
Sadly, they have stopped their unlimited side dishes, but their grill set menus are still good value with a nice variety. Besides the common table setups of four, they have semi and private rooms/kiosk for dining groups of more than six people.
Gangnam Style Korean BBQ Buffet
78 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna & 726 Great South Road, Manukau
Another Takapuna Korean BBQ Buffet full of energy and loud-talking that now also has opened a location in Manakau.
Easy, fun and tasty, Gangnam Style Korean BBQ is all about embracing the chaos and everything that makes the Korean eating culture so unique. There is around 60 kinds of appetisers, main dishes, cold dishes, salads, selected meats and seafood on offer — and even desserts.
HANSIK Restaurant & Bar
19 Drake Street, Freemans Bay
A Korean bar and restaurant on Drake Street – right next to Victoria Park Market in the city, Hansik is certainly a more sophisticated affair, and that’s why we love it.
There is a mouth-watering menu of authentic Korean dishes, including Grilled Eel and one of our favourite bulgogi, which has a reputation as the poor relation of the Korean barbecue world. The multi-course royal table set menu is what dreams are made of, and the most upscale Korean dining currently on offer in Auckland.
Their BBQ offering is $80 for two people with five sides, soup and rice and a choice of meat. It’s not cheap, nor does it have that smoky disorder energy we love so much, but the somehow warm-yet-industrial aesthetic of this old converted warehouse makes Hansik unique. As does their superb array of colourful cocktails and sunny outdoor deck.
Hanna Korean BBQ
869 Dominion Road, Mount Roskill
A much-beloved spot on Dominion Road, Hanna offers ‘All you can eat’ Korean BBQ buffet with a snug interior and non-stop K-pop blaring. Their range of meats and vegetables are more limited than other Auckland spots, but we love the location and friendly staff.
Hanna Korean BBQ is another spot without extractor fans so can get pretty smoky, meaning don’t come here unless you’re ready to smell like a BBQ when you get back home.
Kang Nam Station
329 Queen Street, Auckland CBD
An iconic Korean restaurant located across from the Four Points Sheraton On Queen Street serving authentic Korean food that is tasty and aromatic at very reasonable price. Chances are you have seen their bright green carriage before, so now is your chance to head inside to their dining room out back with a tree trunk growing through it and K-Pop music videos playing.
Open until 1 AM daily; there is a simple menu with incredible BBQ Squid, and a variety of dishes either for solo diners or larger groups. If you are heading out later, the Korean beer they serve there is the “strong stuff”, and certainly will get you a bit buzzed.
One of the oldest Korean restaurants in the Auckland CBD, it seems inevitable that this hidden gem will close in the future and be replaced by a modern tower block — so don” miss your chance to dine here now.