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“Good but very overpriced” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Samwon Garden Main Store

Samwon Garden Main Store
623-5 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
02-548-3030
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Ranked #352 of 12,941 Restaurants in Seoul
3.5 of 5 stars 51 Reviews
Price range: $36 - $1,435
Cuisines: Korean
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Good but very overpriced”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

We went here on the advice of a couple of seoul guidebooks that called it one of the best bbq places in seoul. The restaurant is beautiful, with traditional decor on the inside and a nice waterfall by the outside seating area. Service was great, and everyone was very polite and respectful. The server cooked all the meat for us on the grill. There were a lot of foreign business people eating here with Koreans, so it seems like this is the type of place that they take their clients. However, the food was very expensive, at least compared to korean bbq places in the states. The cheapest meat was 39,000 won per person for the marinated kalbi. We got the second cheapest meat, the non-marinated kalbi kkot-sal for 50,000 won per person. The meat was outstanding. It was well-marbled when they brought it out, and tender and juicy when cooked. But the quantity was so little for the price we paid. They gave us 3 small strips of meat, which wasn't nearly enough for a full meal. We ordered a dweng-jang jjigae in addition to the meat since it wasn't included, which was good too but still wasn't enough to fill us up. And we are definitely not big eaters. Overall, the food was very good, but over priced for what you get. By comparison, the kalbi at Parks BBQ in LA is maybe $35 per serving, and you get more food and the meat quality is just as good or better.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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51 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    11
    21
    13
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Kalbi working dinner restaurant.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

Korean BBQ is famous globally for their marinated beef grill. However, most Koreans rarely eat marinated BBQ. LA Kalbi probably one of the best examples since they made the beef sweeter and very good marinade. You can even find LA kalbi on menu's in Korea now due to the great taste.

Samwon Garden is mainly known for their kalbi and marinaded beef. It is a large restaurant with a large outdoor area and is a non-smoking restaurant with a waterfall outside. Most Koreans use this for meeting westerners visiting Korea with the assumptions that foreigners are looking for marinated beef BBQ. And they do marinated beef BBQ well. All the rest of the menu I would pass on with the exception of the nang-myun, cold noodles to finish the meal.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“quality not consistent”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

I have been to this Korean BBQ several times since I came to Korea. I absolutely loved it on my first visit. The beef rib was juicy, tender and tasty, far better than what I used to eat in Korean restaurants in Toronto, my home town. On my next visit, the service was extremely slow. Maybe because I did not know then how to say "pali pali (hurry)" in Korean. It took about 1 hour for the spicy beef soup to come out. On my third visit, things were OK again.

I would certainly recommend this place to first-time visitors to Korea, but you may need to ask them to hurry when things get slow.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Powell, Ohio
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Very good, good service.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2012

The food at this restaurant was very good, a bit pricey, but that is to be expected, it's family friendly with open seating to the main restaurant or private rooms that are intimate with tables and chairs.(instead of the floors) tip: ring the bell at your table to order otherwise you'll wait forever. The servers don't visit your tables too often, so you must call them over, it's not like the American dining service where they ask you over and over. It's a cultural thing so they won't be a bother to you.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Not bad but prefer Kwangyang style bulgogi”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2012

The service was good but the bulgogi and panchan are really nothing special and the mul naengmyun (cold buckwheat noodles) is below average, in my opinion. If you are in Seoul and want to have a superb (sublime) bulgogi experience, you should try Kwangyang Bulgogi Marohwajeok which has only one location in Kangnam:

Marohwajeok (광양불고기 마로화적)
address: Kangnamku Samseongdong 120-3
tel: (02) 539-9922

My Korean coworkers took me to this place a year ago and I just recently went back with my relatives. This place is not to be confused with Kwangyang Bulgogi which is a small chain. The bulgogi at Marohwajeok (which means wood charcoal from a place called "Maro") is perfectly seasoned and very lean. The panchan (side dishes) are quite special and they have my favorite kwejang (seasoned crab). I also appreciate all of the different sanchu (lettuces/leaves) that accompany the bulgogi. And, if you're into it, you should try their brown rice nureungji (rice porridge) with doenjang jigae (bean paste stew). Yum!

  • Visited May 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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