Guangzhou Restaurant Review: Jiangnan Benjia

By Matthew Bossons, January 28, 2019

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The Place

There’s no shortage of Korean restaurants in Guangzhou and, in recent months, we’ve made a point of profiling quite a few of them. This month, though, we’re excited to introduce you to Jiangnan Benjia, roughly translated as ‘Gangnam Own Home,’ a new haunt in Haizhu District specializing in an array of dishes from the Korean peninsula and Japan. 

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Image by Matthew Bossons/That’s 

Aside from food quality, which we’ll get to below, two things really impressed us about Jiangnan Benjia: 1) the place is regularly packed and it’s not unusual to see folks sitting around outside waiting for a table, and 2) the interior design is visually striking with ample use of wood and brass to create a warm space. 

The Food 

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Image by Matthew Bossons/That’s 

While Korean foodies and folks hailing from the southern half of the peninsula may disagree with us, we found Jiangnan Benjia’s range of edibles impressive, particularly for Guangzhou. There’s kimchi, tuna and beef kimbap, a wide range of bibimbap dishes, and the legendary Korean-style barbecue. Japanese cuisine also makes an appearance on the menu in the form of California rolls and sashimi. 

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Image by Matthew Bossons/That’s 

Shortly after sitting down, staff delivered banchan to our table. Banchan, for the uninitiated, is a selection of small pre-meal dishes to help kickstart your appetite. At Jiangnan Benjia, you can expect shellfish, kimchi, taro and salad, among other tasty snacks. 

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Image by Matthew Bossons/That’s 

We recommend ordering a pile of meat to barbecue at your table, while also ordering some side dishes to snack on while you cook. Our choice dishes include the beef bibimbap (RMB40), the kimchi kimbap (RMB25) and the salmon sashimi platter (RMB118). The beef bibimbap is particularly praiseworthy, with expertly cooked meat, an egg, veggies and dried seaweed all soaked in a zesty sauce and set on a bed of fluffy rice. It’s delicious, and we’re confident this dish alone will keep you coming back for more. 

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Image by Matthew Bossons/That’s 

Upon ordering meat to cook on your table’s built-in grill, staff at the restaurant will set you up with some glowing, super-hot coals and a pair of tongs. Of the protein-filled dishes on offer, we sampled the marbled chuck (RMB88), seasoned beef belly (RMB60), spicy pork belly (RMB50) and the seasoned pork neck (RMB60), all of which were high-quality and tasty. 

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Image by Matthew Bossons/That’s 

Wash your feast down with a cold bottle of Cass beer (RMB15) and you’re living the good life – Korean style.

The Vibe 

Staff here are extremely friendly, and the dining environment is both lively and fun, with chatter filling the air and warm greetings regularly offered by restaurant staff. While this spot is great for dinner with friends or a romantic rendezvous, we also considered it family friendly, with child seats and plastic cutlery available for your little ones. 

Price: RMB300 
Who’s going: people of the peninsula, carnivorous folks 
Good for: cooking your own meal, big bowls of bibimbap 
Nearest metro: Shayuan (Exit B), 10 minutes’ walk 

Open daily, 11-2.30am; see listing for Jiangnan Benjia

[Cover image by Matthew Bossons/That’s]

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