Kogyo BBQ (Surabaya)

Went back to Surabaya last weekend for my high school reunion. Yes, it’s been over ten years since those golden, innocent days of mine have gone. Time really does fly.

Instead of having my usual comfort food back home, I decided to try something new. I knew just the perfect place for that.

Kogyo BBQ, a nice little joint located at Sutos, offers a very unique combination of Korean BBQ with a Mexican twist. The idea to combine the sweetness of Korean BBQ and the tangy, cheesy Mexican food is almost unimaginable. Almost. Until you actually see that Bulgogi inside a flour tortila with your very eyes. More on that bit later.

As soon as I sat down, the owner gave me an appetizer that brought good memories of my Mexican food adventure back in the States: Crispy Nachos with Salsa. You can make your own nachos or even buy random ones at a grocery store for all I care. For me, it’s all about the salsa.

Luckily, it didn’t dissappoint. In fact, the salsa tastes better than the ones I’ve had in Jakarta. Unless I’m missing out, I can safely say that we have the best salsa in town right here at Kogyo BBQ.

The salsa has the right amount of texture, spiciness, and consistency. I’ve seen a lot of watery salsa, but this isn’t one of them. I’m definitely coming back for more.

“Interesting” was the first word that came to mind when my second order, Chicken Kimchi Quesadila, was served in no time. I usually enjoy my quesadila plain, just hot, fresh tortilla pressed with good quality cheese. Having said that, I do enjoy eating a carnivore version of it as well. Although the name suggested otherwise, there’s a certain resemblance between this particular dish and an ordinary chicken quesadila. It is probably due to the sweet and sour taste of the kimchi chicken, which is somewhat similar to tomato-based chicken. While the taste is not overly distinctive, it’s still a very good tasting quesadila nonetheless. Too bad I have no pictures to show for, as I was too busy watching a Liverpool game live on telly 🙂

My review would not be finished without covering the most intriguing menu at Kogyo, which also happened to be my last order: the Bulgogi Taco. Two medium-sized tacos topped with a generous amount of Bulgogi ready to fed my hungry stomach.

Verdict? I was quite pleased by it. After a few bites, you can tell that it makes perfect sense to combine Korean BBQ with a Mexican Taco and its condiments. The sweet element of the Bulgogi really goes well with the freshness of Mexican condiments and the tanginess of its salsa. Sweet, hot, and sour, they’re all there for your tastebuds to enjoy.

Despite the overall good taste, however, I found that the Bulgogi was a bit too dry for my liking. I could imagine how it would taste with a bit more juice coming out from the bulgogi.

My dinner/food testing was properly completed with a complimentary serving of Durian mochi, which was surprisingly good as well.

All in all, it was a good experience having something I had never thought about, let alone tasting it. I should try the Kalbi Taco for my second visit. I reckon it won’t be too long 🙂



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