No-frills atmosphere, great barbecue
SONGTAN, South Korea - If you find yourself near Osan Air Base and in the mood for Korean barbecue at reasonable prices in a no-frills but clean atmosphere, you might stop in at Oh-Ship-Gu-Nyon Wang Kalbi.
It's on the ground floor of a two-story tan structure near the base's main and Beta gates. Owner Kim Jung-hyun says servicemembers typically ask for two things.
One is the wang-so kalbi, or beef rib bulgogi, at 5,500 South Korean won (about $6.00).
Also a favorite with American customers is a pork rib dish - hwang-ah-ri wang kalbi, at 3,500 won (about $3.80).
The restaurant is a long, spacious rectangle with dark brown tables and chairs set up in one area. At either end are rooms for customers who prefer to sit on the floor, traditional style. All tables are fitted with built-in barbecue wells.
There's no bar and a minimal beverage menu. But when Koreans dine on barbecue, the alcoholic drinks are typically either beer or soju. Either costs 3,000 won (about $3.20).
Service was prompt and friendly. Kim and at least one of the waitresses spoke enough English to help an American customer figure out the menu.
The food was fresh and tasty, enough to make us want to go back sometime soon.
Oh-Ship-Gu-Nyon Wang Kalbi Osan, South Korea
Hours: Open seven days, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closed on the Chuseok and Sol-al Korean national holidays.
Prices: Most dishes are in the 3,000 won (about $3.30) to 5,500 won (about $6.00) range. Alcoholic drinks run from 3,000 won to 6,000 won (about $6.50). Soft drinks are 1,000 won (about $1.10).
Specialties: Beef ribs, pork ribs, other traditional
Korean barbecue dishes
English menu: No, but the owner said one will be available soon.
Clientele: A mix of South Korean locals, American servicemembers and assorted English-speaking civilians. Families welcome.
Location: From the Osan Air Base main gate: turn left and follow the street to the first right, then walk straight for several minutes until you see the restaurant on the left. From the Beta Gate: upon exiting via the Beta Gate, turn right and the restaurant is in the first building on the right.
Phone: (031) 661-8484
Web site: None