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[Photographs by David Straight]

There’s something quite appealing about cooking your own dinner, particularly when you get to do it while sitting on a red throne. Faro is a traditional Korean BBQ restaurant, huge and mostly empty. It shouldn’t be. There’s a small barbecue in the middle of the table, and an extractor tube that whisks away smoke.

The menu riffs on meat, for the most part. Pork, beef, chicken in various guises, delivered raw for you to cook at your leisure. The table set ($22 for the table) is a constantly replenished array of pickled turnip slices, spicy kim chi, salads, chestnut jelly, lettuce leaves, potato salad and various other things.

We cooked a plate of slices of pork belly ($15) and one of beef fillet ($16). You can have your meat plain or marinaded in sesame oil, garlic and pear juice. Both are good. Sauces  are provided for dipping, lettuce for wrapping. It’s tasty, moreish and filling. There is a more traditional menu too – dumplings, stews, the Bibimbap ($14) is a huge bowl of rice, vegetables and chili paste, topped with a fried egg. We drank cloudy rice wine that came in a soft drink bottle, spent $86 between three of us and left full and just the right amount of tipsy. Faro is BYO too, ideal for those ‘annoying large groups’ and dirt cheap. You really can’t go wrong. NS

HOURS 11.30am-3pm and 5.30-10.30pm, Monday to Sunday.

ADDRESS 5 Lorne St, City, ph 379-4040.

IMPORTANT DETAILS Trust the staff – they know their stuff. Faro also has outposts in Takapuna and Newmarket – we haven’t tried them, but we’d like to.


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