Bakehouse Garden, North Strathfield

Korean BBQ beef short ribs

Korean BBQ beef short ribs

When I came across the name Bakehouse Garden in one of Sydney’s restaurant guides, I visualized French croissants, freshly baked baguettes, home-made cheese cakes, pastries and desserts set in a beautiful nursery in one of Sydney’s leafy suburbs. The wonderful aromas from the oven would tempt and mingle with the scent of freshly brewed coffee.

So with that lovely picture in my mind, I asked Mysaucepan if she is keen to check it out since she loves freshly baked pastries and French style cuisine.

“It’s not French, hello?” she said sarcastically, rolling her eyes.

It’s a Korean BBQ joint”, she says confidently.

“Huh?”, I was a little baffled.

I read on and true enough, Bakehouse Garden is a Korean BBQ style restaurant in Sydney’s inner west suburb of North Strathfield.

“See, I am right, yet again”, she says.

“Yes you are but that’s my line you just stole”, I tell her.

Bakehouse Garden Korean BBQ

Bakehouse Garden Korean BBQ

Located along George street in North Strathfield, Bakehouse Garden is one of many restaurants and cafes housed in a converted building which was previously an Arnott’s biscuit factory.

Perhaps the previous business of baking biscuits has something to do with its name because it certainly looks nothing like a bakehouse nor is there a garden anywhere in sight.

The menu - Bakehouse Garden Korean BBQ

The menu - Bakehouse Garden Korean BBQ

It is rather quiet for a Friday night and as we arrive at around 8pm, there is hardly anyone except for a handful of other diners.

Kim chi cabbage

Kim chi cabbage

There are so many Korean BBQ restaurants in Sydney and I believe they are all about equal in terms of its banchan or appetizers where there is an array of pickled vegetables or kim chi such as cabbage, zucchini, radish, bean sprouts and French beans.

I love these appetizers because they are so tasty, healthy and best of all, you can order unlimited amounts of it and depending on the restaurant, these banchan are usually part of the price of the ala carte BBQ dishes that you order.

Fresh iceberg lettuce and carrots

Fresh iceberg lettuce and carrots

We decide to try some of the BBQ meats and immediately a bowl of fresh iceberg lettuce and carrots arrive.

Korean bean paste

Korean bean paste

The so-called “proper” way to eat Korean BBQ is to spread some spicy Korean bean paste onto the iceberg lettuce with a baton of carrot and then wrap the grilled meat with the lettuce like a small little kebab.

The dining room - Bakehouse Garden Korean BBQ

The dining room - Bakehouse Garden Korean BBQ

The dining room of this restaurant is fairly large and I would imagine it might be quite busy and popular during weekday lunch sessions with people from offices nearby or perhaps a Sunday lunch with families that live in the area.

Charcoal being placed in BBQ

Charcoal being placed in BBQ

The sign of a good Korean BBQ is when hot charcoal is used in the grill. A waiter comes and sets up our BBQ with a tray of red hot charcoal before the meats arrive.

Beef short ribs $18

Beef short ribs $18

A plate of beef short ribs has been marinating in a spicy sauce and it arrives with a pair of large scissors for you to cut the meat up into bite size strips.

Beef short ribs grilling on BBQ

Saeng galbi - Beef short ribs grilling on BBQ

I find there is little difference between these marinated meats in so many Korean BBQ restaurants in Sydney.

The taste and flavours have a lot to do with the quality and freshness of the beef and the type of marinade which are all very similar among these Korean restaurants.

Chicken marinating in sweet BBQ sauce $15

Dak jumulleok - Chicken marinating in spicy sauce $15

The charcoal that is helped by gas burners underneath the grill gives the meat a nice smoky flavour. Blindfold the average diner and I am willing to put a wager that it is impossible to tell the difference between these marinated meats at different Korean restaurants.

So, what might be the competitive advantage between these restaurants when the food is so similar?

