Arirang (Sathorn), 199/1 Sathorn Soi 12, Bangkok, Thailand
Nearest Train:BTS Chong Nonsi
Opening Hours:Mon-Fri 11am-2pm, 5-10pm; Sat-Sun 11am-10pm
Price Range:BB - BBB
We’ve repeatedly trumpeted Arirang, the Korean restaurant in the bottom corner of the “little Seoul”courtyard on Soi 12, as Bangkok’s best Korean restaurant. So it was with much excitement that we stumbled upon a second Arirang in Sathorn Soi 12 which, it turned out, has been open for two years. Arirang is a pretty common name for anything Korean, but this is the genuine twin of the Arirang we love so much in Sukhumvit: a big watermill on the outside, giant bottled ginseng roots lining shelves, plenty of blond wood and the trademark steel chopsticks. But the most exciting features that the Arirang sisters share is their odorless grills. With a little glass saucer mounted above them and a powerful fan exhaust, fumes are instantly sucked out, so that there isn’t the slightest smell, either in the dining room or, after the meal, in your hair and clothes. Mid-meal, the waitress will even replace the grill with a clean one, just in case you’re worried about all those carcinogens. But beyond diligent service and fancy gizmos, Arirang also serves fresh, quality meats and well-seasoned side-dishes. Only at this sister venue, though, do you get the B290 all-you-can eat deal, valid both for lunch and dinner. It includes cuts of pork with some marinated chicken in a slightly spicy sauce. Although you’ll probably be at pains to finish the giant plate they first serve, you’ll go through some of the addictive sides, such as their fantastic kimchi or the small dried fish in sesame seeds. And though it’s unlimited, there is no messy buffet—dishes will be replenished at your table. The other offerings range from the luxurious (the B1,500 selection of beef cuts) to much more reasonable treats like the bibimbap. Served in a hot stone pot, the rice gets browned in sesame oil while the minced raw beef and egg on top get cooked by being stirred in—delicious! Another can’t-miss specialty is the wonderfully delicate ginseng chicken broth. Perhaps not as high-end as the one on Sukhumvit (no dark lacquered tables or crisp cotton aprons here), the Sathorn venue’s deals—there’s also a B99 lunch set—make this Arirang a cheaper, and equally delicious, date.