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Friday, April 11, 2014

Nashville Food Friday: Seoul Garden

A review of Korean BBQ at Seoul Garden in Nashville Tennessee
A couple of weeks ago Steve and I went out for dinner to celebrate my friend Aubrey's birthday (Aubrey has a fabulous blog- you should totally check it out!). Aubrey and I are both very into food and we love trying new things and eating at old favorites. We decided that a cook-your-own Korean BBQ feast at Seoul Garden would be perfect for a birthday double-date!
A review of Korean BBQ at Seoul Garden in Nashville Tennessee
Located just off of Nolensville Road, Seoul Garden might be the only place in town where you can grill your own meat at the table. There are about 4-5 tables that have the cook-top (you can make a reservation- just not the day-of to reserve one of these special tables). The inside decor is clean and simple, with hints of Korean culture. While you dine two large screen TVs show Korean pop sensations and their fabulously elaborate dance routines. While the place is clean and the service is prompt, do not expect the waitresses to be overly nice. The service was fine, but I had a feeing that our server just didn't want to deal with us.
Steamed beef dumplings at Seoul Garden in Nashville Tennessee
To start, we had the steamed beef dumplings. The dough was really light and thin and they were steamed perfectly, not allowing them to get overly sticky or soggy. The filling was what you typically find in dumplings, as was the dipping sauce. Overall I really liked these and I would definitely order them again.
Galbi beef ribs at Seoul Garden in Nashville Tennessee
The way the BBQ menu works is that you select from a variety of uncooked marinated meats that are brought to your table. A sweet old man (called grandpa by the staff) brought out hot coals and started our fire. It was really cute to see how the staff fussed over him; it was clear that they did not want him to be working so hard, especially with hot coals. The first meat we ordered was my favorite: the Galbi marinated beef rib. The meat was thinly sliced and clearly marinated for a very long time. This cut soaked up all the flavor and everything was super tender. I honestly could not get enough of this stuff. My favorite part was when you got down to the rib bones and you can just suck off all the flavor.
Pork Bulgolgi at Seoul Garden in Nashville Tennessee
Our second meat entree was the spicy pork bulgolgi. The meat was bright red from all the spices it soaked up during is long marinating period. The meat was very tender and cooked fairly quickly, and was spicy but not to the point of pain. I loved the flavor of the spicy pork and I was happy that it was significantly different from the rib meat.
BBQ Tables at Seoul Garden in Nashville Tennessee
As for cooking, you just place the thin pieces of meat over the grill in the center of the table. You can kind of see when it is getting done and you just flip it over. The staff watches you and comes around to make sure you are doing it right. Although they do this sometimes, they don't do it all the time, so you should be proactive about not burning your meat. Once the meat is cooked you use a food scissor to cut it up into bite size pieces and you can leave it around the edge of the grill to stay warm. If you want to use one of these tables, there is a minimum of two meat entrees per table.
Banchan  at Seoul Garden in Nashville Tennessee
As with any Korean meal, I always enjoy the banchan! Seoul garden offered a nice variety including the traditional kimchi, spouts and daikon as well as mushrooms, eggs, tofu and spinach. I really enjoyed the flavor of the eggs, especially the yolk when it soaked up the marinade. The tofu was kind of meh, being an odd taste and texture to be served cold. The only thing I missed from this assortment was some kind of dried fish.

Overall, I really enjoyed Seoul Garden. If you are looking for a fun creative dinner where you can go with a bunch of friends, you should really consider getting a BBQ table and sharing a meat feast!

PS: Happy Birthday Aubrey!
Seoul Garden Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. xoxoxoxo!

    And to echo Lauren, the service is rather slow and not especially attentive. You definitely pay more to eat here and have the luxury of the cooktop tables because it's the only gig in town. I still think Korea House is my fav (any my mother gave it her Korean thumbs up) but this is closer to where I live and a good meal.

    I wish they weren't so stingy with the Galbi, I could have eaten the portion myself! Definitely order one of the bulgogis too to satiate yourself.

  2. after reading you and aubrey's reviews of this place...I feel I need to go. I have never had legit decent korean food and that needs to change...stat!

    1. i'll go with you kimmie! we used to go there a lot! i like the bibimbob (they call it that there, though other places spell it differently). you can reserve a karaoke room too!


  3. Omg! This post made my mouth water. Sounds so delicious.


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