Thursday, 8 February 2018

Food near JB Customs. Gogirou BBQ Meat Street in Zenith Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

Dinner this evening at Gogirou BBQ Meat Street, Johor Bahru's newest Korean BBQ hangout. JB already has many Korean BBQ places but Gogirou is one of the most accessible for visitors from Singapore as it is located in Zenith Mall which is right across Jalan Wong Ah Fook from JBCC and City Square mall. It's about 10 minutes walking distance after clearing JB immigration.

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

Gogirou is quite compact inside. Each round table for 5 people has a BBQ stove and elephant trunk type exhaust (signature of better Korean BBQ places). Customers sit on padded stools (no backing). The decor and space has a hip, trendy feel thanks to the youthful clientele and to K-pop in the background 😄 For those who prefer, there is also an alfresco dining area outside the restaurant.

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

Partner Bora Lee, Chef Jeff Lee and General Manager Kim, all hail from Korea, so we are assured of the authenticity of Korean flavours at Gogirou. Gogirou's dishes are inspired by the buzz, aromas and flavours of Ilsan township (just northwest of Seoul) which has a famous BBQ meat street with many street side BBQ stalls and drinking bars.

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

I nibbled at the kimchi while waiting for the rest to arrive. It was good! The cabbage was fresh. It was juicy, crunchy and the kimchi had all the sour, sweet, salty and spicy flavours all nicely balanced and at the right intensity for me. I found out from Ms Bora later on that the kimchi was house made by Chef Jeff Lee.

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

Took a bite of this bulgogi (beef) salad appetiser while waiting for the stove and meats to be readied. At the end of the dinner, I was still talking about how good this tasted.

The thin tender slices of savoury grilled beef was balanced with a thick but gentle sweet tasting dressing that was citrusy, zesty and refreshing. I dipped into this plate many times as it was so appetising.

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

The stove is a charcoal and gas hybrid. A gas head burns below the red hot charcoal embers. I didn't feel much if any radiated heat at all as the space was well cooled even though it was nearly full house.

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

Gogirou's cheerful staff helped us with the cooking. I like it this way as I have this phobia that my butter fingers will ruin the premium ingredients and everyone will be upset with me 😱

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

First into the fire was unmarinated Ribeye slices. Love those streaks of fat in the marbled beef. (Price RM75++ a serving.)

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

GM Kim blow torched the ribeye to sear in the beefy juices. Customers can torch the meat themselves but I have butter fingers.... you go ahead, please 😅

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

Marinated grilled beef ribs or Yangnyeom-galbi (RM80++ a serving).

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

Marinated chicken (RM35++ per serving).

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

The unmarinated rib eye was tender and releases beefy toasty flavours with every bite. 

The marinated beef rib was cut thicker, done medium rare, so it was softer, juicier. The natural beefiness was complemented by the sweet marinade. I like this better.

The grilled chicken was tender, and tasted sweet from the marination. I enjoyed it too.

Truth be told, it is hard to tell the good Korean BBQ places apart as they all use good quality meats. But, Gogirou have a few other dishes up its sleeves, which were memorable and which I would come back for.

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Gogirou is especially proud of their Jurassic Galbi-jjim (RM150++ family size serving). It come in a huge rib which would make the Flintstones Family drool 😄

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

Fortunately for us "digital age" folks, a staff helped to cut the huge ribs into bite size pieces for us to enjoy.

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

The stewed meat which fell off the rib bone easily was tender and juicy. The meat still had a bit of chewy bite left, and it willingly gave up its beefy savoury sweet juices with every bite like a squeezed wet sponge. I would come back for a meal for two, just to have this Jurassic galbi-jjim.

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

Seafood & Green Onion Pancake (RM40++).

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

I enjoyed this seafood and vegetable pancake. It's tasty, packed with juicy ingredients with their different textures and flavours. The pancake was crisp outside and not overly greasy. Comes with a salty dip (that's all I remembered of it) but I think this pancake is great, all on its own.

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

Japchae (RM30++). I am never a big fan of glass noodle dishes as they are often drown in sauce, making them soft and soggy. But, I like Gogirou's rendition as the glass noodles had just the right moistness and still retained its springy bite. It was also flavoursome as it absorbed the well balanced savoury sweetness from the blend of salty soy sauce and sweet vegetables.

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

Honghap-tang (RM45++). I enjoyed this mussel soup as it was briny and spicy with subtle sweetness from the shellfish. I drank lots of it last night 😋

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

They challenged us to try their signature sauce dubbed "The Be Careful Sauce". How dare they - we are Singaporeans and Malaysians - we eat chili paddies raw since we were toddlers, you know?

Gogirou's BCS is indeed spicy. It was hotter, sharper than I expected, with a lingering hot sting. Buddy KK thinks it is "ok lah" - just mildly spicy to him.

I won't use it as a dip as it would overpower the dish's flavours. But, I would tease my tongue with it now and then during the meal as it tingles and perks up my taste buds - making everything tastes better to my sensitised tongue.

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

We had Korean rice wine (RM30++ per bottle) to wash down all the food (I left out some dishes as otherwise this post would be way too long).

Korean rice wine felt and tasted like toddy (coconut wine) and also drank at room temperature. Sweet, sour, fizzy with a mild alcohol kick. No wonder the JB toddy shop boss told me that his biggest foreign customers are Koreans (but that is a story for another blog post 😜).

Disclosure: Please note that this was an invited tasting.

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

Restaurant name: Gogirou BBQ Meat Street 烤肉街

Gogirou-Korean-BBQ-Meat-Street-Zenith-Mall 新山韩式烤肉街

Address: Zenith Mall | Suasana Iskandar Malaysia | G-05, Suasana, 82C, Jalan Trus, Johor Bahru (across Jalan Wong Ah Fook, opposite JBCC. Gogirou is at street level, facing Jalan Wong Ah Fook).
GPS: 1°27'49.1"N 103°45'44.4"E | 1.463642, 103.762328
Parking: Suggest parking inside the building. It's RM2 per hour. Plenty of slots.
Tel: 013-276 6601
Hours: 12:00 noon t 12:00 midnight

Non Halal

Date visited: 7 Feb 2018

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I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't.

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