6.168 TEKREM 36 + 37 : Battle Octopus

6.168

22 (Mon) June 2015

Chu Sam

1.25

at Sin ChuKuMi

-Malate, Manila-

with RK

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Sin ChuKuMi is a Korean restaurant, specializing in spicy stir-fried octopus; one of the newest joints on the scene…
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…located next door to Jin Mart.

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 44 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

+ new restaurant, opened after TEKREM began

! an emerging theme, not-so-surprising, is that the restaurants with on-site Korean management tend to demonstrate closer authenticity, though not necessarily higher quality

37 down, 7 to go.

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Whereas the vast majority of Korean restaurants outside of Korea try to cover everything, this place actually specializes in a single dish.

The masochistically gluttonous “Try Every” series :

  1. TERRP (…Restaurant in Robinsons Place) (see completed 5.247 TERRP 85 KFC : Original Recipe Fried Chicken…)
  2. TEITY (..Item at Tao Yuan) (see completed 6.095 DONE)
  3. TERNWPPD (…Restaurant in New World, Pan-Pacific, Diamond) (see completed 6.081 Lobster, Baby.)
  4. TERSK (…Restaurant in St Kilda) (see completed 5.339 Roasted Squid)
  5. TEKREM (…Korean Restaurant in Ermita/Malate) (see most recently 6.141 Bon Jovi on Fire)
  6. TEIBR (…Item at Bistro Remedios) (see most recently 6.161 Manggang Hilaw at Bagoong)
  7. TETRITSA (…Thai Restaurant in the International Terminal of Suvarnabhumi Airport) (see most recently 6.069 Spicy Stir-Fried Shrimp & Seafood with Basil)
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“I didn’t eat corn!” — Fat Bastard.
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NalChiAl JuMukBap (3.25) — these “fish eggs Onigiri” were very good, delicately seasoned, surprisingly sophisticated for this part of town.
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We ordered YachaeSari (vegetables), but the basic order came with quite a bit.

The food was okayish.  Both the mini octopus (jjuggumi = “chukumi” = “chu”) and pork belly (samgyeopsal = “sam”), as well as the bean sprouts and cabbage, were reasonably fresh and tasty per se.  However, the sauce was so spicy that the fumes made me wince.  I had to rinse every bite thoroughly in water before putting it in my mouth, leaving it largely flavorless, but still too spicy, which accounts for the low rating. I should note that “sin” = “spicy.”  If they offered a —S level, I might consider a repeat visit, especially for those rice balls.  Oh well.

* * * *

4 (Mon) May 2015

Jo-Bang Nakgi

1.5

from Jo-Bang Nakgi [takeout]

in my apartment

-Ermita, Manila-

solo

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Jo-Bang Nakgi is a Korean restaurant, also specializing in spicy stir-fried octopus.
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RED HOT!
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More than 2 teams of customers, another rarity in this neighborhood.

This is the 8th post to cover two restaurants from different dates, one for dinner, the other for late-night snack.  I will do this whenever possible to accelerate the completion of TEKREM.

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Nak-Gop — 4th from the top — a curious combination of baby octopus (nakji = “nak”) and pig intestine (gopchang = “gop”).

The food, meh. Though rated marginally higher than above, only because the heat level was relatively tolerable, I found the dish to be entirely forgettable.  Whatever.

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Much skimpier in components.

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