With the endless options of Korean BBQ & Grill restaurants in Jakarta lately, of course I am one of the people who also endlessly hunt for the best ones in the town. We have a lot of options in South Jakarta, especially Wolter Monginsidi area, which is literally packed with Korean restaurants practically *everywhere* around the block, but now I am gonna write about one place in famous food area in Jakarta, Gomawo Korean Grill & Restaurant in Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK).

This visit was an invitation and to be honest with you, so many times I have stated here that I don’t always accept food tasting or event invitations that are offered to me. Before I actually accept an invitation, I do some background researches of the inviters, and if I happen to be interested to try, then I will accept. Location-wise, since I live in Senayan, South Jakarta, I am blessed enough because my place is so close to those so-called hip, trendy restaurants, but well, the grass is always greener on the other side, so is my view about food places in North Jakarta. Before I got the invitation to try Gomawo, though, I have heard many rave reviews about this place, especially their Samgyeopsal (Pork Belly). So I was expecting a lot about this particular menu even before I came.
Gomawo is located inside Ruko Crown Golf complex, few shops after Cafe Shirokuma. It takes two ruko (office houses) so the place is more spacious than the other cafes/restaurants around there. The signboards are so gigantic and clear, so it’s definitely hard to miss. Upon entering the place, you’ll notice 2 doors, one heading to the main dining area, and on your left, another door heading to the newly-renovated area with simple booths and bar concept. The main dining area table each is completed with a grill hole in the middle, and also the hanging exhaust pipes, while the other area doesn’t have any of it, probably used for people who want to order non-grill stuffs.

Main dining area.

Newly-renovated seating area.

First, we tried some Banchan or Korean appetizers that come in small bowls/plates. The banchan is actually something that I always look for whenever I eat in Korean restaurants. Here, they only have limited variety but as usual, we can ask for more whenever we want. Everyday they make different ones so what I got during my visit is probably different when you visit next time, so please use this as reference only :)
There were Fried Cucumber Slices, Kimchi, Potatoes, Eggplants, and Fried Tofu. Let me tell you that the banchan were FRIGGIN’ DELICIOUS!! I mean, I hadn’t even started with the food yet and I was surprised by the tastes of those appetizers already. XD My favorites amongst all were the cucumber, eggplants, followed by the potatoes. Honestly, I loved 5 of them, but the fried tofu was the least favorite, not because it was bad, but I thought like that since the other 4 were more superior. The cucumber slices were actually deep-fried, so it was crunchy and the sauce was sweet, salty, and spicy. It tasted like tempura, something like kakiage (veggie tempura) on steroid, because it had more flavors. Same goes with the eggplants and potatoes. Kimchi was nice, and this is coming from yours truly, who is totally NOT a fan of kimchi. Tofu was nice in texture but lacking in flavors compared to the other 4.

 

Tried 2 drinks which are included in Gomawo’s signature drinks: Korean Soda. For this category, they have 3 flavors: Yuzu, Aloe, and Mint Creme (IDR 35K each). Yuzu is also my favorite fruits to be made into drinks so I was glad to find this in the menu. The yuzu wasn’t like a syrup, but it was more into thicker jam, also with the pulp, so it was indeed very nice combined with soda water. It had good combinations of sweetness, sourness and a hint of bitterness, resulting in a very fruity, refreshing drink. The other one, I chose Aloe because I was curious, and I wasn’t disappointed because the aloe one also tasted different when served with soda water. Although the taste wasn’t too strong, but the smooth and ‘slippery’ texture of aloe gave unique sensation for the drink.

Yuzu Korean Soda IDR 35K

Aloe Korean Soda IDR 35K

And now, let’s proceed to THE STAR, the Korean grill itself!!

They use charcoal to grill, look at those beautiful blocks!

The grill they use is kinda special, at least to me. XD Well, unlike usual grills in other restaurants, there are 2 parts, in the center there is the main grilling area, and around it, we can also have another part to cook sides like kimchi, garlic, and most importantly, the whisked eggs (yellow liquid in the photos) that are given for free whenever we order a meat menu. The main grill has holes that connects to the side area, so when we grill the meat, the oil will go down to the side area and mix with the eggs or other stuffs we put there. Quite neat, isn’t it? 

Nice grill, no?

There are many types of meat parts available, pork and beef. For the beef, they use US beef so quality-wise, they are widely proven and most probably don’t go wrong. However, we opted for pork because when we go there, we just had the 8 Flavors Pork Belly in mind, and we were saving our tummies for other dishes. :p

8 Flavors Samgyeopsal (400gr – 2 persons) IDR 179K
So okay, this is the star and I had been hearing from my friends like, I should definitely try this when I visit Gomawo. The 8 flavors including: Garlic, Curry, Honey, Red Wine, Herbs, Cheese, Seaweed, Gochujang. The pork belly slices are marinated for few hours before they are grilled, so we can expect absorbed seasonings for sure. The slices were quite thick, I didn’t say “thickest” because I have found thicker ones, but these certainly weren’t thin.

