Tag Archives: korean

Authentic Wonders of the Hidden Resto: Bugkyoung Korean & Chinese Restaurant

(Photo: ph.openrice.com)

Bugkyoung Korean & Chinese Restaurant, located at Unit 107 Dakota Mansion, 555 Gen. Malvar st., cor. Adriatico, Malate, Manila

Date: October 29, 2012

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LEXY SAYS:

This is my second (I think?) food-venture without Meeks. Oh well, c’est la vie.

And you’re right; it’s one heck of a Korean food tripping once again. Well honestly, this wasn’t really planned. My big sister just invited us (my lil sis and me) because her Korean friend is in town and, well, willing to treat us for lots of grub. Can you imagine: free food at a very unexpected time! Awesome!

Okay, enough chitchat about that. As I’ve observed, Adriatico houses many authentic Korean restos in the metro. You can tell that they’re really owned by Koreans just by looking at the store’s exterior (it’s hard to explain, so if you have time, I suggest you visit the area), and when the resto’s somewhat “original,” rest assured that your taste buds will experience a different kind of satisfaction that you don’t get when you eat in “influenced” ones (you know what I mean).

Bugkyoung Restaurant is somehow unnoticed by most people because of its location and uninviting exterior, but give this place a try and you’ll definitely come back for more.

(Look, there’s even a TV that displays Korean shows and really nice tables that will make you feel like you’re in Korea!)

Before I share my stories, funny thing: I made my sister’s Korean friend jot down the names of the dishes so I can put them here. Good thing I can understand Korean writings, because he wrote them using Korean characters. (O_O) Fortunately, I was able to translate them well, thanks to my self-teaching practice many years ago. 😉

(Clockwise from left: Tangsuyuk, Bibimbap, Galbitang, Mul Mandu, and Japchae Bap)

Now for my palate experience!

Of course, we started with the appetizers. There’s kimchi again, the “sweet little fish” (hahaha), and that yellow one that surprisingly tastes good. I forgot what it’s called, but they’re really delicious. Kinda reminded me of our very own atsara the first time I took a bite, sour with a little kick.

Tangsuyuk (탕수육) – I think this was my favorite dish that night. Tangsuyuk is a sweet and sour pork with vegetables like bell pepper, cucumber, etc. It was a hefty serving, and boy was it really delicious! The tangy taste mixed well with the sweetness of the sauce and tenderness of the pork, and as you go on with every bite, you won’t be able to put down your chopsticks anymore. This dish was just so sinful, I swear I could’ve finished the whole thing!

(Bibimbap once again!)

Bibimbap (비빔밥) – Interesting fact: bibimbap actually means “mix mix rice” (that explains the procedure before eating this stuff). Last time, I also ordered bibimbap during Meeks and I’s visit in Kogi Bulgogi, and that dish was terrific. This one, however, is beyond terrific. Aside from the fact that it’s got seaweeds, this one’s definitely much more authentic. Still served in a ceramic stone pot that kept my dish hot and smoking for the next 30 minutes, this complete meal got me smiling and sighing in every bite. The meat, rice, veggies and other ingredients were mixed very well, giving me that “so much satisfaction” look on my face with every lift of my chopsticks. If not for my hurrying companions, I would’ve finished it.

It’s official: my new favorite Korean dish is bibimbap. 🙂

Galbitang (갈비탕) – this was actually my lil sister’s dish, but I got the chance to taste it. In fairness, this beef bone soup is perfect for those who don’t want to part ways with their Filipino taste buds, for this dish is very much like nilagang baka. Very healthy and apt for rainy days.

Japchae Bap (잡채밥) – Japchae is some sort of a stir fried noodles made from sweet potato noodles (dangmyeon). Honestly, I wasn’t able to savor this dish because it was so spicy (I don’t really eat spicy foods), but I can say that it’s not that bad. I think I recall eating this dish before in Yakimix (not sure), so I believe that if I order Japchae sans the zesty taste next time, I’d surely enjoy it.

Mul Mandu (물만두) – Lastly, we had this dish. Also known as boiled dumplings, mul mandu is usually stuffed with pork and green onions, and–basing on the food’s presentation– topped with black sesame seeds. Each bite of these cute little dumplings is surely a treat to every palate, for they’re really chewy and soft. Dip them in soy sauce and you’re good to go (and when I say go, I mean eat them all)!

