6.050 TEKREM 18 vs 19 : Battle Jjamjja


24 (Tue) Feb 2015



at Seokchon

-Ermita, Manila-


TEKREM (Try Every Korean Restaurant in Ermita/Malate). 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 post covers two restaurants, same dish, different dates–in fact, this is the first post to feature a meal that hasn’t yet occurred on the blog’s official timeline–one for dinner, the other for lunch.  I may do this more often to accelerate the completion of TEKREM. 19 down, 21 to go.

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 3.28.09 PM

The following tiers (“Would I go back for more?”) 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):

Tier 2 (okay, but not enthusiastically):

Tier 3 (only under dire circumstances):

Tier 4 (to be avoided no matter what):

*no longer in business

Next door to Lim’s Mansion!
Introducing a new tag: “Only Guy in the Joint,” which seems to happen to me quite often.

Seokchon is a Korean-Chinese restaurant.  Offers both Korean and Korean-Chinese dishes.  Open 24-hours.  Delivery.  Located on Del Pilar, a couple blocks north of Pedro Gil.


The masochistically gluttonous “Try Every” series: (i) TERRP (…Restaurant in Robinsons Place) (see completed 5.247 TERRP 85 KFC : Original Recipe Fried Chicken…);  (ii) TEITY (..Item at Tao Yuan) (see most recently 6.031 Fried Fish Skin); (iii) TERNWPPD (…Restaurant in New World, Pan-Pacific, Diamond) (see most recently 6.046 Pan-Fried Egg Bean Curd…); (iv) TERSK (…Restaurant in St Kilda) (see completed 5.339 Roasted Squid); (v) TEKREM (…Korean Restaurant in Ermita/Malate) (see most recently 6.035 Ulkeun Chicken Gizzaed); (vi) TEIBR (…Item at Bistro Remedios) (see most recently 6.014 Kare Karentang Butot Baka).

Unusual for a place like this to provide ggakdugi.
Even more unusual, pogi-style kimchi.

The Chamcha-Myun wasn’t too bad.  On the jjam(bbong) side, the broth was reasonably well-balanced in terms of spicy-salty, but little depth of flavor, even with the generous amount of small shrimp.  Same with the jja(jang), unremarkably tasty.  Noodles were passable.  Nothing to complain about, somewhere along the lines of a decent neighborhood joint in Korea, which may be saying a lot in Manila.


28 (Sat) Feb 2015

Jjam Ja Myun

at Kim’s Jjamppong Food (Myungsung)

-Malate, Manila-


The older signage on the front window shows that the name of the restaurant was originally “Myungsung (명성),” but then the English part of it was covered over, presumably to encourage use of the wonderfully quirky new name “Kim’s Jjamppong Food,” as displayed in the newer signage on top, which also expands the name in Korean to “Myungsung Jjamppong House;” same building as (Myung Ga.
At 1230 on a Saturday, 4 of 5 tables were occupied–an auspicious sign.

Kim’s Jjamppong Food is a Korean-Chinese restaurant. Only the hardcore basics on the menu: jjajang-myeon, jjambbong, fried rice, and sweet & sour pork, including half-half combinations thereof, plus a couple other dishes.  Open until just 2200–very unusual for any Korean establishment in the area, which are usually open late, often 24 hours–in fact, on the night that I ate at Seokchon above, I’d initially come here, arriving at 2130, only to be told that the kitchen had already closed–a possible indication that business is so good that they can afford to close early.

Every possible combo available, including: Tang-Bok-Bap (sweet & sour pork + fried rice), Jjam-Ja-Myun (jjambbong + jjajang-myeon), Bok-Jjambong (fried rice + jjambbong), Bok-Ja-Myun (fried rice + jjajang-myeon), Tang-Ja-Myun (sweet & sour pork + jjajang-myeon), Tang-Jjampong (sweet & sour pork + jjambbong).

The Jjam-Ja-Myun was okay.  The jjam(bbong) broth was somewhat bland, as was the jja(jang) sauce.  The noodles, while undoubtedly factory made, were produced to uneven thicknesses to provide the mouthfeel of handmade noodles (see for example 3.215 Suta Wang Son Jjajang Myeon).  But overall, entirely edible.

Given the name of the dish, and since English and Korean are read from left to right, the jjam(bbong) should be on the left, jja(jang) on the right, unlike the feature photo above.


Before TEKREM, I had considered doing TEJJJEM (Try Every Jjajang/Jjambbong Joint in Ermita/Malate), which would’ve included Bug Gyoung, Jinsiang, Seokchon, and Kim’s Jjamppong Food.  Having sampled them all, here’s the breakdown:

  • If I want jjambbong or jjajang-myeon on its own, as well as other dishes, Jinsiang is clearly the place to be–unfortunately, the place doesn’t do combos.
  • For the jjamjja-myeon combo, Seokchon.
  • Kim’s Jjamppong Food would do in a pinch.
  • Forget about Bug Gyoung.

6 thoughts on “6.050 TEKREM 18 vs 19 : Battle Jjamjja

  1. you thought it through when taking a photo of the jjam on the left and jja on the right–ha! Squid tangsuyuk in Myungsung is good.

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