This restaurant is the local’s choice for best Korean barbecue restaurant in Hongdae. The average Korean BBQ restaurant in Hongdae focuses on cheap eats at affordable prices, but Cheonggiwa Saenggogi is for those that don’t want a special Korean BBQ experience. Cheonggiwa Galbi serves high-end Korean beef called hanwoo (한우), which is a species of beef native to South Korea.
Most restaurants get their meat from butchers or they freeze their meat, but this restaurant has a butcher onsite that butchers meat fresh everyday. It is top quality that you can taste and even see in the marbling. Also, because they have a butcher on staff, you can also eat specialty cuts that isn’t available at most Korean BBQ restaurants.
They have two locations (just around the block from each other), 청기와생고기 (Cheonggiwa Saeng Gogi), which focuses on the specialty butcher cuts. The other, 청기와갈비 (Cheonggiwa Galbi), focuses on shortribs and only serves marinated or unmarinated. (See bloew for what to order.)
Cheonggiwa Galbi (청기와갈비)
Here they serve specialty cuts of beef include sirloin (등심 – deungshim), butchers cut (토시살 – toshisal), outside skirt steak (안창살 – anchangsal), etc. They also have pork cuts such as pork belly (삼겹살 – samgyeopsal) and pork jowl (hangjeongsal – 항정살).
If you're unsure what to order, the classic premiere cut to order is sirloin (등심 – deungshim). And because you’re getting hanwoo, there is picture-perfect marbling. For pork, belly fat (삼겹살 - samgyeopsal) is a favorite, but if you've never tried pork jowl (항정살 – hangjeongsal), give it a try.
Cheonggiwa Saeng Gogi (청기와 생고기)
Cheonggiwa Saenggogi makes it easy, for it only serves two things: unmarinated beef short ribs (생갈비 – saenggalbi) and marinated beef short ribs (양념갈비 – yangneom galbi). The unmarinated beef is perfect if you really want to taste the meat without any bells and whistles, but you have to reserve the unmarinated cut before going. However, their marinated version (양념갈비 - yangnyeom galbi) is just as excellent. Their dipping sauce is perfectly sweet and tart, too.