Summer is the barbecue season that is good and beautiful until the coals are no longer lit and a worryingly dark cloud appears over your head. At Yanji, a Korean barbeque restaurant in Shoreditch, it's a lot less stressful - sit in the house, place your order and let the grill come to you.
The staff delivers a few burning coals to a specially designed pit in our table and an extractor hood over it, so you do not smell like charcoal after your meal. However, seasoned barbecue fans need not worry - the meat comes in skewers so we can barbecue at our own pace.
If you add some side salad and some hearty and spicy dips, you're ready for a weatherproof BBQ.
It is quite liberating to be in control of when our food will be ready and not if the waiter coming out of the kitchen is on our way to our table. Both chicken and lamb skewers are juicy and tender and welcome us warmly before we delve into the more exotic offerings. It turns out that chicken hearts are much more delicious than they sound, though crispy chicken breasts are not for us.
Yanji is one for carnivores, and also pig intestines and beef aortas are on the menu. The spicy Okrasalat is a spirited vegetarian side dish, and you have never had an authentic Korean dining experience without kimchi. Both are proof that we ate some vegetables between tangled meat skewers, but this is not actually a place to eat vegetables - no wonder a grill restaurant.
Employees are always available with expertise to assess whether the meat is fully prepared and to ensure that we novice do not poison ourselves. Yanji focuses on quality rather than quantity, and it turns out that almost every skewer drips with taste and does not fill us while it fills.
There are not only barbecues on the menu. Dumpling and noodles are available in the kitchen, but grilling your own meat is the main reason why people come to this restaurant, and the variety of texture and flavor will not disappoint.
There is no dessert option, but in the end, we lightly toast a few marshmallows, ending our meal with a sticky, sugary, and satisfying finish.
Yanji Barbecue is located at Bethnal Green Road 153, E2 7DG. The food in this review would cost around £ 45 for two without drinks.
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