6.075 TEKREM 23 + 24 : The Hwangso Family

6.075

21 (Sat) March 2015

Makchang

1.5

at Hwangso Makchang

-Malate, Manila-

with JR, TL, CT, BB, DRC

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.

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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 Adriatico, nestled between Go! Kizip and Assi Mega Mart (see generally 5.246 The KLHC Chuseok Chowdown)…
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…Makchang (in Korean: “Hwangso Makchang”) is a Korean BBQ restaurant; the second of two locations (see below); just opened a couple months ago.

Our old friend and colleague JR is back in town! Now with WR KHM as the NCD focal point, he’s in town to support the country’s MOH delegation at a meeting next week concerning the RAP on DBM*.

Given a list of options for his welcome back dinner, he opted for Korean BBQ.

*If you don’t already know any of these abbreviations, then you don’t need to.

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Prices on par with other places.

The food was whatever.  Nothing particularly wrong with any of it, but nothing particularly good either.

Disappointing, as I’d been looking forward to featuring BBQ for the first time since starting TEKREM.

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Minimal sides, which generally would be acceptable at a bare bones BBQ joint like this, but only if the prices were concomitantly low–not the case here.
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The chili soy dip was nice, tangy with a bit of kick.
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Makchang (1.5)–Unlike pig makchang, which is more intestinal, the cow version here would appear to be closer to the upper digestive tract, one of the animal’s stomachs; no flavor whatsoever, probably bleached into oblivion.
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Samkyupsal (2.0) + Woo Samgyup (2.0)
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In light of the live coals, my expectations had been high.
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Alas, neither here nor there.
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Naeng-Myun (1.0)–given my views on naeng myeon (see for example 5.103 Mul Naeng Myeon x 2), I wouldn’t ordinariiy order it at a place like this, but the topic came up during the conversation.

This post–the third 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 two restaurants are under the same ownership.

23 and 24 down, 17 to go.

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Located next door to the original Makchang restaurant (see above), and directly across the street from my apartment building…
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…the entrance doesn’t engender much confidence…
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…offering unlimited table-top grilling–pork belly (“samgupsal”), at lunch on weekdays, 399 PHP; pork belly + beef brisket, at dinner and all-day weekends, 449 PHP…
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…and a wide array of other dishes…
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…Hwangso-Ga is a Korean buffet restaurant.

28 (Sat) Mar 2015

Buffet

3.0

at Hwangso-Ga

-Ermita, Manila-

solo

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More than double the number claimed on the poster at the entrance, I counted 46 items…
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…plus 5 dips/pastes/condiments.
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Bibimbap bar (see for example 6.033 Bibimbap Bar)!
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High quality Japonica rice, no apparent filler, steamed to al dente perfection in a pressure cooker.
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Instructions, of course (see for example 6.043 Bibimbap).
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Noodle Bar (note instructions at top left of frame)!
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The edges of all the dishes are burned from the grilling (see below).

Despite all indications to the contrary–a buffet, a cheap buffet, Korean food, in Ermita, at lunch, by myself–I enjoyed the experience.  Most important, everything tasted authentic, just like it would be at an equivalent establishment in Korea.  Granted, nothing was all that great, but good enough.  And so much variety, I had a great time sampling it all.

Although I doubt that I’d come back for the food per se, this could be a decent place to drink and hang out with the gang.

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Beef Brisket (top) (2.5) + Pork Belly (below) (2.5)
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Round 1.

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 6.055 The Penultimate); (iii) TERNWPPD (…Restaurant in New World, Pan-Pacific, Diamond) (see most recently 6.069 Jo Karubi); (iv) TERSK (…Restaurant in St Kilda) (see completed 5.339 Roasted Squid); (v) TEKREM (…Korean Restaurant in Ermita/Malate) (see most recently 6.069 Jo Karubi); (vi) TEIBR (…Item at Bistro Remedios) (see most recently 6.070 Chicken and Pork Adobo).

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I will not be covering the original Hwangso Makchang.

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