As the school year wound its way to an end and February started to end there was one last tradition before I said goodbye to my school. No matter the school in Korea there are always at least 2 dinners. A welcome dinner at the beginning of the year and a goodbye at the end. While the number of dinners in-between varies depending on the school and whose in charge, these two are staples.
With our school there were rumors that we might not have one. A lot of people were leaving but with the virus the idea of bringing teachers who might’ve just returned from vacation or who were trying to minimalism exposure out for a night of eating and drinking in celebration questionable. In the end though we decided to do it. A room at Joseonhwaro House in Anyang near Pyeongchon was picked. It was a bbq place with a specialty in beef ribs and prices ranging from 9,900 won to 29,000 won.
While I will admit for awhile I got very tired of school dinners and bbq, it was nice to end on something familiar and delicious.
I really liked how the meat was brought out on a tiered tray, something I have only ever associated with afternoon tea or high tea. We also of course got round two, which meant I ended up with a giant bowl of mul-naengmyeong to myself. I guess I never learned to pace myself with all the meat to save room for the second round. But it was still good, and I think mul-naengmyeon will always be my favorite.
Joseonhwaro House has a couple other staples. Instead of bringing large communal water containers they bring people 500mL water bottles. They also have a table setting fee of 1,000 won per person. I think this is because they have a self serve bar for side dishes (banchan). But because the dinner was set up by my school I’m not 100% sure if the 1,000 won fee per person for setting the table can be dropped by just doing it yourself. Maybe. I do know it means you can go get more on your own at the self serve bar. The oils and salts for dipping the meat is also found in a self serve section so make sure to look and gather everything you want before you start eating. (There is also self serve coffee, but I feel like that’s a common feature in many restaurants) The decor of the shop is also rather traditional looking which I found nice.
It’s not the cheapest bbq but it’s really nice. They also have lunch deals. Joseonhwaro House is a chain that can be found throughout South Korea. The one I went to is open from 11am until 11pm.