Last Monday, my co-teachers and I decided to have a (very late) start-of-semester dinner. I mentioned I was in the mood for samgyeopsal, or Korean BBQ, and JH suggested a place called Mr. Grill.
When I asked her about it she said she’d heard about it from some friends who had loved it because it had – and I shit you not – a camping theme. And I literally mean it was set up like a campground.
Anyway so we drove over, slightly before their opening time (which is at 6pm), but they were kind enough to let us get started stuffing our faces early. This was good because we were all starving.
It was a pleasantly sunny evening and the restaurant was open-air, giving all the more of a camping vibe to the setting.
An incredibly friendly (and fluffy) husky mix was at the entrance who greeted us with a lolling tongue and energetic tail wags. We later saw that his dinners consisted of fresh meat straight from the kitchens which probably accounted for why he looked like he’d landed a spot in dog heaven.
We were the first to arrive, so we had the pick of the place to sit down. We chose a spot near the tent so as to feel the ultimate illusion that we were in the woods.
Blankets were provided both for aesthetic purposes of sitting near a campfire and also usefully for ladies wearing short skirts (such as myself at the time) who want to remain modest and not flash their underwear whilst in the very low chairs.
After we’d settled and ordered our food (the bit-of-everything plate), the staff let us know that there was a self-serve side dish bar over near the back. Figuring it was just kimchi and maybe some pickles, I let JH and HM choose which things to get as I nipped off to the washroom.
When I came back, however, I saw that not only was the dog outside in culinary heaven, but we were too. There was kimchi and pickles, yes, but also onions, lettuce and sesame leaves, mushrooms, sweet pumpkin mash, garlic, hot soup, sauces, fresh cucumbers, salads…the list went on and we each piled a plate high with our favourites.
Before too long the waiter came over with our tray of raw meat to begin grilling. Our platter boasted an array of mushrooms, pumpkin, and meats including samgyeopsal (literally “three-layered-flesh”, but meaning an uncured bacon cut from the belly), a slab of pork neck, several spiced sausages, and a veritable cancan line of prawns.
HM took charge of the grilling, proud to show off the skills she learned from our Vice Principal at one of our staff dinners.
Everything was absolutely perfection. After we were fully bloated from consuming so damn much, we each got a free coffee at the self-serve bar (made from real ground coffee beans, no fake coffee mixes like in other restaurants!), and took a walk by the river which was just on the opposite side of Mr. Grill. Because oh yeah, did I mention it also has a lovely view? Perfect for cherry blossom season.
Anyway that’s all for now! If I knew how to search for it in Korean, I would include the address, but for now you’ll just have to take my word for it that it’s in the northern part of Cheongju by the river.
Restaurant rating: 9/10