Guam Diner Bytes: Korean fusion style restaurant

by Ken Stewart
The Guam Food Guy

Although I’d seen Dabin Restaurant’s sign hundreds of times, I never managed to stop by and check it out – until recently! I’d heard some things from other people who’d eaten here. Some said the food was good but a little on the pricey side. One of the things you should be aware of is that Dabin is a yakiniku restaurant, where you self-grill your meat and vegetables. Based on my visit, I can attest to the fact that Dabin Korean Fusion Style Restaurant has both a caliber and a pedigree that places it above most other Korean restaurants.

Dabin is different in that it wants to make an impression on you. Like an art gallery, there are amazing poster size black and white graphics of young people, as well as a wall that boasts a collection of antique and rare cameras that have famous people’s caricatures behind them (Jimmy Hendrix, Catherine Deneuve, Orlando Bloom and others).

A modern/futuristic bar is in one of the back corners. The decor is compelling as it almost seems like a high-end night club and art gallery, but there are the tables with individual vent tubes hanging from the ceiling. I learned that the camera collection belonged to the owner and that the graphic images were created by him.

We met his wife June who seated us. We had a special beef combination for 2 persons ($45). This included the “banchan” (side dishes and condiments). However, I did find out that the King Oyster Mushrooms are priced at $18. When you taste them grilled, you know why. Dabin uses the special hard wood charcoal to grill the meats. This imparts a special taste and flavor you can’t get with gas flames. I like to grill meat at Korean barbecue restaurants so this was a treat for me (if you don’t like to cook, go with someone who does).

June explained that her meat is fresh and does not get marinated with pear apples or other tenderizers used in marinades. Along with the meat and mushrooms, I grilled garlic and green chilies. Everything was really delicious! We wrapped the meat in lettuce and added kimchi and other vegetables. Then June brought out a bowl of sliced onions to which she added her special sauce! This you must have! The onions were already sweet and this sauce made them a gourmet treat!
They’re open 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. June explained that Dabin was open late night because the night club workers needed beef after having lots to drink. Beef was better than noodles she said. Dabin has private rooms for small parties. The menu is large with a variety of beef, pork and seafood dishes, along with Korean soups. I was very impressed by my visit to Dabin and will certainly make it a point to return with friends. It may be a little more expensive, but you get what you pay for!

Bon appetit!

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