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Thanks to many a crappy buffets, I find the idea of all-you-can-eat pretty unappealing. But Korean Grill House (5 locations including 754 Yonge St., south of Bloor) has got the concept down right.  It’s a do-it-yourself barbecue at your own table, so all the food is cooked-to-order exactly how you want it. For $12.99, you get an unlimited supply of Korean short ribs (Kalbi), thinly sliced beef and pork, chicken, squid, salmon, white fish and more. All these items arrive at your table raw, and you cook them over the open grill yourself.

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My favourites are the Kalbi and squid, which goes nicely with the unlimited refills of rice and 6 types of panchan, including kimchi, sprouts and spicy tofu.

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When you’ve got a hankering for an indoor BBQ and feel like you can pack away a whole lotta meat, there’s nothing wrong with grilling it your way, Korean style.

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Sharing a bubbling hot pan of spicy seafood stew from Seoul Restaurant (621 Bloor St. West) is one of the best ways to catch up with a good friend. When the dish arrives perched atop a flaming gas element, you’ll both sit quietly in anticipation for three minutes. That’s all the time it takes for the broth to cook the mussels, squid, various types of shrimp and fish, and warm through the tofu, zucchini, carrots, bean sprouts and cabbage. Then you’ll have plenty of time for rousing conversation and dramatic storytelling while you work through the stew, four types of pan chan (Korean side dishes) and a bowl of rice each. It’s a steal at $18, which serves two with leftovers.

Our favourite extra topping is udon noodles, but there’s plenty to choose from including sausage, ramen, a boiled egg, and one we couldn’t resist trying: cheese. Seeing a Kraft Single ooze and melt into all that seafood did seem blasphemous, but friendships will only grow stronger over the shared revelation that this creamy addition to the soup is surprisingly good.

Seoul Sam Mi Restaurant / 621 Bloor St W, Toronto
416.532.9669

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