The names of shops, stores, and restaurants can be very interesting here in South Korea. One of the things that can be fascinating is the mixture of Korean and other language words (often English) to make the names of businesses.
A good example of this is a meat restaurant here in Ulsan named Gogiholic. “Gogi”, the Korean word for meat, and “holic”, an English suffix for addiction, are combined. This idea is interesting, because in Korean there are words for being addicted to something, but we often use the English instead.
After I learned about the name of this restaurant, and finding that it was close to my home, I figured it was a good place to go to dinner and see if the food really lived up to the name of the restaurant.
Gogiholic is located in a crowded neighborhood in Ulsan with parking at a premium. Unfortunately, there are only a few spots in front of the restaurant, and which were all full, so I had to spend a few minutes driving around the neighboring streets for a place to put the car.
Entering the restaurant, it was nice and big, and had a number of private rooms on either side, of which I was able to sit in one.
Looking at the menu, I noticed that the chef or owner was drawn to resemble Superman, so I was certainly hoping that the food would be super too.
With the menu offering some pork dishes, a few beef dishes, as well as different types of noodles, stews, and more, it sure seemed like there would be something for everyone at Gogiholic.
Getting to our room, I noticed that a few of the side dishes were already laid out.
One of the things that caught my eye was a dipping sauce for the meat that was absolutely loaded with garlic. This was a good sign for me, as I really do enjoy garlic.
There were some interesting side dishes as well, including pickled radish, sliced onions, garlic shoots, and a green salad.
There were also some interesting dipping offerings for the meat, including turmeric, a powdered cheese, and an interesting pepper sauce.
The meat soon arrived, and it was marinated pork ribs, and also included a thick piece of pork skin that was scored and ready to be turned into a crispy treat.
As the grill heated up, I helped myself to some of the green salad, which was fresh with a nice level of spiciness to it.
As the meat sizzled and popped, I was very interested to see what the skin would taste like when I it was finally ready.
Soon it was time to eat, as the meat was cooked.
The marinated pork ribs were quite nice, and the marinate had a nice blend of sweet and salty to it. The meat also tasted like it was very fresh.
I particularly enjoyed the meat with the special dipping choices that Gogiholic prepares.
The garlic and oil sauce was very tasty!
As was the turmeric with the meat.
The powdered cheese didn’t have much of a flavor to it.
And the red pepper sauce was pretty standard, like we get with a lot of different dishes here.
Of course, I had to try it the traditional way, with the meat wrapped in a lettuce leaf with some soybean and red pepper paste, plus some fresh garlic!
One thing that was disappointing with the meal was the pork skin. I have had crackling in other countries, and I have to say that it works much better when it is roasted in an oven for a long period of time. I found that when it was grilled, it became too charred before it reached a comfortable level of crispiness, and this made it very chewy as opposed to crunchy.
Still, Gogiholic does offer some delicious marinated pork ribs, and I’m sure that their grilled pork belly is as equally tasty. With the addition of the unique dipping offers to liven up what is a pretty common dish, I think that Gogiholic does have a special take on Korean barbecue.