After trying all these awesome Korean dishes, my long-due desire to go to Adriatico and eat in another Korean resto just got intense. I wonder why these restos don’t get so much publicity and fame like the others. If we have the luxury of time, I will drag (yes, drag) Meeka in one of the many oriental restaurants in Malate and have that different grub experience once again. 🙂

And oh, prices range from P100-P500!

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SPOON RATING:

FOUR SPOONS! YAY!

“I really enjoyed eating here, and I hope many people will feel the same.” – Lexy

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Simply Mas-issneun: Kogi Bulgogi

Kogi Bulgogi, located at 3-12 3rd Floor, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Reina Regente, Binondo, Manila (Contact #: +632 547-7164); with main branch at 2nd Level, New Eastwood Mall, E. Rodriguez Ave. (C-5), Bagumbayan Quezon City (Contact #: +632 470-6884 to 85)

Date: August 24, 2012

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LEXY SAYS:

Well, I’m not really fond of Asian cuisine (I only like selected dishes such as Yang Chow rice, noodles, pork tonkatsu, shark’s fin siomai, etc.), but when Meeka introduced me to this newly-opened Korean resto in the depths of Binondo (hahaha), I didn’t think twice.

Okay, maybe I did (hahaha!), because my actual plan that time was to eat authentic Chinese food at a not-so-mainstream Chinese resto in Chinatown. After reading some food blogs, I got so curious at how REAL Chinese food tastes (and not some localized versions of oriental dishes). But then again, Meeks right here dragged me to a whole different resto. 🙂  But I don’t regret the fact that I didn’t pursue my plan. In fact, I’m grateful. THANK YOU BIG TIME, MEEKS! :*

Okay, for starters: Kogi Bulgogi is the first and only Korean resto in Eastwood City, and they use only Premium US and New Zealand beef in all their beef dishes. Kogi” means “meat” in Korean, but in their resto, it actually means “someone who specializes in bulgogi dishes.” (Source: http://www.kogibulgogi.com)

What’s a Bulgogi, anyway?

Seriously, we weren’t able to order any Bulgogi dish (next time, promise!), so we can’t describe it based on what we experienced. But according to our research (nyahaha), a Bulgogi is a dish that usually consists of marinated beef, pork, or chicken. We’ll surely go back there, and we’ll definitely order a Bulgogi! 🙂

Since I can’t say anything about Bulgogi anymore, I’ll just share my firsthand experience with the dishes I’ve tasted here. (Yeah, right.)

 The appetizers were served first. Seriously, I’m impressed. Six yummy appetizers, and they’re all for free! Ahh, awesome. 🙂

 I actually don’t eat kimchi (top, second from left), so I just snacked on the sweetened fish, bananas and mini corn instead. Boy, I was so engrossed in munching these babies, I barely noticed that we’re just warming up for the main event (dish)! Hahaha!

Next: California Roll. We know that this is a very mainstream type of roll, but we’re a lil’ bit short of funds (hahaha), so we had no choice. We’re planning to have KB’s bestseller rolls soon 🙂

Anyway, as always, I’m very pleased with this roll which is, by the way, filled with fresh crabsticks, mango and cucumber strips. I’m not a big fan of Asian dishes, but this surely hits the spot.

(Too bad I didn’t get a bird’s eye shot of this food. Just look at that presentation! Ugh!)

(Jeyuk Bibimbap)

Now, we get to the main point. :9  For lunch, I tried Jeyuk Bibimbap, which is composed of steamed rice, seasoned vegetables, raw egg, and pork. What’s nice is that it’s presented in a “heated stone pot” inside a wooden tray. Very, very cool! 😀

I felt super stuffed with this meal. After some mixing (just like in Pepper Lunch, you have to mix them all before eating, or it’d be just weird to consume it one by one, hahaha), I gladly devoured the bibimbap and all its glory. Trust me, you won’t wish to have a next meal after eating that. 😉  The flavors are just right, the feel in your stomach is heavy enough for a long day, and it’s not that bad at all. In fact, it’s a great palate experience for those who are afraid to get out of their “comfort [food] zone,” because this Korean dish is really taste buds-friendly. 🙂

(Oh, the gluttons after their super satisfying lunch. Hahaha!)

