Seoul Barbecue: A Taste of Korea

Thursday, July 7, 2011 § 1

Boyfriend and I were in the Katipunan area the other day when I suddenly had a strong craving for bibimbap. Our favorite Korean restaurant is in Makati Avenue and driving all the way there for dinner wasn't really an option. Then, I remembered this small Korean restaurant that we always see (and ignore) whenever we pass by Libis. Seoul Barbecue surprised us! First thing I noticed when we went inside was that the owners were Korean and there were a lot of Korean customers. That upped my excitement a little because it dawned upon me that we have landed upon an authentic restaurant. And true enough, the food did not disappoint.

We started off with the usual set of banchan or appetizers. Just like most authentic Korean restaurants, each appetizer has its own unique flavors and are equally good. Boyfriend loved the kimchi, I don't like kimchi (at all) so I have no say on this one. My favorite was the Kangnamul, or the bean sprouts, and the anchovies. The sauce of the steamed broccoli was quite spicy but we enjoyed that one as well.

Dolsot bibimbap (300) I was excited for this because this is what I was craving for in the first place. It is a rice dish that has spinach, carrots, bean sprouts, egg and a spoonful of gochujang or red pepper paste. The difference between dolsot bibimbap and the regular bibimbap is the additional ground beef and the hot stone bowl that it is served in. We took our time eating this because I wanted bits of toasted rice, which you can get if it stays in the bowl for a few more minutes.

Beef Kalbi (280) Boyfriend and I had the widest grins when we saw the waitress approaching our table with the kalbi. The serving was big enough for 3-4 people to share! You can ask for the kalbi to be served raw and cook it on the grill in the table, but we opted to have it already cooked as we wanted to focus on eating that night. And also, we were very hungry. The marinated beef short ribs are extremely tender and flavorful. It was so savory that we wanted to eat it with plain rice, but it also went really well with our bibimbap. We tried to ask the waiters for a serving of lettuce and shiso leaves but it would cost us an extra 80php, so we decided to just skip that.

Bungeoppang Ice Cream (50) Korean restaurants usually serve a few slices of fruit after a meal, but since Seoul Barbeque doesn't have that, we opted to raid their freezer for some ice cream instead. It was a choice between Melona (30) or the "fish ice cream", as I like to call it. We ended up choosing this popular fish ice cream with red beans, and it made us very happy.

One of the good things that the Koreans brought to the Philippines is their cuisine, and Seoul Barbecue is one of the restaurants that fully captures the unique and highly addictive taste of Korean food. It's a great place to dine in, and they have a relatively big parking space to boot. It is located at Libis, near Grilla and The Old Spaghetti House. They have a big sign so they're not hard to miss. Go ahead, try a samgyeopsal or two.

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