Unfortunately due to management conflict McPhearson’s BBQ is no longer open.
Last week my fellow foodie friend Joe McPherson of Zenkimchi opened up his very first restaurant and I couldn’t be happier for him. Being from Alabama Joe wanted to concentrate on his roots and stick with food he knows good old fashioned BBQ. Now if you are a regular reader of this blog you will know it takes a hell of a lot for me to drag my fat lazy ass across town, but for Joe I made a very special exception. To help me in my review I took my two favourite Southern Girls along with me for a proper American perspective, as the English version of BBQ is somewhat different to the American style.
The restaurant is located fairly close to Omokyo station, making it the perfect place to stop for dinner after a hellish day at the immigration office. The restaurant is of medium size with seating for about 24 and is decorated in a real homely living room kinda way. The walls are covered in a chic black and white print and scattered with picture frames, I had no idea that Joe had a such a great sense of style. I also appreciated the fact they had nice matching chairs and tables, since it’s such a rarity these days.
While we took a look at the menu, we kicked things off with the Combo of Dips and Chips (7,900). A mix of tortilla chips, kettle crisps, french onion dip, roasted pimento cheese dip and warm spinach and artichoke dip. Anyone who has been to any event of mine knows I make good dips so I’m very picky, but man was that french onion dip good. The warm spinach was also decadently good yet I wasn’t sold on the pimento dip. It was just a tad too salty for me, but my two dining companions picked it as their favourite so maybe it’s a southern thing.
After our warm up of dips and chips we secured an order of Chickasaw Fries (9,900). As soon as I saw these on the menu I insisted we try them. Fries covered in pulled pork and melted cheese is not something I wanted to miss out on. Throw in some sour cream and jalapenos and it’s a good time for all. They are nothing fancy but they work, I can get on board with more topped fries in the world, and I’m glad they don’t have kimchi on them!
We weren’t planning on drinking that night (no, seriously) but after taking a look at everyone else drinking the most adorable cocktails ever we had to get two to share. We oped for the Fanta Colada (7,000) and the Buttered Pancake (8,000). The Fanta Colada made with Pineapple Fanta and Malibu was a touch on the sweet side for me, but I’ve never cared for pineapple Fanta in any case. The Buttered Pancake made with Coke, Peach Schnapps, and spiced rum was much more delicious, and was the out and out favourite. I love the idea of the miniatures in the cans, so much so I pilfered my miniature bottle to use again at home.
The sauces came out just before the platter and as you can see there are three sauces. There is the T Sauce, a slightly spicy BBQ sauce, almost like the love child of BBQ and buffalo. Then there is the super sweet cola BBQ sauce and the Bama sauce, a white style mayo and vinegar based sauce. The T sauce and the cola sauce I loved, one spicy and one sweet they were even nice when mixed together. The white sauce didn’t really do a whole lot for me, I hoped it might be similar to the UK based salad cream but sadly not, I think most people will appreciate the third flavour though.
Clearly we wanted to try everything so we got the Taste of Alabama Platter. The platter comes in three sizes and we went for the Large (30,900). The large consists of a whole smoked fried chicken, 200 grams of puled pork, and the three sides of our choice. We decided to go for the mac and cheese, coleslaw and New Brunswick stew. You also get a couple of slices of bread thrown into the mix. Lets talk about the meat first. The fried chicken was not like any fried chicken I’d had before. It was crispy on the outside while still pretty tender in the middle. While I did miss the usual fried chicken breaded coating, the style of chicken worked well with the coleslaw and sauces. The pulled pork again was on point though to be honest its rare that I come across a bad batch . The mac and cheese was the standout dish for me. Usually I’m not that into mac and cheese but this one was more akin to what I’d make back home, a thicker cheesy sauce which had just a little bite, and a crunch on the top from the crackers. We also all enjoyed the New Brunswick stew. I had no idea what to expect from this but it was tasty as hell, kind of like a mild soupy chilli. The wet side was much appreciated in amongst everything else we had eaten.
By the end of the meal the three of us were absolutely stuffed to the rafters, breathing heavily as we left, and none of us are what you’d describe as meek eaters. So when we couldn’t even finish off the last of the chicken, well that was really saying something. The place has only been open for a week so I expect more tinkering with recipes to happen before the grand opening, but overall they are off to a cracking start. The prices are also incredibly reasonable, we were stuffed to bursting for just over 20,000 each. I’m sure it will be very popular with those not wanting to travel all the way to Itaewon to get their BBQ fix.
McPherson’s BBQ Pub is located at 228-4 Mokdongdong-ro, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Omokyo Station (line 5) and come out of exit 1 and walk straight. Take the second right and walk straight until you reach the end of the street and take a left, you will see McPhersons BBQ Pub just up ahead. For more information you can call them on 02-6406-6690 or check out their facebook page. Open from 4pm-midnight everyday.