Monday, 25 September 2017

Hannara Korean BBQ Buffet

Hands up who loves a good buffet?
Hands up who loves Korean food?

The four of us hungry meat eating humans opted for Hannara Korean BBQ last Saturday night, to try their increasingly popular BBQ buffet. One had been before, so it was new to three of us but great to have a ‘guide’ to assist us through the process. 

In the middle of each of the tables is a cooking station powered by a butane gas can, like a camping stove. A fresh metal cooking plate is lowered above the flame and the server turned on the gas. Let’s get this party started!

We didn’t look at any other food choices apart from the buffet options, of which we could select from one of three buffets. The choices are Premium Wagyu & Seafood Buffet $69, Wagyu BBQ Buffet $59, Standard BBQ Buffet $49. We chose the Wagyu BBQ Buffet, as it came with a set platter of mixed beef which saved ordering all the individual cuts of meat. There are a number of dishes available in each buffet, and you can keep ordering as much as you like… but there IS a catch. You only have 90 minutes to order dishes, and the clock starts the moment the first food arrives. There is a penalty if leftover food remains. While the menu didn’t spell out what the penalty actually is, I think its there as more of a deterrent. Note that a couple of stray grains of rice is fine to leave behind. 

In addition to the meat platter, we ordered the:

Pork Belly – Six slices of thickly sliced raw pork belly complete with fat layer. Once cooked the fat didn’t render down completely but was easily removed. The pork meat was sweet and tender.

Original flavoured Korean Fried Chicken – This was a stand out. Four large pieces of deep fried chicken that was hot, crispy, moist and very tasty. Tip for next time, as soon as your chicken arrives…. order a second plate. 

Japchae (a Sweet Potato noodle dish) which was a really interesting dish both in terms of colour and texture. Slippery thin noodles that looked like dark gelatinous pasta. Don’t let this description or photo put you off as it was very tasty. We should have ordered another portion of this, as it was only a small dish to share among four.

Corn cheese – a bubbling comforting concoction of corn kernels, cheese and spices that arrived in a cast iron pan. It was deliciously hot and very moreish. Sort of like a macaroni cheese dish in terms of comfort level, but fresh with the pops of corn.

Vegetarian spring rolls – standard spring rolls, two in a serve.

Vegetarian dumplings – three in a serve, and they had been pan fried so were very similar to potstickers.

Dipping sauces – we got three of the sauces, the first a soy based sauce, the second a sweeter chilli based one with only a smidge of heat, and the third was a close cousin of Gochujang so right up there on the heat scale.

Dessert - ice cream is the only dessert option and that is fine as you don't want something really heavy afterwards. A single large scoop of ice cream drizzled with chocolate sauce. 

It was a busy Saturday night, with many diners arriving just after 6pm. Tables started filling up, but the food was coming out at a reasonable rate. Having the rice and the entire meat platter arrive early meant that we were pretty self-sufficient. Each table is equipped with a caddy of metal chopsticks, metal spoons and napkins. The table is also supplied with a set of tongs for moving around meat pieces on the cooking plate, and a large pair of scissors to chop the meat into bite size pieces. There is also a buzzer at the end of the table and is pressed when you wish to order more food. At one point we noticed that our meat was taking a long time to cook and no wonder, the flames had gone out! A quick switch out of the gas can with a fresh one, and we were back in business.

In addition to the food, two of us shared a bottle of Citrus flavoured Soju which is a clear Korean liquor (unfortunately they were out of grapefruit) $16, a pineapple based Soju cocktail $9, and a can of soft drink. Tap water is also provided for the table.

The night was a fun one and very hands on. The act of cooking together and taking turns in flipping and dishing out the meat was very enjoyable.

Hannara can be found on Facebook - and they are located in the old Civic Pide House premises at 16 Moore Street, Civic.
Open 6 nights a week from 5:00pm to 10:00pm, closed Sundays.
Ph (02) 6193 3016


  1. Love Korean bbq! Great post Kirsty!

    1. It was great food, and a lot of meat! Thanks Amy :)

  2. Oh wow this looks amazing! Especially the fact that they do pork belly!!