Bugkyoung Korean & Chinese Restaurant, located at Unit 107 Dakota Mansion, 555 Gen. Malvar st., cor. Adriatico, Malate, Manila
Date: October 29, 2012
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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