There’s no better advertisement than aroma for a Korean barbeque restaurant. I discovered Jang Tur Charcoal B.B.Q. when I was in Canterbury reviewing Bon Japanese Restaurant. The heady aroma of barbequed meat stayed with me for six months, so we eventually found our way back to Canterbury to give it a whirl. The front entrance on Canterbury Road is in a state of disrepair. Gold window tint gives the interior an otherworldly feel as we peer inside before entering through the heavy door. Locals in the know seem to use a back lane entrance that takes you down a dimly lit side passage from somewhere near the Aldi carpark. I mentally note it down for next time...
We’re directed to a table that’s been constructed by laying a round stainless steel tabletop over a red metal drum. In the centre it has a recessed charcoal grill that’s quickly filled with a pot of hot coals, then topped with a thick wire grill.
The room is minimally furnished, with Korean alcohol posters providing most of the decoration.
We obediently order a bottle of creamy white Korean Rice Wine ($12) to share, which arrives quickly with fresh green salad and a bowl of kimchi.
Even more exciting, a steaming bowl of gaeranjim (Korean steamed egg soup) arrives as part of our banchan (the side dishes that are generally provided free with your barbeque). It’s a bubbling pot of fluffy eggs mixed with seasoned stock that eats a bit like a savoury soufflé.
We tuck into it on rice while we wait for our Beef Galbi ($22), or marinated beef ribs, to barbeque.
They arrive as two long, thin flaps, each connected to short rib bones that we roll straight onto the grill. We eat these smoky pieces of beef dipped in seasoned sesame oil or a sauce made from doenjang, Korean soybean paste that’s also great on the accompanying cucumber and carrot sticks.
You can also wrap up your beef rib ssam style in cabbage leaves. Don’t be afraid to grab the bone to gnaw off the coveted last pieces.
Sliced Chilli Spring Onion ($3) provide an inexpensive, and surprisingly great, palate break with slightly sweet, chilli flecked, shredded spring onions.
We tuck into them while we’re cooking thin slabs of Marinated Chilli Pork Ribs ($22).
They cook a bit slower than the fattier sheets of beef rib, but the end result is no less delicious. We leave sated, with our hair and clothes reeking of barbeque. We’re smiling from the warmth of this family-run restaurant, and the fact that our hip pocket is only just over sixty dollars lighter. Well-played Canterbury, we’ll be back.
Jang Tur Charcoal B.B.Q.
169 Canterbury Road, Canterbury
Ph: (02) 9787 4561