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“Disappointing”

Gogi Jib - Stone Grill Barbecue
Ranked #1,552 of 2,228 Restaurants in Chiang Mai
Price range: US$4 - US$20
Cuisines: Korean
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Gogi Jib - Stone Grill Barbecue, a Korean bbq table service buffet restaurant designed to offer traditional Korean food in a modern, comfortable space. Regular Buffet (choices of 3 pork cuts) ~ 299. Premium Buffet (choice of beef or pork) ~ 399. Both buffets include unlimited freshly made Korean side dishes. Other Korean dishes available along with barbecue. Beer, wine, soju, mokoli, soft drinks available. Located right at Thapae Gate (not where the google map shows) ~ easy to find and guaranteed great food and service! Opening hours : Mon-Fri 5pm to 11:30pm (Tuesday closed) Sat and Sun 11:30am to 11pm
Reviewed 18 March 2012

Having read many excellent reviews here about this new Korean BBQ, we decided to give it a try.

Located just opposite Thapae Gate in the Old City, there is no parking outside or nearby, so it is best to park in Thapae Road and walk the short distance around the corner.

The small restaurant is nicely decorated, lit and furnished, and has a relaxing atmosphere. There were only two other diners on the Saturday evening we visited.

We were welcomed by the Korean owner, who is quite charming and explains the concept of their menu, and where the meat is sourced from.

There are really only three choices available. Pork BBQ, Beef BBQ or Pork & Beef BBQ. Each come with "unlimited" Korean side dishes, and extra vegetables and other items can be ordered for a surcharge.

We opted for the Pork & Beef BBQ, at Bt425 per person. A large bottle of Beer Leo to share was Bt100. House wine is Bt100 a glass. Extra side orders around Bt100.

The hot stone powered by gas in the centre of the table was lit, and the four side dishes were brought. These were all cold dishes, a broccoli in paprika, pickled cucumber and onion, a potato salad and the ubiquitous Korean kimchee. Rice or noodles are apparently not served with this type of meal.

Two plates of meat were brought out, with some sliced onions, mushrooms and garlic. They were then placed whole on the grill by the waitress, and after a minute or two she proceeded to cut everything up in front of us with scissors!

We had a brief and patronising explanation of rudimentary cooking techniques ("pork takes longer to cook than beef") , and then were left to try. It was also explained that, when cooked, it is traditional to wrap the meat in a lettuce leaf provided, put on some dipping sauces, roll and eat.

After a minute or two we tried the first samples, and apart from the taste of the oil the meat had been covered in, there was frankly no taste to the dish at all.

I then requested some soy sauce and chilli sauce, to try and add a little flavour. The soy sauce was poured onto the hot stone, which did enhance the taste of the rest of the meat. The chilli paste was too stiff to do anything with, and is actually a paste for curry rather than dipping.

From the first batch of meat, the pork belly was too fatty to eat, and even after leaving to cook and crisp on the hot stone for over 15 minutes, was still not crisp. The beef was very tough and chewy.

Then, we tried the second batch of meat. This time the beef was much more tender, and I cooked it together with some soy sauce, and salt and black pepper. The pork had been marinated in a rather sweet sauce, so not at all to our taste.

Finally, I asked for just a piece of beef with no oil on it, as the oil they use tastes greasy and is obviously not a good olive oil, but a cheaper vegetable or sunflower oil. This time, the beef was much better, but still, without any accompanying things to add flavour, was a rather tasteless experience.

Throughout the meal, the staff were coming back and forth to the table to regulate the hot stone, which was quite annoying.

I suggested to the owner that it would be better to provide the meat sliced, on a platter, and let people put it on the stone in small pieces to cook as they wished. She answered that, with the cuts of meat they buy, it would not look attractive if cut up and put on a plate. It certainly did not look attractive in one slice, being cut up in front of us with kitchen scissors!

Finally, a complimentary Korean "desert" was presented, which was a sweet ginger tea, and quite pleasant.

For this type of food, in this location, the price is too high. If the price comes down to Bt325 per person, and the presentation, flavourings and side dishes are enhanced, then there may be a chance to build up a decent business.

We will not return.

