ON THE MENU — Reel Cajun owners planning to open Korean BBQ restaurant in November

Published 12:13 am Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Tony Nguyen and his wife Stephanie own Reel Cajun, a seafood restaurant and bar off of Twin City Highway in Port Arthur. The menu features Cajun-style crawfish, fried fish, shrimp and more.

Now, the duo is adding focus from the traditional seafood restaurant to open a new Korean BBQ restaurant.

Nguyen said Seoul Food Korean BBQ and Restaurant is roughly set for a November opening.

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“It’s going to be a cultural shock for at least 94 percent of this area who have never had Korean BBQ,” Nguyen said. “We want people to experience what we have experienced in the last decade and we need more changes in the availability of the types of food we have down here.”

Korean barbecue refers to the popular method of grilling meat, usually beef, pork or chicken, on a personal gas or charcoal grill built into the dining table. Most restaurants allow customers to cook the meat themselves with help from servers.

The 43-year-old said he plans on having that option as well as an all-you-can-eat concept.

“A large portion of restaurants down here are Mexican or seafood, so this is something new,” he said. “It may be a culture shock but we will be able to show people this new technique and give a great experience.”

Nguyen said he is hoping the inside will provide an energetic, fun place for people to hang out, eat and have a good time.

“It’s going to be a lively place,” he said. “It’s not going to be boring. It’s going to have music. We want it to feel hip and low key.”

The restaurant has undergone planning and zoning, architectural requirements, engineering and finances in the last two years to finally bring plans to fruition.

The restaurant will be located next to Saltgrass Steakhouse off of US-69 in Port Arthur.

The nearest Korean BBQ joint to the Jefferson County region is located in Houston, Nguyen said, adding Seoul Korean BBQ and Restaurant will be one of a kind.

“I don’t think the people will like it at all, I think they will love it,” he said. “Like it and love it is two very different things. That’s the difference between us and everyone around us. People can like to eat Mexican food. They can like to eat seafood, but they will love eating Korean BBQ.”