Madang621 initially looked like style over substance from the outside. Even though it operates as Madang621, it doesn't have a new website or yelp page (I don't get why so few Korean restaurants have websites -- but let me save that for a rant or future business idea). Different priorities...
I can't recall the last time I had yookhoe, super quality raw meat cut in strips and seasoned with soy sauce, garlic and some sweetness, topped with a raw yolk (yes, just like steak tartare!) and garnished with crunchy slivers of Asian pear. The meat was good, if not hard from being frozen (it should be room temperature and soft), and tasted fresh enough. The marinade was just right and combination with the pears was divine. This place drizzled some spicy sauce around the plate but I'm not sure it needed it. Ditto for the greens on top. More for looks.
The offerings were unusual for a barbecue place, including my personal favorites: duduk, an earthy root that's been pounded to soften it and smothered with spicy pepper paste, garlic and sesame oil; kkennip jjangajji, perilla leaves steamed with a spicy sauce; and chuinamul, an aromatic green that's often consumed with ogokbap (rice with five grains) during the full moon holiday after the Lunar New Year.
The banchan were all solid, just spicy and salty enough to complement the healthy white and black rice with beans.
The duenjang jjigae, or fermented soybean stew, was unremarkable. It tasted diluted -- not salty and hearty enough -- like it had no soul. Go here instead for that.
It was grandiose in its presentation but besides coming in a bowl made out of slush, we found all of nine little pebbles of red beans. The vanilla ice cream tasted cheap. The red syrup looked and tasted ghastly. The canned fruits were sad-looking. For a place that spends so much dough on decoration, I think it can afford to do better. This didn't even do the namesake justice.
We also had Korean peppers (pootkochu) stuffed with white fish and deep fried but they were kind of bland and dry. The chicken legs that were presented as potstickers and seasoned like buffalo wings were hardly worth mentioning -- dry and too sweet.
If this place is serious about delivering good Korean food, it needs to 1) make up its mind about its identity -- is it a traditional BBQ place or fusion? 2) improve service (place more heat lamps in the patio) and most importantly, 3) improve the quality of the meat (the cooked meat was a bit tough) and the litmus test for many a Korean restaurant -- the soybean stew.