6.056 TEKREM 20 / 21 : Chung v Chung

6.056

2 (Mon) March 2015

Ojingeo Bokum

2.5

at Jang Chung Dong

-Malate, Manila-

with TL

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—-the second post to feature a meal that hasn’t yet occurred on the blog’s official timeline–covers two restaurants, different dates, one for dinner, the other for lunch.  I will do this whenever possible to accelerate the completion of TEKREM.

The only thing that the two restaurants have in common is that their names both happen to include “Chung” in the English spellings, even though each is pronounced differently when read in Korean: the first as “choong,” the other as “chung.”

20 and 21 down, 19 to go.

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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

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On the right, check out the dude feeling up the girl.

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One of several walls of fame.

Jang Chung Dong is a Korean restaurant.  According to the signage, it would claim to specialize in jokbal (pig’s feet).  The name refers to a neighborhood in Seoul, nearby Dongdaemun, which has a string of popular jokbal restaurants.  In addition, the menu includes the typical range of standards.  Located on Malvar, corner of Bocobo.

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Beyond the standards, the menu offers several dishes that aren’t that common to this neighborhood, such as the Won Dak Hanmari (whole chiken hotpot).

Given the opportunity to expand my culinary horizons, I should’ve tried something different–like pig’s feet, which I’ve only tasted once in my life, by accident–but TL wasn’t in the mood to experiment, so we stuck to the standards.

The Ojingeo Bokum was okay.  Reasonably fresh squid, well-balanced flavors, though nothing particularly outstanding.  The only complaint would be that the portion was too big and too pricy–700 pesos (about $18) would be expensive even in Korea.

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Banchan (2.5)–okay variety, each reasonably well done.
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Ddeok Mandu Guk (2.5)–decent broth, but the mandu (dumplings) were the crappy frozen kind.
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Gyeran Mari (2.5)–a bit bland on its own, but quite nice when dipped in the spicy squid sauce.

7 (Sat) Mar 2015

Cabbage Hangover Soup

at Chung Ki Wa

-Malate, Manila-

solo

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From the outside, it’s one of the sketchier-looking Korean joints in the area, which is saying a lot (even better/worse, after sunset, streetwalkers like to hang around this stretch of the street).
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Other customers had left by the time I got around to taking interior shots; more tables on the 3rd floor.

Chung Ki Wa is a Korean restaurant.  Mainstream fare across the board.  Located on Mabini, a block south of Alonzo.

Not expecting much, I went there on my own for lunch.

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The Cabbage Hangover Soup (see for example 3.214 Ugeoji Tang) was excellent.  Whereas soups like this tend to be best at specialty establishments that do nothing but, because of the time/effort/expertise required, the one here was made upon order and yet suspiciously good–maybe prepared in large batches and frozen in individual portions? loads of MSG?–rich bean paste broth with deep beef flavor, appropriately spicy.  A tad salty, but okay with rice.  Even the slices of beef were tender and delicious.  Good stuff.  Makes me want to go back to try other items.

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Banchan (3.0)–solid spread, including fresh tofu, excellent kimchi, crispy bean sprouts, tasty odeng.
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A bit heavy on the ground perilla seeds (들깨), some of which I removed.

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).

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FYI

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Free cup with every meal, nice touch; didn’t taste like anything.

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