Korean cool

Nice Two Meat U's vibrant interior and panoramic city views make no mistake who its target audience is

A large vacant space next to Nice Two Meat U, this week's subject of review, was in a renovation process when we dined there last week.

"We are taking over the adjacent unit because we need more room to accommodate our clients," said the restaurant staff. They explained that on weekends there's always a large crowd of customers queuing up for the tables.

The brand Nice Two Meat U, which was first launched in Bangkok in 2016, is evidence that the demand for Korean-style barbecue in Bangkok has not yet faded.

The 40-seater is in fact a franchise restaurant from Korea. Originating in Hongdae, Seoul, in 2010, the brand now has more than 40 outlets across Asia.

The gimmicky name and vibrant interior setting may hint who its target customers are. It also proves the strong spending power of today's young adults.

In fact, the EmQuartier branch that I visited is the brand's newest joint, following the success of eight sister restaurants around Bangkok.

Other than the tabletop grill affair, the two-month-old establishment decked out in orange and pastel green hues also boasts panoramic views of the city through its expansive glass window.

Ganjang-gejang, or cured raw crab in Korean soy sauce.

Culinary-wise, the menu is identical to what you'd find in the original restaurants in Korea. But recipes are slightly adapted to offer a more pungent and fierier mouthfeel to Thai diners.

Smoked pork belly with meljeot dipping sauce (265 baht), is one of the best sellers. The sauce is infused with Korean-styled fermented anchovies and served sizzling hot from the grill.

At traditional Korean barbecue establishments, diners leave the tabletop cooking to the service staff (I saw more than 10 service crew members during our lunch). The staff ensure that the precise grilling heat and cooking time are right.

The grilled meat is offered with an array of condiments including original gochujang sauce, kimchi, garlic, green chilli peppers and fresh lettuce.

Should you be a connoisseur of beef, the restaurant recommends Japanese wagyu (950 baht), of which you obviously pay for the top quality and not quantity.

Another highlight is ganjang-gejang, or cured raw crab in Korean soy sauce (599 baht per crab). The generously-portioned dish, capped with lots of creamy crab roe, was for me, more enjoyable than the Thai counterpart due to the milder-tasting marinade.

The bolognese mac and cheese.

Japchae, or stir-fried glass noodles with mixed vegetables and morsels of pork in Korean black bean sauce (220 baht), was also delectable.

For stomach-filling carb dishes, I really loved jjaoaguri, or fried instant noodles with wagyu beef and egg (390 baht), and the super rich and tasty mac and cheese with beef bolognese (260 baht).

But if you prefer visual excitement to palate comfort, you might want to try kimchi and cheese fried rice (360 baht), which is cooked at your tableside and served with pineapple slices.

The restaurant has no dessert menu, but a vast selection of drinks, including Korean beer, soju and fruit soda (the lychee soda, 120 baht, was heavenly) might just do lusciously refreshing justice to the meal.

The Japanese wagyu flash-seared at your table.

Smoked pork belly with meljeot sauce.

  • Nice Two Meat U
  • Helix Sky Dining
  • EmQuartier, 8th floor
  • Call 02-003-6599
  • Open daily 11am-10pm
  • Park at EmQuartier’s car park
  • Most credit cards accepted

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