by Ashley Heil
It's a long way from Seoul to Wonju, but worth the journey. We had heard in previous reviews how good the chicken and the ribs are at Sweet Oak, so we knew we had to order both. The ribs at Sweet Oak (49,000 won, make sure to pre-order!) surpassed all expectations. The ribs had a delectable charred outer layer and the slow-cooked meat was tender enough to pull apart with your fingers. The smoky flavors of the meat, balanced with the fattiness, caused momentary silence during the first bite as me and my friends failed to think of adjectives. All of us thoroughly enjoyed the ribs. The ribs were served with 3 sides, and a mouthwatering batch of dry rub fries. We also ordered a platter (29,000 won) of wood-fired grilled chicken (we got it spicy piri piri style), and smoked pulled pork, which included another 3 sides and fries. It had the perfect amount of spiciness, was juicy, and had great flavor. The chicken definitely did not disappoint. The smoked pulled pork was also tasty, but seemed comparable to the pulled pork we've had at other barbecue restaurants in Itaewon (Manimal and Linus). It was good, but not the star of the show. The sides were good, but also comparable to other BBQ places. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the fries more than expected, and I kept eating the french fries long after I was full. Also available at Sweet Oak to wash everything down is a nice selection of Hand and Malt beers, as well as other alcoholic beverages. Although Sweet Oak is not in Seoul, and takes a bit of planning and sitting on a bus/train to get there, it is for sure worth it. If you're a barbecue or meat lover, make your way out to Sweet Oak as soon as you can!
Take the bus (1.5 hours) from express bus terminal (tickets 7,000 each way for general or 10,000 for excellent) to Wonju.
OR take a train (about 1 hour) from Cheongnyangni Station.
Take a taxi to Sweet Oak (원주시 봉바위길 76-2 )
It's near 솔샘초등학교.
We're just a couple addicted to great food. We love Anthony Bourdain!