What’s also nice about dining in Korean BBQ restaurants is usually they have lots of staffs that will kindly assist us grilling the food. In Gomawo, we can choose to get our food grilled in the kitchen or in front of us on our table, and although I understand the smelly-hair-and-clothes problem caused by the second option, I am and will always choose that because I love watching the meat sizzling and turn colors during the process. #norak 

Beautifully grilled and cut pork belly, ready to eat!

ANOTHER BATCH!

I must say I was impressed by the set, which clearly was well-prepared and nicely seasoned. The pork belly was soft and tender, each flavor came out perfectly, thanks to the good marinating process for each slices. It was hard for me to pick one that I liked the best because they were unique in their own tastes; some were strong, some were mild, but every flavors complimented other ones quite well. If I have to pick, I will go for seaweed, garlic, and cheese. My least favorite would be red wine (surprise, surprise!), which I thought would have been my favorite. Yes, the meat was softer and more tender when marinated with red wine, but taste wasn’t exactly good.

Dipping sauce for the meat 

Fresh, fresh vegetables and chili for the wraps!

Trust me, you’ll want this XD

The soft eggs, melted in the mouth like a boss.

Grilled kimchi, surprisingly became more sour this way. 

Ddeokbokki IDR 49K

… or Toppokki, or whatever the name, is a stir-fried rice cakes stew. Although I usually enjoy this dish, because it’s light and fulfilling in the same time, most all the time I feel irritated by the sauce or stew because they are usually red in color, most probably due to irresponsible usage of gochujang paste mixed with water. In Gomawo, though, stew looked more orange than red, and they really put lots of rice cakes in big chunks inside. The stew was very tasty, with great balance of flavors, probably the best I have ever had so far. I also liked the consistency, not too soft and a bit hard, so it was very chewy, totally my favorite. How about you? :)

Soondoobo Jjigae IDR 69K
Spicy tofu stew with beef, vegetables, mushrooms, and clams. A visit to Korean restaurants is never complete without a soup dish, and this time we were presented the spicy tofu stew. First of all, the soup itself wasn’t exactly spicy for me, but it had nice, welcoming spice to bring my appetite up. It was actually very fragrant and tasty, like it was left with beef stock for a while. The soup was fulfilled with lots of contents and I totally enjoyed the clams the most.

Buldak IDR 80K
Stir-fried “fire chicken” topped with mozzarella cheese. This is also another signature dish from Gomawo and it was highly recommended to try. This menu has the options for spiciness level from 1-10, and I was told that level 2 is actually the standard means it is already spicy but still can be enjoyed by everyone. I chose level 3 because I was warned that even a level up already makes so much difference, but well. It turned out much more spicy that I expected for a level 3, but I actually enjoyed the fire chicken so much. It was very aromatic and rich in flavors that I found it so good to be paired with white rice. Mr. K wanted more challenge so he asked to add the spiciness level up, but I told him I wouldn’t want to go above level 5 because I didn’t want to eat just spicy food without being able to enjoy the real taste anymore, LOL! In the end, level 5 was far more spicy than level 3 as predicted, but fortunately, we still could handle it and found the taste still enjoyable and not overkilled by the spiciness.

Gomawo Bibimbap Pork Belly IDR 58K
Beside the regular Korean bibimbap, here you can also opt for Gomawo Bibimbap, which is actually their own modified version, which is uniquely NOT served on the sizzling stone bowl, but regular bowl instead. The rice was topped with various vegetables (diced, not sliced like regular bibimbap) such as carrots, cucumbers, corn etc. There are 4 meat that we can choose for this: Chicken (IDR 53K), Beef or Pork Belly (IDR 58K) and Pork Cheek (IDR 65K). Again, I chose pork belly and (again) I was extremely satisfied by the pork and also the seasoning. Rather than using the usual Gochujang paste as the seasoning, Gomawo Bibimbap uses special sauce that tastes like Japanese teriyaki sauce, sweet and savory. I truly recommend this and I am perfectly sure that this is even better than the regular bibimbap, probably fits everyone’s preferences easier!

Watermelon as desserts, yum!

Enjoying Korean BBQ with companion(s) is always the BEST! So if you happen to come in larger crowds, worry no more because Gomawo has its own private rooms on the second floor! We managed to take a peek and here we show you how the rooms look like, you can book these rooms before hand for private dining events, gatherings, birthday parties, anything. To make things better, they also have package menu starting from IDR 1.2 millions for 10 person, not bad price for a good quality Korean restaurant. 

My overall experience was extremely fabulous. The place is beautiful, the food were great, and the service was fantastic. I even would go to this certain extent saying that Gomawo is now my favorite Korean BBQ restaurant in Jakarta and I am so ready to come back for more! I hope my good experience doesn’t only happen once or only to me, because I hope that everyone who visits can also experience the same thing. Last but not least, thanks Gomawo for inviting us, and wish you BEST OF LUCK to spread your wings~ (I am waiting for a branch in South!) XD

Gomawo is a way to say thank you in Korean language.

*All prices are subject to 5% service charge & 10% government tax
*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
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Gomawo Korean Grill & Restaurant
Ruko Crown Golf Blok B No. 32A-33
Bukit Golf Mediterania
Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK)
Jakarta Utara 14460
Ph. +62 21 2952 5858
Opening Hours: 
Mon-Fri 17.00 – 22.30
Sat-Sun 11.00 – 22.30


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