WHEN the Adver spoke to Sat Nijjar – one of the three people behind the new Funky Grilla Korean barbecue restaurant at Regent Circus – he said he wanted it to be "something totally different to what’s known in Swindon" and "upbeat and fun".

It delivers on both fronts. 

The restaurant combines sleek, Instagram-friendly aesthetics with a fantastic menu centred around guests cooking their own meal at their table. 

Golden mischievous monkey ornaments are dotted around, there are vibrant and colourful art displays and shining neon signs. 

It is designed to cater to all experiences. One half is a seated bar area where people can enjoy items from a tapas-style menu as well as a long list of well thought-out and entertaining cocktails.

The other half is for people to sit down under art-deco red extractor fans to take part in the ‘cook your own food’ experience. 

Kenzo72’s David Lai, one of the other masterminds behind the new Swindon concept, created the eclectic menu choices and was the perfect host with his recommendations. 
This was great as my wife and I were strangers to Korean BBQ and found the amount of choice a bit daunting. 

We settled for two of the tapas-style dishes for our starter, the restaurant’s popular Yangyum Chicken which is parts of either half or whole of a chicken breadcrumbed and fried in sticky sweet sauce and the Korean Red Sea Delight, scallops, prawns and squid in a sweet chilli stir fry. 

When these arrived and we had a towering stack of Yangyum Chicken pieces and a decently-sized brothy bowl of seafood so we were immediately struck by the portion sizes. 

But what really won us over were the flavours and more importantly the evident high-quality of the meat and seafood that had been used. 

The Red Sea Delight lived up to its name, especially as the prawns, scallops and squid were all fantastic. 

I’d thoroughly recommend Funky Grilla for these two dishes alone, but the real attraction of the venue is the cook-your-own element which is designed to make your dining experience a fun and interactive one. 

We chose four different types of meat – lamb kebab, pork belly, beef sirloin, and chicken Teriyaki and the vegetable platter. With the meat you get a pot of Korean barbecue sauce and some lettuce leaves to wrap everything up in once cooked.

A grill is plugged in and you can control the temperature. Diners are also provided with coloured tongs for use on raw meat, during cooking and then afterwards. The staff are very attentive and help is at hand at all times.

We both enjoyed it and it’s definitely the sort of thing that groups will love doing together if they’re looking for something different on a night out in Swindon.