Over the Christmas break, the Husband and I met up with my parents for lunch in Orange County. The last few times we’ve done this, we’ve gone to New Seoul BBQ, an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ Buffet. The reason…meat-fest!
Unlike Manna, the place we frequent up in LA, New Seoul is a self-serve buffet. This is more convenient since there is no time wasted trying to flag down a waiter and put in an order for meat. Also, New Seoul has a wider variety of choices than Manna’s all-you-can-eat menu. I think the meat is better quality as well. It is more expensive, though. Since my parents always paid, I never got a look at the check but I’m guessing $20ish/pp for weekend lunch.
When you walk in, you’re greeted by a long bar. On one side, various banchan and a salad bar await your consumption. Different kinds of kimchi, spinach, bean sprouts, tofu are just some of the choices. Overall, the banchan is of decent quality. They have a lot of the things I like to eat, including pickled shredded daikon and almond jelly.
The other side offers up various marinated meats and seafood. The usual suspects – bulgogi, kalbi, chicken and pork bulgogi – are present but so are pork belly, tripe, beef tongue, baby octopus, mussels, and whole shrimp.
There’s also stations offering up hot items like udon, fried rice, japchae, egg rolls, fried mandoo, steamed egg. The japchae is average though the noodles are sometimes overcooked, maybe from sitting under the heatlamp for too long. The steamed egg is not that great. They also have a couple of types of nigiri sushi but I usually pass as the one time I tried it, the fish didn’t taste fresh; it had a strong fish taste. For dessert, there’s fruit, jello and a yogurt machine as well as a persimmon-rice drink.
Whenever we’ve gone, the service has been good. We seem to always get the same table everytime. The booths are big and spacious, giving everyone a lot of elbow room but still keeping them in arm’s reach of the grill. The waitresses bring the rice (white or “brown” (purple, actually)) to the table instead of us getting it ourselves and they also cut the meat. They are pretty good about checking in on us as well.
While the price may seem steep for a buffet, for our family it is a decent deal since we can pack away the Korean BBQ. Just be careful as they will charge you for any meat you leave behind.
Everytime we have come here, the place has been fairly empty. I don’t know if it’s the cost that’s prohibitive for lunch or if people prefer to come here during the dinner hours. It works out nicely for us as we get good service and there’s no line at the buffet.
The Catty Critic gives New Seoul BBQ 4 NOMs.
Filed under: 4 NOMs, buffet, korean, Orange County, restaurant review | Tagged: 4 NOMs, all-you-can-eat, asian, banchan, beef, buffet, chicken, cooking, dinner, fried rice, Garden Grove, japchae, kimchi, korean bbq, lunch, Orange County, restaurant review, seafood, sushi | Leave a comment »