I was in the city with friends early one evening and we were thinking about where to have dinner. One of us had the sudden urge to drink soju over Korean BBQ and suggested that we have Korean BBQ for dinner. Instantly my mind settled upon a restaurant called Danjee, that I had visited earlier in the year. We decided to go there for dinner and drinks instead. We arrived at Danjee early on in the night on a Wednesday. The woman at the entrance counter said something in Korean when we entered, and when none of us responded, she asked us in English if we had a reservation. When we said no, she responded in a rather rude manner, saying that they are booked out every evening and that we need to make a reservation. Nonetheless, she told us to wait a moment before walking off. A few moments later, a waiter came to direct us to an empty table. I was really surprised by the rudeness of the staff on this occasion as the previous time I had dined at Danjee, the service had been perfectly welcoming and very polite. The previous time I came, I also came without a reservation and wasn’t rebuked and had no trouble in getting a table.
After being seated, my friends remarked upon the irony that the restaurant wasn’t even full at all- nor did it become full later that evening. There were several other tables in occupation, but plenty of free tables also. Although Danjee calls themselves a BBQ restaurant, they lack the table top grill which is a feature of Korean BBQ restaurants. Instead, the kitchen cooks the meat and they bring it out to the diners. Some, such as myself, would prefer this, so that the BBQ smell doesn’t get in their hair and clothes. However, my friends were disappointed as they felt that this detracted from the authentic Korean BBQ experience.
We decided to order a few dishes and share amongst everyone. While we waited, the usual assortment of banchan was brought to our table. There was a small dish of mashed sweet potato, which was my favourite of the side dishes. It was creamy and smooth, without any trace of lumps. I also enjoyed the marinated peanuts, which were served in a slightly sweet sauce.
The Yang Neam Gal Bi-Soy Marinated Beef Ribs, was one of the barbecue options that was cooked for us by the chefs. The meat was succulent and tender, marinated in a slightly sweet sauce. The meat was soft and practically fell off the bone.
Bul Dak, described as ‘literally fire chicken’ on Danjee’s menu, is one of my favourite Korean dishes to eat. Bul Dak consists of chicken thigh and ddeokkbokki cooked in a thick gochujang sauce and topped with melted cheese. The creamy cheese contrasts with the spicy gochujang sauce. It’s an ultimate comfort food and great way to warm up in winter, although I wouldn’t recommend this dish for anyone who can’t handle chilli.
At Danjee, they serve black rice which is a Korean specialty.
The Kimchi Deung Gal Bi Jjim consisted of flavoursome pork spare ribs and squid cooked in a thick sauce. The pieces of squid are fresh, without being chewy and are complemented well by the sweet, thick sauce.
Overall, my second experience at Danjee did not live up to the wonderful first experience I had dining there. The service was rather average, and I felt as if our night had been soured by the unwelcoming attitude of the hostess who had greeted us. The food was excellent as always though. In terms of quality, Danjee offers a premier dining experience for those wanting to try traditional Korean food in the CBD.