G2 Korean BBQ
301 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
03 9642 3424
The ‘Asianification of Fatboo’ has gone to new heights recently. And I blame Fatbee… but in a good way, because it’s all about enjoying food in more and more ways. From cheaparse Asian cakes (oh so light and fluffy!) to seeing me happily dunking a packet of 3-in-1 Instant Asian coffee into hot water as my morning pick-me-up.
And now, you’ve got me wholeheartedly embracing the sizzlingly smoky affair that’s Korean BBQ.
Fatbee organised a meal here with his friends, announcing that we’re dining at G2.
Me: ‘We’re dining where???”
Fatbee: “G2… don’t confuse it with the song – Like a G6”.
That’s how I ended up with this annoyingly catchy song in my head for days and days… arrrrgh!!!
G2 is located on Elizabeth Street close to Melbourne Central. And while it looks narrow and tiny from the street entrance, I discovered that there was a much more spacious upstairs section. The fit-out and ambience is very atmospheric too, with a warehousey-industrial feel… part of the reason why I enjoyed this Korean BBQ session.
Korean Cocktail Rice Wine (900ml) 21
Peach / Mango / Pineapple
Over the course of our meal, the seven of us enjoyed three jugs of fruit flavoured Korean rice wine (and half of a pair of chopsticks to stir it with). They’re incredibly easy to drink because it more or less tastes like a fruit smoothie with a mellow (sake-like) hint of rice wine. I confess I found it so drinkable that I consumed more than the lion’s share and became slightly incoherent by the end of the meal… *hic*…^*~#!
We left the ordering to Lorena, probably because she’s very decisive and isn’t shy about over-ordering. I love it when I don’t have to hold back from my gorilla-style eating tendencies!
On a side note, don’t you love how these copper-coloured Korean-style BBQ exhausts hang down from the ceiling? It’s like shiny fruit from a giant Adam & Eve industrial tree.
G2 Rice 3
Steamed Rice with Fried Kim-Chi & Sauce
Complimentary Side Dishes
Not long after we ordered, our table is set-up… first with the arrival of complimentary side dishes (seaweed coleslaw, pickled daikon, marinated onion & kimchi). Next, vessels of red hot coals are precariously carried in and a grilling rack placed over them. Yes, they use charcoal fire here rather than gas… that’s one big tick in my books!
Also pictured here is my serve of G2 special rice, which came tangy, spicy and flavoursome to the point where you could almost enjoy it on its own. I believe it had a bit of umeboshi (Japanese pickled plum) in it.
Cube Roll (Angus Beef) 34
Porterhouse (Angus Beef) 30
Beef Rib (Angus Beef) 30
Ox Tongue 19
The meats next arrived in quick succession and were cooked for us by two waitstaff… the cuts of beef were cooked in one griller and pork cuts in a second griller.
And that’s what made me happy here, I used to dislike Korean BBQ because you’re forking out money to cook your own food (not to mention you leave the establishment with your clothes smelling of meat smoke). But these days, I’ve gotten used to the fact that most places cook it for you.
I confess everything arrived and were cooked so quickly that we lost track of what was what. But let me just make it clear that all the cuts of Angus Beef here tasted amazing. Only the ox tongue was a let down because it was cooked to a rather firm, leathery texture.
Pork Belly (Plain) 15
Pork Belly (Thin Sliced) 16
Pork Scotch (Plain) 15
Pork Jowls 15
And here’s our spread of pork cuts being cooked in the second griller. While we quite liked them, I personally thought that the quality of the pork served at Guhng Korean Restaurant on McKillop St to be nicer… both in terms of flavour and texture.
I’ll have to say the one thing that I missed about this meal was a bowl of fresh leaves to wrap the grilled meats in. Back in Singapore, I grew up enjoying dad’s way of having Korean BBQ… he’d place the grilled meat on a piece of lettuce, add a slice of raw garlic and a bit of kimchi, and munch into it like a wrap.
Mushroom Mix 14
Darkbulgogi – Spicy (Marinated Chicken thigh fillet) 18
Notice how all the meats that we chose weren’t marinated? That’s how we prefer it… plain meats chargrilled over charcoal fire so that you can enjoy the actual quality and flavour of the meat. That’s when the freshness of the meat is paramount because there isn’t any seasoning to hide inferior quality.
All that said, we didn’t have a choice with the chicken because it all came marinated with the choice of sweet soy or spicy sauce. I was equivocal about it. And finally, the obligatory serve of veggies in the form of a platter of mushrooms.
Pan-fried potato noodle, vegetable and beef with sweet soy sauce
But our meal did not end there, we also got a few supporting dishes. First was this serve of stir-fried sweet potato noodle, which I thought could’ve been less sweet.
Kim-Chi & Pork Bone Chowder 29
And a large hot pot of kim chi stew with pork ribs, served on a portable gas stove. The stew was pretty good, but the flesh from the pork ribs were far too tough for my liking.
This was a pretty enjoyable Korean BBQ session in a very pleasant warehousey setting. And despite the stratospheric amounts of food and rice wine that we ordered, we ended up paying about $45 per person, which isn’t too bad.
And guess what? This place is open till 4am everyday, so you can enjoy a bit of friendship over drinks and Korean BBQ waaay into the wee hours of the morning. They (quite hilariously) call it G4 night… so G2 turns into G4 in the nighttime, and I now wonder if they’ll play Like a G6 as one of their songs. And by the way, in the song it sounds like they’re singing “Like a Cheese Stick”…. ha ha ha!!