Category Archives: Korean

O Bal Tan Sydney

You can’t say you’re back and then not actually be back.

A short while ago I was toying around with the idea of getting myself a cat or a dog. It was one of those things that one seems to go through when they’ve freshly come out of a long term relationship and decide that a bottle of wine or two doesn’t necessarily amount to good company. Thinking to myself how brilliant of an idea it was to replace a void in my life with something that can be so needy I broached the subject with my workmate (who you may remember from past incidents such as hallway bowling and refused vegetable washing… actually as I type this she’s gorging herself on her fifth Easter egg of the morning).

The conversation went a little something like this:

Me: Hey so I’m thinking of getting a cat or a dog…

Workmate: Oh yeah how’s your bonsai going? (background: she’d given me a bonsai a couple of Christmas’s earlier after hearing me speak of how much I had wanted one)

Me: Oh F*** I haven’t seen that in over a year (just remembering that I had one)

Workmate: …Please don’t get a pet.

Well there went that idea. She did remind me though that I did have a blog, (which my dear readers you’re currently having the pleasure of reading) and that if I so wanted to invest my time into something then perhaps that wasn’t such a bad idea considering that if I happened to neglect it then it wouldn’t equate to the death of something innocent. Or that I should just go and get a stuffed animal.

After spending a few weeks searching and not finding anything decent in the way of stuffed animals I decided to give this blogging thing another go, which is how I found myself on a cold and windy night within the warm confines of a Korean BBQ joint.

On this particular night I found myself at O Bal Tan. For those not familiar you may know it’s more illustrious queue-laden neighbour Madang which sits adjacent to it in the same alleyway. Now I know they say that a full restaurant generally means a good restaurant and I won’t deny that Madang is pretty damn good, but the repressed hipster inside of me prefers the more relaxed crowds at O Bal Tan and also its use of a charcoal grill as opposed to a gas burner.

obaltan-premeatPanchan Selection and a glowing BBQ. Servings seem tight, but ask for more and the next servings are generally bigger.

Tonight I’m dining with two others and we go for the rather easy option of ‘Combination A’, a cleverly named platter of beef brisket, beef skirt, boneless beef ribs and pork belly. At $67.00 this could easily feed a group of four and as a threesome by meal’s end we are seriously struggling with the meat sweats.

obaltan-meatCombination ‘A’ sizzling away – $67.00 

Accompanying the meat is a decent selection of panchan. Tonight it’s a macaroni salad with what I think is puree’d sweet potato, onions in soy sauce, shredded cabbage in a sesame/ soy dressing and a very good kim chi. We’re also given some dipping sauces for the meat – my favourite being the chilli soybean paste, and a generous serve of lettuce leaves for wrapping said meat.

obaltan-lettuceboatLettuce cups, Hite beer and a failed Instagram upload.

My only regret for this evening is that it’s a school night and I’m convinced by my dining companions to not order one of the huge beer towers that I see some other tables indulging in, and there’s also a veto on soju. Rack one up for the non-alcoholics.

obaltan-wrapshotWrap me up in your love. Or is the love on the inside?

So I know it’s been awhile, in fact that while has been a fair bit longer than the while that went on before my previous it’s been awhile post, but hey seeing as we’re getting into the colder months and I’m generally a winter sports type person let’s just say I was taking a long and flakey summer break.

O Bal Tan Sydney

363A Pitt Street, Sydney
(02) 9269 0299

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Filed under BBQ, CBD, Korean, Sydney