All-you-can-eat. Who doesn’t love buffets? Huge variety and you can eat as much or as little as you like! Koreans also love buffets. In fact, many restaurants will have “무한리필” (mu-han ri-pil), meaning “unlimited refills”, up in lights instead of their restaurant name. Let’s take a look at some of the best buffet franchises Korea has to offer.
1. Nature Kitchen | Korean Food
Nature Kitchen is the go-to buffet franchise for Korean cuisine. Sure, you’ll find popular Korean dishes here, but you can also try regional delicacies too. It is an easy way to find your favourite Korean dish at a reasonable price!
The menu changes depending on which ingredients are in season. Moreover, as per the name “Nature Kitchen” most of the food is healthy and natural. While Koreans do love meat and fish, the most common side dishes are made from vegetables and roots, making them every healthy.
During your visit you may vouch for the Korean classics like kimchi and jeon (pancakes) or you can be adventurous and try gan-jang-ge-jang (soy-marinated raw crab) or yuk-hoe (raw mince beef.) In my view, the best part is the dessert! I highly recommend trying the traditional Korean desserts like yak-gwa (honey cookies) and gang-jeong (crispy rice puffs.)
Nature Kitchen is a franchise restaurant with branches all over Korea. You can find your local branch >> here << Typically, meal prices range from 16,000 KRW on weekdays to 26,000 KRW on weekends. For more information, see the Nature Kitchen official website.
2. Yeoneo Sanghoe | Salmon Sashimi
Yeoneo Sanghwe — or “Salmon Market” in English — is an especially unique buffet restaurant specialising in salmon sashimi or raw salmon. Sashimi is a well-beloved delicacy in South Korea, just like in Japan. What’s more, at Yeoneo Sanghwe, premium-quality salmon is delivered by air from Norway every day. Guaranteed freshness!
They also serve Yukhoe (raw beef) which is also of premium quality. This Korean delicacy is similar to tartare, a French dish. Together with the salmon, its like a raw surf n’ turf! What’s more, its definitely a combination you won’t easily find elsewhere in the world.
As if Yeoneo Sanghoe wasn’t unique enough, the atmosphere is upbeat like a bar. Therefore, it is the go-to spot for many university students, as reflected in the locations of each branch. And it’s not just the atmosphere, they have alcohol on the menu as well, from soju to traditional Korean rice wine, ‘makgeolli.’
Sashimi is typically an expensive meal in Korea, but at Yeoneo Sanghoe, you can enjoy a buffet of sashimi for as little as 21,000 KRW! Like Nature Kitchen, there are branches in and outside of Seoul. Copy and paste " 연어상회 " into your map application to find the branch closest to you.
3. Bareumi | Shabu Shabu
Shabu Shabu is a type of Japanese hotpot, in which you swish-swish (or ‘shabu-shabu’ in Japanese) your meat in a boiling pot of tasty broth. At Bareumi Shabu Shabu you first select which meat you’d like in your hotpot and they have a great range of high-quality meat, including Hanwoo beef and Australian pork. Shabu Shabu is a great way to eat these expensive cuts of meat as the flavour is so fresh and tender.
Once you’ve ordered your meat, you’re free to fill up your hotpot with anything you like! The range typically includes leafy veg, mushrooms, potatoes, radish, noodles, as well as other dishes like fried chicken. For dessert, you can enjoy bingsu (Korean shaved ice), available with your choice of topping.
The best thing is Bareumi Shabu Shabu buffet is available all around Korea! They have about 9 locations in Seoul and 8 locations in Gyeonggi-do.
Bareumi Shabu Shabu has multiple branches in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province, some general restaurant info includes: Operating Hours: 11:00 ~ 22:00 Price: Standard Beef (14,000 - 15,000 won), Hanwoo Beef (18,000 - 19,000 won), Pork Loin (16,000 - 17,000 won) Official Website: http://bareumi.webtro.kr/