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Ben Jia (Tianshan Lu)
    • ADDRESS:
      5/F, 1900 Tianshan Lu,
      near Yan'an Xi Lu,
      entrance towards the back of the driveway
      天山路1900号, 近延安西路
    • PHONE:
      6259 1189
    • WECHAT:
      -
    • AREA:
      Gubei
    • METRO:
      5 mins walk from West Yan'An Rd
    • HOURS:
      Daily, 11am-10:30pm,
      last order: 9.30pm
    • CARDS:
      -
    • PRICE:
      $$$ $$
    • WEB:
      -
    • SmartShanghai.com Editor's Description
      Ben Jia gets the seal of approval from Shanghai's Korean community for its treatment of marinated barbecue meats, abundant platters of raw vegetables, and generally hewing to the authentic Korean dining experience. This is their new location in Changning, which is closer than the original Wuzhong Lu one in Shanghai's boonies out west.
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    • Here’s the low-down on the latest action-

      The Beef: Grilled! Isn’t that why we came? You’ll have to work for your food here though, because unlike some of the other Korean BBQ joints, they don’t grill the meat for you in the kitchen out back. So get ready for some smokiness! Which adds to the fun of the experience. Eating your meat straight off the grill, dipping it in sauce, and wrapping it in fresh lettuce. Speaking of lettuce, it’s one of the best things about this place. LETTUCE?!, you say. Yes. They serve it a basket filled with the freshest and most extensive array of greens and herbs- shiso leaves, thinly sliced radish, and a few I can’t name (pictured).

      Ok, back to the meat. Sorry, didn’t have the time/and hands for a pic. There’s pork and beef in all cuts. I prefer the marinated ones (makes the meat taste sweeter, soy sauce and sesame oil) but for the purists, you can also have your meat unadulterated.

       Besides the grill, you can also get the typical Korean dishes here. Loads of stir-fries slathered in the signature red gochujang sauce, selection of pan-fried pancakes (seafood, kimchi, even a green veggie one which was a favorite), belly-warming soups and stews served up in hot stone bowls, etc. One particular dish I highly recommend is Tteokgalbi – it tastes so much better than it looks (you can’t miss it, it looks like slabs of meatloaf). Basically, that is what it is mixed with rice cake bits. Try it! If anything for novelty’s sake. I haven’t found any other Korean place that has this dish.

      Last, but not least. The banchan. Some of the best things in life (ahem, BenJia) are free! The tiny dishes and plates they bring out vary but the basics include, kimchi, radish, picked something, potato salad. Free refills too!

      The Gang: Mostly Chinese groups with the occasional scattered laowai. For bigger groups, they have private rooms but I prefer to be outside as the service inside is lacking, and we had to keep running outside to call for service. Seriously, no bell?! Gasp.

      The Motive: Meat. “Lettuce” reiterate. Lots of meat. Add a slosh of fun with some beer, soju, sake, and makgeolli (sweet Korean rice wine).

      The Damage: Around 150-200 per person including alcohol.

      The Down n’ Dirty: Easy, breezy, and clean. Thankfully no squatters, as in some more Chinese-catering restaurants.

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