korean bbq

Mookata (Rotterdam, Netherlands): Korean BBQ and Chinese Hot Pot in One Delicious Spot

THE STORY

Sometimes I’m not a fan of the Instagram and Facebook algorithms. I get weird recommendations, like for a club I’d never go to or nude-colored heels because I searched for them once for a wedding. But every once in a while, the algorithm strikes gold.

That’s how I learned about Mookata.

Mookata Restaurant Rotterdam Nederlands Korean BBQ Chinese Hot Pot asian food asian craving flat lay

But let’s backtrack a bit - what is Chinese Hot Pot? It’s not something I had never experienced, but I saw a bunch of Hot Pot restaurants throughout the States when I visited recently.

There is a pot of broth warmed on the table, and then various ingredients are added to it: fish cakes, pork belly, noodles, napa cabbage, marinated beef, fried tofu…it’s unlimited options and bottomless servings (well, at least at Mookata it is, for 2 1/2 hours).

I, however, had overlooked the Hot Pot aspect of it and was excited enough just for Korean BBQ.

Mookata Restuarant Rotterdam Nederlands Korean BBQ Chinese Hot Pot side dishes asian craving

Mookata is long, spacious restaurant right on the Hofplein roundabout. The Ramen Marauder and I sat at a four-top table, and considering how much food we ordered, I’m glad we did!

I’d say “Asian Fondue BBQ and Grill” is a pretty good way to describe the dining experience. First, you pick your broth, toppings, and side dishes. I initially thought we only ordered once, but you can keep ordering toppings and side dishes as you eat. (The cost of the food is just the per person price, which varies depending on the day.)

They will then turn on your burner and warm up the broth. When your first round of toppings arrives, you’ll add a cube of lard onto the grill, and once it’s oiled, you can begin!

Mookata Restaurant Rotterdam Nederlands Korean BBQ Chinese Hot Pot noodle bowl pork belly fish cakes marinated beef asian craving

THE REVIEW

Our soup base was chicken broth and our sauces were teriyaki, crispy chili oil, and sweet chili sauce. Of all the “Fondue and BBQ” options available, we tried Thai fish cakes, pork belly, Korean BBQ chicken, beef sweet BBQ sauce, usuyaki (a thinly sliced beef), bamboo shoots, baby corn, don don noodles, udon, and Chinese cabbage. We also ordered the Vietnamese loempia, curry triangles, spicy soya cucumbers, and spicy potatoes (they did not have the sichuan beans when we went).

When the food comes out, it’s all in tiny bowls (which I love). It doesn’t seem like much, but the grill and the broth fill up fast with all your items. And while it starts as a slow process, you eventually won’t be able to keep up with how much you need to cook versus how much you’re eating.

But that’s part of the fun: trying all the different options and cooking with friends. We ordered three rounds of food before we were comfortably stuffed.

Mookata Restaurant Rotterdam Nederlands Korean BBQ Chinese Hot Pot asian craving chili noodle pull

Considering we cooked the food ourselves, I was happy with how it was prepared. At first, I wasn’t sure we’d be able to relax and converse during dinner because we had to cook the food.

I realized, however, that I was overthinking it. You just put the “fondue” items in the broth, and then tend to your grilling meats while you talk. Once everything is cooked to your liking, you compose the perfect bowl of bites.

We cooked and ate and talked and ate and cooked and ate and talked some more, and before we realized it, nearly 2 1/2 hours had passed.

Mookata is a great spot for people who want Asian food, but aren’t sure everyone in the group will want Asian food. Plus, for those who aren’t good at splitting bills, the math here is simple: the per person cost (26,50-28,50€ depending on the day) plus your beverages. And keep in mind: this is an all-you-can-eat price for 2 1/2 hours.


Mookata Asian Fondue BBQ and Grill, Pompenburg 652, 3011 AX Rotterdam, Nederlands, +31 (0)10 210 80 26

BAB (Grafenwoehr, Germany): Korean Food in a Small Town

Did you just PCS to USAG Bavaria? Looking for Korean food in Grafenwoehr, Germany? Craving something other than schnitzel? I recommend BAB Korean Restaurant, just a short walk outside Gate 1.

Kimchi Princess (Berlin, Germany)

THE STORY

After living in Germany for nearly a year, we finally made it to Berlin. Brooklyn Deferred wrote to us to say he would be there for the weekend, which was all the motivation we needed!

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He was coming into the city late, so the Ramen Marauder and I decided to go on an Asian food adventure (like we do). I had done a bit of research before arriving (like. I. DO.), and we were set on going to a Korean BBQ restaurant called Kimchi Princess. When we got off the train, it seemed that this neighborhood was a happening spot for food. We walked past all kinds of tempting restaurants, including a Vietnamese place that looked promising, but we were on a mission.

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We were grateful to be seated outside on such a beautiful summer evening. The sun had barely started to set at 8 p.m. and it felt like the city was just waking up. While we love our Bavarian town, it doesn't have the energy that Berlin has. I hate to exhaust words like electric and vibrant, but if I were able to see energy as colors, I swear that the whole neighborhood would have glowed neon.

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Throughout our (first) time in Berlin, we found numerous Asian restaurants, which hopefully we'll review more of down the line. There are just so many reasons to go back...

THE REVIEW

We ordered kimchi tofu and dumplings to start, and had bulgogi as our main course. As you can see, we were pretty thrilled about the food. It may have been too much, but we deliciously powered through it all. We highly recommend going to Kimchi Princess for your Korean food fix, and when you go, let us know. We'd like to meet you there.


Kimchi Princess, Skalitzer Str. 36, 10999 Berlin, Deutschland, +49 163 4580203 (They also have a Korean fast food joint called Angry Chicken)