METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES. To celebrate my birthday, we took advantage of the Aug 28 holiday and scoured down the metro to find a restaurant where we could dine. Though I love Japanese food (anyone who is close to me knows how much I adore anything raw!), I decided to change it up a little bit and go for Korean instead. Why Korean? I always had this notion that Korean food is super expensive but I was blown away when I tried eating in A-Won Charcoal Barbecue Restaurant in Hobbies of Asia and there is no turning back for me from then on. Not only are their dishes and servings good for large groups but they are also yummy and affordable; a super perfect mix for me! And I think this runs true across all Korean restaurants out there.
I have always known about Korea Garden located in Jupiter Street because we always pass by it every Sunday when we go to mass and we always see that their garage is packed with vehicles which gives us the impression that the restaurant has a huge and solid following. So I thought, why not? We had the perfect time to try it, we had the perfect large group to enjoy the dishes and the price too is reasonable, so we went in a blink!
Even though it was a holiday when we went there and not to mention raining hard, the parking was still almost full given that it was already 1:30 PM when we arrived in the establishment. Good thing there was still a free parking spot there as if it was meant to be occupied by us and I'd like to think that it was really meant for me as I have always believed and felt that everyone gets extra lucky near/during their birthdays.
The menu was extensive; some of the dishes came with a translation while some needed to be translated. Good thing that the waiter assigned to us was very accommodating as he answered our endless questions. After scanning through the menu and going back and forth with the waiter, we finally settled in our orders. While we waited, the banchans came flocking in. As usual, they came in bulk and they proved to be perfect for nibbling on while we wait for our orders. After a while, the Kimbop (Php 300) finally came in. It was perfect timing as I rarely eat Kimchi alone. During our college days, there was an episode then when my roommate, Eunice, bought Kimbops almost every day and she had always put Kimchi on top of them. When she taught me how to do it and tried it for myself, it was magic. Sparks came flying from all directions! The bland Kimbop mixed with the spicy Kimchi was just perfect!
The Pajon is a highly recommended dish. Yes, it may just be a combination of egg and flour but the spring onion in there gave the dish an extra kick and made it more exciting!
BARBECUE AND GALBIS
The barbecue and galbis are amazing! What I like about them is that each has a distinct taste from the rest. If there is one that you should order, I would definitely ask you to go for the So Kalbi Kalbi or Grilled Beef Ribs (Php 450). The meat was tender, smokey and has this sweet taste that even the kids would love!
If you want to get a little bit adventurous and want to indulge yourself with some animal organs, you may opt to get the Cow's intestine or tripe instead! Both have that addicting taste and texture that you will dig into until the last bite!
THE WINNER DISH
You may drop all your other orders but never, ever, go out of Korea Garden without having a taste of this dish. The Kalbi Jjim or Beef Ribs Stew (Php 380) is a must-order when you chance upon this restaurant. Order a bowl of this and a cup of rice or two and you are already good to go! The sauce is simply irresistible, the carrots perfectly complements also the meat and the meat literally melts in the mouth. This dish will definitely make the other dishes irrelevant. And you will be haunted by it until you find another dish again that could defeat it.
Korea Garden has been here for a long time now and it has managed to stick around despite the emergence of new restaurants. The problem with us, people, is that we continuously chase new restaurants we see all over our ad-heavy surrounding that we oftentimes forget those that remained silent on the background and managed to gain the trust of the crowd and increased its followings overtime. So if you are craving for some Korean cuisine around the metro and is not yet sure where to go to, look no more as Korea Garden can definitely give you an authentic experience of the cuisine. Further, the Korean fares are affordable and are enough for a celebrating group or a simple get-together with family and friends.
- Address: 128 Jupiter Street, Makati City
- Phone: +632 895 5443
- Facebook: /KoreaGardenRestaurant