My visit to Seoul took my heart by a mouthful of Bibimbap. The Philippines is so lucky to have numerous Korean restaurants … and Koreans … to choose from. It was a not a gastronomic trip that I had pre-planned … we judged the restaurant by the number of cars parked. And the name sounded like the famous Sam Wong . And voila! It was a good choice.
Category : Korean Food
Address : Sam Won Garden, 226 Aguirre cor J. Ramirez, BF Homes, Paranaque City, Philippines
Telephone Number: 825-1144
Operationg Hours : Mon-Sun 10am-10pm
Inside the restaurant are 2 sections: 1) typical chairs and table 2) seats on the floor
Trivia: Traditionally when dining, Koreans sit on cushions on the floor and eat from a low table. The floor is generally heated by the ondol under floor heating system, so it is comfortable. This custom is still common at a lot of restaurants in Korea. The dining area in a restaurant is generally on a raised platform, which visitors should remove their shoes before stepping on to. These days most restaurants also have a table-and-chairs option in case visitors feel uncomfortable sitting on the floor. (Korea-Be Inspired)
There are also silver tubings hanging on the ceiling … they are individual exhaust systems for each table.
COLD BARLEY TEA – house tea
USAMGYUP ( Grilled Beef Belly ) – Php 330 is commonly known as a Korean Barbeque. It consists of strips of beef belly (Samgyupsal cut- thinly sliced) and is often served as an evening meal.
GALBI ( Grilled Short Ribs ) – Php 330. Beef meat w/ ribs.
Foodie’s Tip: Beef Belly is better than the beef ribs.
BANCHAN ( KOREAN SIDE DISHES)
Trivia: Banchan (pronounced “bon-chon”) is the term for Korean side dishes. These are at least a half dozen of in small portions, enhancing the meal with different tastes and textures. These are for FREE!
Kimchi – napa cabbage fermented for months in vinegar, red chili peppers and salt. It gives off a spicy and sour flavor. The kick !
Gaeran Mari are rolled omelettes – egg mix of green onions, garlic and peppers are spread thin on a large pan, folded, and cut into half-inch wide pieces
Jeon – pancake-like dishes made of fish with flour batter or coated with egg batter then deep-fried in oil.
Trivia: There is a sweet dessert variety called hwajeon, which means “flower jeon”. Jeon is an important dish during jesasang (ancestor worship) and janchi (festival).
Sigeumchi Namul – blanched spinach mixed with sesame oil and soy sauce. Some are served w/ sesame seeds but not this one.
How to Eat Korean Barbeque:
1. Heat grill plate ( usually the servers do this ). Some restaurants give you the option that they will grill the meat in the kitchen. But I find it grilling in front of me more authentic.
2. Grill until the meat until light brown.
3. On the lettuce leaf or radish , put a piece of grilled pork, garlic, dipping sauce or paste, and other banchan of your choice.
4. Fold the lettuce with fillings and add some dipping sauce. Some would also put in the rice . But I always prefer not doing this.
5. Eat it like a lettuce wrap.
The best part about this is combining different side dishes with each new wrap, creating a different gastronomic experience every time. Banchan is also meant to be shared, enhancing the communal feel of the Korean dinner table.
And because this is spicy … it goes well with …
Trivia: Jinro is a distiller in South Korea founded in 1924. They use temperature sensitive paper on their bottle label. A tab in the shape of a frog (the company’s mascot) is white when the bottle is warm and becomes blue when the bottle is cold, indicating that the soju is ready to drink. ( wiki)
Jinro’s Soju Php 180 . This one will definitely give you a good kick. This tastes like vodka but slightly sweeter so a bottle can be shared. This is consumed neat meaning “straight-up” (if you can) .
Eating Korean food … meant to be shared … good for the heart and Seoul. In fact it is dubbed as one of the most nutritious food in the planet. Enjoy!