    • Value
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4  Thank Paul_CNX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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9 - 13 of 32 reviews

Reviewed 16 March 2012

The food itself is very tasty & a great option for those following a paleo diet or wanting to get away from greasy food! A bit pricy but it is unlimited, hosever you will see they are a bit reluctant to indulge you. Our experience here was marred by the owner (guy). It was a busy night & they appeared to be understaffed. We Waited 30 min to get our meat (supposed to be all you can eat) refilled each time and the guy was reluctant, he also kept checking his watch to see if we were within the time limit (understandable but he did it in a rude way). Rolled his eyes a lot when we asked for sauce to go with meat, and was particularly venomous to his wife who was the loveliest lady ever. He was not nice to her behind the bar and grabbed her arm - it was her who was holding the place together that night! At one point when he lost his composure, she took over and her service was amazing. She took time to explain the dishes and even fun facts about korean culture. We gave her a big tip. I understand this industry & especially an understaffing situation can be stressful but his behaviour & the fact he took it out on customers & his wife was sad - if i can offer a suggestion, he should not be serving customers. Food good but we wouldn't return simply because of the guy.

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9  Thank Caricar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aaron F, Owner at Gogi Jib - Stone Grill Barbecue, responded to this reviewResponded 17 March 2012

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your valuable opinion and time. And I'm very sorry to hear that out service didn't reach your expectation. When we decided to open this restaurant we promised each other to make a place that can provide delicious and fresh food and good service. And we've been doing our best to keep that promise. So when we read your review, it was painful but also gave us chance to look back our service.

We hope you understand that we put a lot of thought and our heart into how we give service to customers. We give out cold towels for customers to cool down while looking at the menu and wash their hands. We take orders ourselves because we can explain better than anybody in English. We serve side dishes out right after we take the order so that customers can wait without being hungry while the grill is heating up, then we serve you the raw meat, which doesn't take so long to prepare. Then we personally bring out the meat to the tables to explain how to cook and the best way to eat, which is the most important part of our service because most of our customers never had Korean BBQ before. We love to talk to them about the food, korean culture and even our personal story. During dining our staff or we ask how everything is or if customers need anything more. If they need anything, we bring it out immediately. When customers finish the food then we bring out sweet and cold tea which helps digestion. Even if customers don't realize all these things we do them to make them comfortable and enjoyable. We are very proud of our service.

LIke everyone does, my husband had a really bad night. There is no doubt that it wasn't right to take out on you. We are very sorry to make you feel that way. But I want to say he is a very kind and thoughtful person and also very nice to customers, regardless of his feelings and I know because almost every night customers want to talk to him and enjoy the conversation, while I'm usually in the kitchen taking care of food. He's not a violent guy and has never been mean to me. You might think that way because you felt his bad mood. I hope you understand sometimes life treats people tougher than they can manage.

Again, thank you for writing your review and please accept our sincere apology for your feeling.

Wish you the best luck.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2012

This was the first time I'd had Korean BBQ and I absolutely loved it! Great chilled out atmosphere with attentive service from the owners. The marinated meat in particular was delicious! Highly recommended!

1  Thank Tallulah2wheels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2012

It was nice to have something a bit different after 10 days. Good service and tasty food.

Thank Bee0202
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2012

I had never eaten Korean BBQ before, so this was a bit of food adventure for me. From the moment I stepped into the restaurant I was made to feel welcome and comfortable.

The owners Aaron and Lee Sojung took time to explain what food was available and how it would be cooked. Their attention to detail was amazing. It showed that they had a real passion for their food and great customer service.

I had the pork and beef BBQ with some side dishes. I tried a few of the different ways to enjoy the food as suggested by Aaron. It is worth taking their advice, you will enjoy the meal so much more.

I also tried the rice wine, which was strong, but very good. All in all I was very pleased with my experience, and although it was a little more expensive than a lot of the other restaurants I had been to in Chiang Mai, it was well worth the money.

I noted that someone recently complained about the lack of a knife, surely they couldn't base their entire review on this. I also noticed that it was their first review on TA. Take it from me, trust the reviews of those who have been contributing here for a lot longer.

Don't leave Chiang Mai without treating yourself to a fantastic meal here.

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    • Food
Thank thejournalist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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