Every bite was unforgettable and so worth it, indeed. 🙂  The dishes are not cheap nor too pricey, thus the amount that you pay definitely reflects on the food: high class and especially for you. (Oh, prices will be posted soon. I forgot how much they are :P)

For the nth time, I usually don’t eat Asian food, but with this one? I’ll definitely go back for more. 🙂

(For more info about this uber cool Korean resto, like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter)

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[MEEKA’S STATEMENT SOON 🙂  OH, SHE ATE YUK HOI DULSOT BIBIMBAP, SEE PIC BELOW FOR TEASER (LOL)]

(Meeka’s Yuk Hoi Dulsot Bibimbap, which is raw beef with raw egg. All raw!
Check out her blog post soon!)

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SPOON RATING:

THREE SPOONS! NICE JOB!

“I’ll never have the same notion of Korean food ever again. 🙂  Kogi Bulgogi hits the right spot and I’ll surely feast on their other offerings real soon!” – Lexy

[MEEKA’S COMMENT SOON]

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Whimsy in Every Nook & Cranny: Café Noriter

Cafe Noriter, located at 2nd flr. Reyes bldg., Estrada st. cor. Taft Ave., Manila (Contact #: 489-5223)

Date: July 27, 2012

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MEEKA SAYS :

It’s the first day of our “Gastronomical Venture” and we decided to hit the busy streets of Taft Ave., with a plan on sampling the famous Zark’s Burgers, and boy did we! (Post about Zark’s later)

So after out burger-eating galore, we decided to walk around the area to scout for possible joints to try out next week, as I was scanning every establishment in sight, a sign caught my attention… the “Café Noriter.” The name of the place is familiar to me as I have maybe read it from a magazine somewhere… whatever.  So to cut to the chase, without any double thinking, we went for it!

And believe me… the place blew us away! It’s vintage-y, it’s loft-like, it’s cozy….

It’s DIFFERENT. We LOVED it!

The entrance is really inviting, don’t you think? Festive.

I love the color scheme of their counter area… yellow and powder blue. 🙂

Mismatched furnitures created a playful and creative setting and yet the ambiance is still cozy and whimsical. It’s not your typical ‘formal’ cafe indeed!

This is what I truly love about the place! There are elevated wooden (treehouse-like) corners wherein you and your friends could sit crossed legged, lie down or however you like it and just chill. It’s really a fun place. Home-y if I may say. Hehe.

And the cuteness continues in the comfort room. Smiling kawaii faces makes it fun even while you pee and wash your hands… haha!

Well, that’s it for now. So sorry I failed to post the menu they have there. 😦  Maybe I’ll update this post next time.

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LEXY SAYS:

I’d totally say that this café really swept me off my feet. From the entrance to the little knick-knacks to the beverage– oh my mind just blew up! Hahaha. 🙂

No, seriously speaking, Café Noriter is definitely a must-visit for every artsy people out there. This quaint coffee shop literally made my jaw drop with its cool vintage-y displays (if you know me, I love everything vintage). As soon as you open their door, you’ll be instantly greeted by the welcoming vibe and the pastel colors scattered everywhere– from the counter to the chairs– will surely give you a very calming feel.

(Awesome spot ever ;>)

And don’t even get me started on the beverage!

(Meeks’ Iced Mocha and my Iced Chocolate <3)

I ordered a simple Iced Chocolate (contentment at Php110) and, promise, it was really good. After the first sip, I literally blurted out, “I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die!” ^_^  It’s maybe a little OA but it’s true. A sip is all it takes for you to be transported into chocolate-y heaven. 🙂

Okay, back to the chic ambiance of the place (hahaha!)  This “99% coffee, 1% Korean” shop is like a gentle massage– it’s just so comfortable and soothing there. You can laze up all day and just bum around (of course, with something from their menu, which we’ll try real soon). The music is very relaxing (yay for old songs!) And there’s a bonus fun activity: you can design your very own “doodle cup!” :)))

Yezz, they’ll provide you with cups and markers and, from there, you can draw or write anything you want. Who knows? It might get included in their display of other doodle cups!

(Meeka and Lexy, both busy with their creations :P)

(Aaand… the result. Lol.)

“Small details make a big difference,” This is very true with Cafe Noriter. You won’t just be coming in for the food/drink, but for the place as well. If our words are not enough, feel free to visit this adorable and charming-to-the-last-furniture coffee shop. 😉

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SPOON RATING:

4 SPOONS! YAY!

“I haven’t tasted the pastries yet, but the place itself and the beverage are enough to make me say ‘Wow!'” – Lexy

“It’s rare nowadays to find a place that is beyond the normal everyday scene, the place brings out the imaginative and the weirdo in me” – Meeka