6.010 TEKREM 13 : Jeonju Bibimbap

6.010

15 (Thu) January 2015

Jeonju Bibimbap

3.0

at Jeonju

-Malate, Manila-

solo

TEKREM (Try Every Korean Restaurant in Ermita/Malate) (see previously 6.003 Yukgaejang).

So long as I’m currently living in Ermita/Malate, a pair of neighborhoods that together constitute central Manila’s closest thing to a Koreatown, and while GMTD was never intended to be a Korean food blog but kinda is, I may as well attempt to eat at all the Korean eateries in the area, including those serving Korean-Chinese fare, and review them here.  Currently 40 known establishments.  Though doubting the discovery of any gems–in fact, I anticipate that most of the places will be similarly mediocre–the project should be interesting, if only in giving me a reason to get out and explore more of my environment.

This is 13th restaurant covered.  27 to go.

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The following tiers relate to the overall dining experience, including all the dishes sampled, cost, ambiance, cleanliness, and any other factors that may apply, cumulative through multiple visits (if any).

Tier 1 (looking forward to return visit):

  • (13) Jeonju (6.010 Jeonju Bibimbap) / 3.0

Tier 2 (okay, but not enthusiastically):

Tier 3 (only under dire circumstances):

Tier 4 (to be avoided no matter what):

*no longer in business

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Vines, 24-hour liquor store, located next door, FYI.

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The Wall of Fame: the two photos of Rain were both were signed on the same date, probably at the same meal, unless he loved the food so much that he ate here twice on the same day.

TEKREM is the 5th of 6 projects in the masochistically gluttonous “Try Every” series.  (i) TERRP (Try Every Restaurant in Robinsons Place) (see generally 5.247 Original Recipe Fried Chicken…).  (ii) TEITY (Try Every Item at Tao Yuan) (see most recently 6.009 Awful) (on-going).  (iii) TERDHPP (Try Every Restaurant in the Diamond / Hyatt / Pan-Pacific hotels) (on-going) (see most recently 5.331 Certified Angus Beef Rib-Eye Steak).  (iv) TERSK (Try Every Restaurant in St Kilda) (see 5.339 Roasted Squid). (vi) TEIBR (Try Every Item at Bistro Remedios) (in process) (see most recently 6.008 Sinigang na Baboy).  That’s a lot of food.

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At most Korean joints in the neighborhood, 300 pesos (about $7.50) seems to be the average price point for single serving dishes.
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Seems that Asian restaurants tend to provide menus with photos, particularly when operating in foreign markets, but European restaurants don’t, reinforcing the notion that new world cultures remain unknown and require explication, whereas old world cultures are known or should be known and thus may be presented as is.

Jeonju is a Korean restaurant.  Mainstream fare.  Located on Malvar, a block east of Adriatico.

My second visit, previously lunch with Korean colleagues way back when–not very impressed.  Which is why I came here alone tonight, to get it out of the way, and ordered bibimbap, generally the safest item.

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Banchan (2.5)

This time, the food was way better than I’d remembered.  For starters, the banchan were well-balanced in variety and seasoning, authentic.  The bibimbap, though nothing special, was solid.  Indeed, any restaurant or person that can make competent banch can be relied upon to make competent bibimbap, which is essentially a mix of banchan.  While “Jeonju” typically involves a sizzling stone bowl (see generally 4.206 Jeonju Gobdol Bibimbap), it came in cold porcelain here, which I prefer.  Satisfying meal.

Definitely worth another visit, for something more substantial (e.g., osam bulgogi, perhaps), but it’ll have to wait until TEKREM is complete.

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