Bites & Bytes: Linus BBQ in HBC (Seoul Food)


Linus BBQ Linus' Bama Style Barbecue 라이너스 바베큐 Pulled Pork c/o Linus BBQ Facebook HBC Itaewon Seoul Korea Southern BBQ Food

Linus BBQ Arrives in HBC

When I worked in hospitality back in Canada, I would always scoff at food bloggers who would visit a restaurant once, then review.  They’d try one entree and maybe a bite of a second, then make a decision which could make or break the opening of a business based on their “honesty” and clout within a community or popular social circle.  I visited Linus BBQ (Linus’ Bama Style Barbecue 라이너스 바베큐) having heard a lot of buzz, but not a lot actual talk.  Bites & Bytes is an introduction to new restaurants in Seoul so you can see the menu and get the location.  Bites & Bytes are not full-blown reviews.  I had a lovely experience at Linus BBQ, but will have to visit more than once to get you even more meat and potatoes of the menu!

Linus' Bama Style Barbecue 라이너스 바베큐 Pulled Pork c/o Linus BBQ Facebook HBC Itaewon Seoul Korea Southern BBQ Food

Hangeul Day in HBC

Throughout the lengthy Chuseok break, I ventured outside of my recent comfort zone throughout Mangwon and back to Cheongdam-dong.  Just a hop, skip, and a jump from my old Jamsil stomping grounds, it felt really good to get out of Itaewon.  I also moved from Kyungnidan to Haebangchon (HBC).  It doesn’t seem like a big leap, but from one hill across to the top of the other, it’s a world of difference.  On the last day of a massively lost travel opportunity, a friend and I trudged through my new neighbourhood.  Hangeul Day landed on Canadian Thanksgiving, and with rehearsals and moving I had totally missed out.

Linus' Bama Style Barbecue 라이너스 바베큐 Pulled Pork Smoked Chicken Linus BBQ Facebook HBC Itaewon Seoul Korea Southern BBQ Food Drinks Menu

Linus BBQ – Gravy and Giving Thanks

It wasn’t turkey, stuffing, and Mom’s scalloped potatoes, but our Thanksgiving dinner at Linus BBQ felt like a family affair.  I’m not drinking these days, but when I get back to cocktail tasting that Maple Boulevardier will be first on my list.  I love the re-emergence of the Moscow Mule, and if they make it right then Linus BBQ might just become my new neighbourhood social!  We got the Smoked Chicken and Pulled Pork for Two, which could have easily fed three hungry foodies.  I was with a self-proclaimed eater, and we all know I can put it away, but we had a tough time finishing everything on the platter!  The vibe was awesome (picnic table style, elevated design), the staff were friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive, and the grub was good.

Bacon Jalapeno Mac n' Cheese Balls Linus' Bama Style Barbecue 라이너스 바베큐 Pulled Pork Smoked Chicken Linus BBQ Facebook HBC Itaewon Seoul Korea Southern BBQ Food


The Bacon Jalapeno Mac N’ Cheese balls at Linus BBQ were what got me in the door.  At KRW 5,000 for 4, how could they not?  The mac n’ cheese balls at Linus BBQ were absolutely massive.  I’m on a bit of a deep-fried mac n’ cheese kick these days, do I was happy to see a variation on pasta + sauce + deep-fryer.  I would love to have had more smoky bacon and hot jalapeno adding to the cracking outer core/ super-melty cheese taste, but for 5 bucks I’d grab these as comfort food take-out any day of the week!

Linus' Bama Style Barbecue 라이너스 바베큐 Pulled Pork Smoked Chicken Linus BBQ Facebook HBC Itaewon Seoul Korea Southern BBQ Food

Smoked Chicken and Pulled Pork for Two @ Linus BBQ in HBC

We shared 1 appetizer and 1 platter, making me exactly the type of food blogger in Seoul I kind of loathe.  I promise I’ll be back for a proper review of Linus BBQ in HBC soon.  That said, I’d highly recommend finding your own favourite combinations for your platter at Linus BBQ.  Our Smoked Chicken and Pulled Pork Platter for Two (KRW 25, 000) was great value.

The platter came with half a smoked chicken, a generous portion (heaping pile) of pulled pork, white sauce, 6 sliders buns, and 3 sides of our choosing.  The pulled pork was dry rubbed.  I love adding sauce but hate when pulled pork comes slathered in bbq sauce.  The tender meat has plenty of seasoning, but not so much that the 3 sauces on the side couldn’t be enjoyed.  The slider buns were pillowy and Korean-style sweet with a garlic and herb butter slathered on the toasty side.  The smoked chicken was a massive portion cooked low n’ slow.  We were slightly concerned about the pink colour of the chicken.  Linus BBQ has the answer with a laminated printout:

“The USDA says that as long as all parts of the chicken have reached a minimum internal temperature of 165°, it is safe to eat. Color does not indicate doneness. The USDA further explains that even fully cooked poultry can sometimes show a pinkish tinge in the meat and juices.” – The Kitchn

Linus' Bama Style Barbecue 라이너스 바베큐 MENU Pulled Pork Smoked Chicken Linus BBQ Facebook HBC Itaewon Seoul Korea Southern BBQ FoodLinus BBQ Sides

6 sides (3 potato-based and 2 coleslaw) are offered up for your choosing.  We decided to go for a slaw, a tater, and the other guy:

  • Mashed Taters n’ Gravy – These mashed potatoes were just kinda there.  While the BBQ sauces and White sauce packed a punch, the mashed potatoes and gravy did not.  Next time I’ll give the potato salad a shot.
  • Pork n’ Beans – The pork n’ beans were nothing particularly special to write home about.  We finished the serving last as we were more focused on the meat and bread.  The beans added Western flare to the meal and a texture I enjoyed.  I’d probably order this again unless they add some proper veggies as a side option for the platter.  Let’s be real, the platter was bare by the end of the meal.
  • Slaw in the Raw Green means go!  We opted for the vinegar-based coleslaw.  I’m glad we did!  With the buttery bun and the addition of the garlic mayo “white sauce”, our little chicken or pork sandwiches needed something to cut the fat.  Slaw in the Raw was just the ticket!

Getting to Linus BBQ

Linus BBQ (per their Facebook page) is open daily from 11 AM – 10:30 PM.

Call: 02-790-2920 (the HBC location takes reservations)

HBC Neighbourhood Location (within S’take)

“We are located in HBC (Haebangchon) on the main road further up the hill before you reach Olde Knives, We have no sign outside but the building is also occupied by S’take.
Address: 37-5 Yongsandong 2(i)-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul”

Go to Noksapyeong Station and take Exit 1.  Walk straight out for approximately 3 blocks.  Veer left past the kimchi pots and follow the street all the way up.  You’ll hit Linus BBQ HBC on your left-hand side before the big fork in the road!

Itaewon Location

“We are located near the Noksapyeong and Itaewon subway stations on Line 6. Heading towards the McDonald’s on Itaewon-ro, descend the stairway to the left side and walk straight back through the glass entrance door. You will pop up into our patio dining area.”

  • Itaewon Station: If you’re coming from Itaewon Station, take exit 4 and walk straight.  If you hit the McDonald’s, you’ve gone too far.
  • Noksapyeong Station: From Noksapyeong Station, walk away from Yongsan base and into the Itaewon bubble.  Pass McDonald’s and look to your right.  You’ll see the Linus BBQ sign.  Walk downstairs.

Have you checked out the new Linus BBQ + S’take collaboration in HBC?  How do you think it stacks up to the original?  What’s your favourite menu item?  Let us know in the comments below!

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