Ox: Smoke and Grill

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American BBQ seems to be taking off in Korea! In Seoul there are several restaurants, including the excellent ‘Linus’ and ‘Manimal’, to name a couple. In Busan we have the fantastic ‘Haeundae Smokehouse’, and now, the new kid on the block….literally.

‘Ox: Smoke and Grill’ is situated in the heart of Haeundae, just a few minutes’ walk from the subway station, in a tight cluster of streets full of restaurants, love motels and Hotels. The restaurant itself is on the ground floor of the Industries Hotel. You can view their Facebook page here.

The interior is light and airy. Cool, grey tiled floors and imposing white marble table tops greet you as you walk in. The banquette seating is plush and black, with modern art installations on the walls. All-in-all a classy, contemporary vibe has been achieved.

The restaurant opened its doors on Thursday April 14th, and myself and 5 friends paid a visit on Sunday April 17th. Very hungry, we dived straight in. We each ordered the ox platter, to share between two people. This enormous meal comes with brisket, pulled pork, and your choice of either ribs or smoked chicken. Apple coleslaw, dry rub fries and two mini rolls are included as sides.

The first thing I should say about the platter, is that I think it represents excellent value. At 36,000, two people can be extremely well fed, as the portions of meat are generous. Now, onto the food. The brisket was good, with a fantastic, flavoursome rub, a well charred outside, and a tender middle. The smoker has been imported from Georgia, and the authenticity shines through. The pulled pork was also delicious, rich and moist, and extremely flavourful. The ribs however, were the standout. Huge, meaty things, with a sticky, peppery marinade that provided a beautiful counterpoint to the richness of the meat. Similarly, the sides were well executed, tasty fries, and a sharp, sweet apple coleslaw that was a lovely accompaniment to the meat. I hugely enjoyed piling pulled pork into the bun, with a generous scoop of apple coleslaw. Fantastic stuff! The only downside to the platter was the temperature of a couple of the elements. The pulled pork and the fries were bordering on cold, which was a shame.

We also ordered some additional sides to accompany the platter. The BBQ beans were extremely tasty. The sauce was spot-on flavour wise, and the pulled pork in the sauce was very generous! At times, it looked like we had more pork than bean! The only downside to this was the beans were also served on the cold side. A shame. The mashed potato was creamy and smooth, with a dollop of the BBQ beans on top, to provide some extra zing.

The mac’n’cheese (a must try at any BBQ restaurant in my opinion) was a surprise. Rich and creamy, but with chopped spring onion and red pepper in the sauce, not quite traditional. However, it was served piping hot and with a pleasing layer of grilled cheese on top. A big winner for me! The only downside was that the mac’n’cheese was served a full 15 minutes after the rest of the meal. It was  hot and excellent, but getting it ready at the same time would have been welcomed.

Ox serves Korean draft beers, such as Max, and also Gorilla craft beers. A couple of IPA’s went along fantastically with the food. These are priced at 7-7,500 regularly, although we were lucky enough to arrive during the opening weekend, so were a steal at 3,00 each!

All in all, I was impressed with Ox. There are a couple of wrinkles to iron out, but it represents fantastic value for money, and you certainly won’t go home hungry, as the portions are extremely generous. A welcome addition to Busan’s dining scene!

Directions:

To find Ox: Smoke and Grill, come out of Haeundae subway station exit 5 and walk down towards the beach. Take the third exit on the right and walk about 25 metres. The restaurant is on the ground floor of the Industries hotel.

Address: 16, Gunam-ro 24beon-gil, Haeundae-gu, Busan, Korea. Industrie Hotel, 1F

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Filed under: Food Tagged: american, American BBQ, Brisket, busan, craft beer, Food, restaurant, ribs

 
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