[Seoul] Having Korean BBQ is one thing, having it in Seoul is another. I was recommended to go to Maple Tree House 단풍나무집, and it wasn’t disappointing at all, at least to the tourists like me.
Maple Tree House indeed started as a restaurant in a small house at the scenic Samchong-dong, and has opened branches at Itaewon and Gangnam.
It presents as traditional Korean dining concept in a modern setting. Plus point for tourists, the menu and websites are both in English, with directions and photos. Comprehensive.
Actually, some friends never got about the fuss about Korean BBQ, and I was never quite over the moon myself. BUT, Maple Tree House somehow managed to bring it a level up, and I really won’t mind coming back for seconds.
The answer to what makes them unique – their premium meats, said to be “treated with utmost respect”.
Selection include beef items such as Hanu Deungsim (rib-eye steak), Yangnyeom-galbi Kkotsal (marinated bottom sirloin triangle), Danpung Bulgogi, Usamgyeop (grilled beef loin); Jeju pork belly, neck and marinated black pork collar (16,900 – 17,900 Won for 150g); special menu of French Rack Lamb Chops (18,900 Won for 150g), USDA Prime Ribeye (29,000 Won) and Grilled Jumbo Prawns (29,000 Won).
As an indication, 10000 South Korean Won is about SGD11.40, USD8.20.
The service staff was professional, attempting to explain in English as she set up the grill with hot charcoal.
As I watched the Korean Jeju Black Pork Collar being barbecued, the sizzling sounds and slight-charred appearance with oil bubbles got us all super piped up.
The waitress grilled the meats, cut it up and served proficiently like she has been doing this for years, yet in an ajumma fashion like a mother fussing over her children.
The pork was tasty and tender, with the right amount of fats, best eaten with a small clove of garlic sandwiched between fermented sesame leaves.
After which, the grill covering was immediately changed, and we wondered why.
“Different meat, different grill.”
The Beef Short Plate – delectably thin short-plate brisket slices coated in a faint sweet marinate; and Grilled crunchy Jumbo Prawns were both prepared one after one another, using different types of grill, most suitable for the meals to be cooked.
The exhaust system seemed to be working sound, as the environment was clean, orderly and not-smoky. Hurray for those who intend to further their shopping without smelling like barbecued meals.
Note: This review was done for the Myeong-dong branch but it has closed. Maple Tree is still available at Samcheong, Itaewon and Gangnam.
Maple Tree House – Gangnam
BF1 Mokwha Milart, 113 Teheran-ro, Gang nam gu, Seoul
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10:30pm (Closed Sun)
Maple Tree House -Itaewon
Hamilton Hotel 2F, 116-1 Itaewon-ro 27ga-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10:30pm (Sun – Thurs), 11:30am – 12am (Fri – Sat)
Maple Tree House – Samcheong-dong
129-24 Samcheong-dong, Seoul
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10:30pm