[Sydney] The reason why I was pulled here by a friend was because “Gong Yoo dined here before!”.
Unfortunately, the Goblin star could not have his BBQ in peace then as he was mobbed by fans. He could fight off zombies in his Train to Busan, but not over-zealous fans.
And unfortunately for my friend, there were zero traces of him there – as she searched high and low for his autographed photo (attempting to take a photo WITH his photo, I guess.)
There was no Gong Yoo, but at least there was Gong Cha somewhere nearby.
Located in Sydney’s Haymarket, 678 Korean BBQ is a popular restaurant owned by Kang Ho Dong, a South Korean Comedian as well as ex-wrestler.
The philosophy of its name comes from the mathematical principle that the addition of 6, 7 and 8 is 21. Hmm…
If you have not tried Korean BBQ in Sydney, I would say do give it a try and you would be in for a pleasant surprise, especially during winter days.
The popularity of the restaurant is an understatement, with our wait being close to an hour or so despite all that capacity and all those tables.
It almost felt like a good 10% of the Koreans in Sydney are in this same restaurant at the same time.
You would realise why, as the walls are adorned with photographs of famous Korean musicians, celebrities, actors and actresses.
Food lands at lightning speed on your table and all the staff seem to rush about to offer you the prompt service.
The Banchan (side dishes) all made in-house, was already impressive with more than just the usual kimchi and potato slices.
There were addictive fried fish, hot sweet potato, picked radish, some salad and get this right… steamed egg.
The selection of cuts was quite wide, from Wagyu Oyster Blade (AUD38), Wagyu Short Rib (AUD39), Thinly Sliced Wagyu Brisket (AUD22), Prime Pork Belly (AUD22), Prime Pork Jowl Cut (AUD21) and Soy Marinated Prime Pork Short Rib (AUD25).
Not the cheapest around, so be prepared to foot a slightly hefty bill.
We kind of over-ordered again, but thankfully the food was authentically Korean and meats were of good quality.
The Wagyu Beef was superbly tender – which you could eat on its own, or wrap in lettuce with some ssamjang sauce and those pickled banchan vegetables.
Its Spicy Seafood and Soft Tofu Stew (AUD16) and Soy Bean Paste Stew (AUD14) were served so pipping hot that it was bubbling all over, and was also bursting with spicy-savoury flavours.
The vibes of the place was extremely bustling and casual, like in a Korean canteen due to the very open spaces, but it was just full of chatting and laugher.
Korean restaurants back home may be loud, but people are still rather reserved.
Over at 678, the customer base was generally young Koreans and Aussies learning more about the culture. People just get so happy after a few drinks, and you could tell with endless laughter and some singing.
The succulent and flavourful meats, and interactive experience helped. Crowded and smoky it may be, I won’t mind visiting 678 again.
678 (강호동) Korean BBQ (Haymarket)
1/396 Pitt St, Haymarket NSW 2000, Australia
Tel: +61 2 9281 8997
Opening Hours: 11am – 12am
Google Maps – 678 Korean BBQ