무한리필 = Free Refill, but what does that really mean?

Welcome to a New Type of All-You-Can-Eat (AYCE)

This is one of the blogs where we change your life. We are going to tell you something everyone here knows, but they never tell the new guy. Keep your eyes out for the magic words “무한리필”. Memorize what this looks like. Directly translated, this means Free Refill. Of course, by now you know that, in Korea, you already get free refills on sides. You might be questioning what this really means. Put that worry away, these places and specials are pure magic.

When a Korean restaurant says 무한리필 it means something special in great quantity. We have tried unlimited crab, lamb, beef, pork, chicken, pasta, sashimi, cocktails, beer, and sushi. Each place has its own unique rules and setup. There is no standard. You can’t expect one restaurant or bar to be just like the next. Usually, the first time we try a place we are also skeptical, but we haven’t been let down yet.

If you are from the United States and have eaten at Olive Garden, then you have experienced endless breadsticks or pasta, “MuHanRePil” (무한리필) can often be similar to this.

What are the Rules for Muhan Refill (AYCE)?

Here is a list of different rules or experiences we have discovered while enjoying the majesty that is “MuHanRePil” (무한리필):

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  • It could be a special they are running for a short time, or it could be the theme of their restaurant. (These days there are more places doing specials.) You can’t expect it to be exactly the same every time you show up.
  • 무한리필 doesn’t usually mean a buffet, but it could mean that there are self-service elements. You should be prepared to serve yourself some parts of the meal.
  • There might be a “meat bar” where your refill your plate, or it could mean that you request a refill each time.
  • If you don’t finish all the meat or food you order, there could be an additional “penalty” fee.
  • There might be a time limit. Maybe it’s all you can eat for 2 hours. (This is quite common.)
  • Usually, it is all you can eat, but sometimes it could mean you get one or two rounds. (95% of the time it has been unlimited refills in our experience, but we haven’t eaten everywhere.)
  • It is possible that it is only during a certain time or on certain days. (This isn’t common, but it is possible.)
  • At one restaurant we go to, only the salmon and tuna are unlimited and the sides actually cost 1,000 won each to refill. We have only seen this once.
  • Some restaurants have both 무한리필 (MuHanRePil) options and regular menu items. Other places have only 무한리필. Point to the 무한리필 listing and price to clarify what you want.

There are so many 무한리필 specials and restaurants across Pyeongtaek it is actually impossible to keep track. We have used the word as many times as possible in this blog to burn the image into your mind. We want you to be able to spot it through the window of any bus as you fly down the street. It is a word that will fill your tummy and protect your pocketbook.

Let Us Know of Things We Forgot About Muhan Refill!

If you have experienced any other types of rules for 무한리필, please let us know in the comments.

One more time for the road, “무한리필!” Also, you’re welcome. Life changed in one word.