I suspect it boils down to subtle differences in flavour of the marinades which Korean diners might be accustomed to, the use of charcoal (some Korean BBQ restaurants only use gas burner grills), table service, ambience and price.

Korean drama on TV while you dine

Korean drama on TV while you dine

This restaurant might also be trying to differentiate itself from its competitors with some popular Korean drama on its TV screens.

We laughed when we saw one of the subtitles during the movie – “That would make you more human.”

Jinro Soju $12

Jinro Soju $12

The Jinro Soju is probably one of the most popular and highest-selling Korean rice wines in the world.

It tastes a little like vodka although it is a lot milder and has a slightly sweet taste. It is very similar to Japanese sake and generally goes well with BBQ meats.

Spicy Korean hot pot $18

Sundubu-jiggae - Spicy soft-tofu hot pot $12

We finish our meal with a spicy soft-tofu hot pot that arrives with the soup sizzling hot. It is a lot milder than its name would suggest and how it looks but tasty all the same especially in cold weather.

Lunch specials - Bakehouse Garden Korean BBQ

Lunch specials - Bakehouse Garden Korean BBQ

We thoroughly enjoyed our meal.

It is hard to go too wrong with Korean BBQ because it is tasty and there is a little bit of fun and adventure when you cook your own meal. The price of its dishes also makes it very competitive and popular among Sydney diners.

So dear readers, what is your favourite dish in Korean BBQ?

Bakehouse Garden
Shop4, 9 – 11 George street, North Strathfield
Tel: +61 2 8746 0299

Trading hours: Sunday – Thursday 11.30am – 10pm, Friday & Saturday 11.30am till late

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13 Responses to Bakehouse Garden, North Strathfield

  1. Hehe what an interesting name. I would have thought the same thing as you! :)

  2. I love the bbq squid here, so tasty and nom-licious! Love it there in summer where they open their large windows, ahh so blissful!

  3. I love Korean food and my husband always says it’s ironic when I say I love Thai and Korean food because I don’t eat (more like cannot eat) spicy food. But I really do love both cuisines… they have GREAT non-spicy dishes. 😉 I just had Korean food last weekend as we drove by Korean town in the Bay Area. Unfortunately my neighborhood is completely lacking great Korean food, so it’s always a treat to visit the area where Korean restaurants are everywhere! The restaurant name can be tricky but food definitely looks great. If Korean dramas are on, I most likely spend the whole night ordering food and watch TV there. Haha! Not to mention cry till my eyes are red and puffy. LOL.

  4. lol i wouldve thought it was a pastry and bread shop too by the sound of its name!

  5. Raymund says:

    I love Korean barbecues, when I was in Hong Kong there was once place where we almost had our dinner every day, its cheap, it taste good and best of all its All you can eat.

  6. I love a Korean BBQ but there isn’t one on the Sunshine Coast that I know of. All that food looks pretty good.

    I would have been expecting something soft and sweet too. :)

  7. Hotly Spiced says:

    I just love these Korean BBQs. They are such a fun way to dine. Unfortunately there’s just not enough of these restaurants in Sydney xx

  8. Juliana says:

    I have not had Korea food for a while and you are just torturing me with all this yummie pictures…I cannot visit you when it is near lunch or dinner time…it is sure self punishment heheheh.
    Hope you are having a nice week :)

  9. Carolyn Jung says:

    Oh, the banchan is always my fave part. I could make a meal alone from all those little bowls of pickled this and that.

  10. Great post Chopinand. I love your attention to the little, albeit very important details in the difference between different Korean BBQ restaurants.

  11. Asmita says:

    I have yet to try Korean food but I know I would love it. We don’t have a good Korean restaurant close to where I live. I guess will have to try it out when I visit NYC next. All this food looks so delicious!

  12. Before I started reading, I thought it was a bakery style cafe. You are not alone in your assumption by name.

  13. Charles says:

    Dang, you’re making me want Korean bbq right now – As for my favourite – I love beef shortribs too. It’s the thing I always order when I go. I like the little accompaniments so much as well though!

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