Zheng Yi Pin’s two branches are located in the heart of Gubei's ‘Korea town’ – with one outlet directly across the road from our favourite bathhouse, the Korean managed New Star – and this relaxed barbecue joint doesn’t want for authenticity. The wooden decor, with large areas where diners sit on cushions on the floor, is charmingly done, but it’s the enormity of the barbecue plates that really grabs your attention: the size of a large car tyre, the huge black domes dominate the dining set up. Ordering items to fill the pans can feel a little daunting, but you needn’t worry – a steady flow of free dishes, means that the table is soon crowded with food.
Tasty deep fried pork and potato balls, kimchi (nicely spicy and not watered down for local tastes) and a light, soufflé-like egg dish are among the highlights, but the sheer quantity is such that you needn’t order much from the menu to have a hearty feast. The menu is a pretty standard range of meats (beef dominates) and vegetables for barbecuing, together with soups, cold noodles and bibimbaps, but the quality is high throughout. The only dish to disappoint is the slightly sweet and stodgy potato cake (60RMB).
Otherwise order your choice of meat (the beef plate, 50RMB is enough for one-two people, though more expensive cuts are available), vegetables (a mixed plate with mushrooms and potato is 30RMB) and the vegetable-packed soybean paste stew (35RMB) and then sit back as the waitress rubs a lump of fat across the huge dome and cooks your feast.