9292 Korean BBQ Annandale - Some hits and a miss or two.

A group of 6 former CH’ers visited 9292 Korean BBQ today for lunch. It is a newer place, lots of space, faux industrial type high ceilings and drop down fans to pull away most of the smoke from the BBQ burners at each table. The hostess was pleasant and welcoming. Table was only so-so but we were ready to order fairly quickly. And the waitress brought out several servings of each of the banchan dishes.
We were not shy, all of us sampled and found our own favorites. The kimchi was good, slightly tart but not out of the park. The vinegar peanuts were addictive, maybe the salt and vinegar teaming up? I liked the steamed eggs best with the spicy pork. The pickled radish we got less of but it was good. The macaroni salad was odd, but a nice side dish. In addition to that the BBQ burner had 3 side “boilers” that had steamed eggs/Gyeran jjim, hot cheese and mushrooms, all simmering along as we ate.
We all were pretty interested in the Spicy Pork Belly so we started with that, and it did not disappoint. The meat was slightly to very fatty but very tender and flavorful. It was not all that spicy and we found that all the foods we got were fairly mild, rather than spicy and none were spicy/hot. I think the dishes we got were more of the “take a walk on the mild side” rather than Korean spicy. Tasty, but not what some of us had hoped for.
Then we got a few dishes served together that were interesting in the way they contrasted with each other. The pork kimchi stew was rather good and it did pack a little heat and it was balanced rather well by a large family sized serving bowl of Kalguksu/knife cut noodle wheat flour noodles with a savory broth. This was served without the clams or shell fish some of us were expecting but it was a nice complement to the kimchi stew.
About the same time we also got the spicy cold noodles (buckwheat?) that was the closest to a complete miss of all the dishes. It seemed to have been prepared on the fly and the noodles arrived at the table in un-separated chunks rather than threads. Not terrible, but bland and poorly prepared.
The last two dishes I tried were the grilled squid and the Dolsot Yukhoe Bibimbop with soybean paste stew. The squid was received to mixed reviews. I liked the flavor and the texture but it was a bit crunchy/borderline tough. I dipped it in what was left of my kimchi and really enjoyed it but it wasn’t a crowd favorite. The bibimbop was good, but not really good. The odd thing about this dish and the entire meal was that the bibimbop was the only dish I remember that was served with rice. We asked for 4 servings of rice but never received one of them. Odd. We weren’t billed for them so the waitress may simply have forgotten our request.
All in all, I believe that for me the spicy pork belly made the meal worth it all by itself. The rather good banchan items added to that and the Kalguksu and Pork Kimchi Stew were nearly as good as the pork belly. I was a bigger fan of the squid than most.
A good meal, not a great meal, but the company was excellent! I may go back for some of the lunch specials on my own.


Thanks so much for the write-up. This was my first visit to a Korean BBQ in a long time.

The most important thing for me about KBBQ is that the staff doesn’t mess with it too much. Some places rush you and the meat gets taken off too quickly. It needs to get CHARRED. So I really appreciate that they left us alone. The spicy pork belly was exactly what great korean bbq should be, thick slabs of fatty pork with a nice spicy sauce slathered one. We charred it very well. I also appreciated the wells of egg, cheese, and mushroom you could utilize as you wish. Banchan was varied, well executed, and generous.

Aside from that, most other items were good, not great. I would definitely go back and try more meats. It’s nice to have a BBQ place that gets it right, and I have been disappointed with most others, so this is a good place to know.

Here is the rundown of what we ordered:
BBQ spicy pork belly
BBQ squid
Naeng myun (cold buckwheat noodles)
kimchi and pork stew
yukhoe (raw beef) bimbimbap