Reviewed by Dinul Hettiarachchi | 6 months ago
No, you won't get to cook your food as the name (or even the type of cuisine for that matter) may imply… For me, KBQ was a good twist on the classics deriving from fast food chains: fried chicken being the main ingredient. They try to stick to authenticity to honour Korean cuisine; but is it a good bet or bad?
Fire Chicken | Rs.990
Fried chicken soaked in hot fire sauce made from hot chilli powder imported from Korea, was an explosive ready to burst in your mouth: the sauce bursts with fiery delight (and you weaklings may even burst into tears) but the flavour was ephemeral as the fried chicken beneath lacked adequate seasoning. Although the fire sauce on the crust serves a major aesthetic purpose, if the chicken could be seasoned with the sauce before frying, it could make the taste last longer (while making the dish more fiery)!
Fried Chicken | Rs.890
At first it may seem like ordinary crumb fried chicken; well it is, but unlike the fried chicken at fast food chains, the crust was not too oily and soggy. What makes the dish stand out are the sauces that accompany the dish: sweet sauce, fire sauce and mustard sauce. Our personal favourite was a combination of the fire sauce with a drop of the mustard sauce - do not overdo the mustard sauce since it has a strong mustard kick to it (which travels to your head!).
Hot Butter Cuttlefish | Rs.600
Starting with the crispy crust, it is not too hard, however the crust is soaked with their sauces which takes away the crispiness. It is one of the spiciest HBC dishes in Colombo but is it the best? Not really. Although the sauces were spicy and flavourful as individual sauces, they did not compliment the cuttlefish which again lacked a deep flavour from within.
Bokeum Bap Mix Rice | Rs.850
This dish scores when it comes to authenticity and representation of Korean cuisine! However, the spiciness of the dish soars to new levels that I couldn't even fathom: a true spicy food lover like myself was put to shame that day! The rice tasted bland and it was just the sauces that did the magic but it was very evident since the Korean rice is thick and sticky (also a bit dry). The only satisfying element of the dish was the bullseye egg laid neatly on top: as the golden yolk drips onto the hot sticky rice, it creates a consistency similar to a katsudon!
KBQ Special Noodles Mix | Rs.850
I'm still having trouble realizing what's so 'special' about the noodles: perhaps it is the ability of the dish to numb your tastebuds with its saltiness. When having the fire chicken or any other spicy dish at KBQ, we'd recommend this dish, since the rice noodles help calm your tastebuds. In spite of the saltiness, this dish wasn't the worst thing at KBQ.
SOME dishes were served in stylish matte black plates while the others were served next to a big bowl to throw your bones: I don't know about you, but for me that was like what cave people would do and I would've preferred a bin placed under the table or anything other than that eye sore!
Yet, kudos to KBQ for maintaining authenticity to Korean cuisine when it comes to presentation of dishes like the Bokeum Bap.
Friendly staff, and a more appreciated aspect were their 'attempts' to be very generous, such as by offering 'complimentary soup': the taste was questionable but let's not talk about it as it is not a part of their official menu (phew!)
Interior & Ambience
I was a bit disappointed to see that the interiors looked tacky and did not appreciate Korean culture at all. The rooms which can be reserved ahead had seating which somewhat resembled a typical restaurant in Korea but the main dining area was made to disappoint.
Also, no Korean BBQ joint is complete without some K-pop classics!
A little piece of Seoul located in Colombo is what KBQ is! From Western food with a Korean twist, to traditional Korean dishes, KBQ offers a good variety of somewhat 'flavourful' dishes. The interior (and exterior) may not appeal to those looking for an authentic Korean cuisine experience, but if a typical fast food joint environment will suffice your mood, do make sure to drop by for some of the best fried chicken dishes out there!