6.186 TEKREM 40 + 41 : Hitting Close to Home


10 (Fri) July 2015

Andong Jjimdak


from Cocomoon [delivery]

in my new apartment

-Malate, Manila-

with K staff

Cocomoon is a Korean restaurant/pub, located literally next door to my new building.
Used to be some kind of western restaurant until taken over by a Korean owner — given the exterior/interior, as well as the name, I had no reason to think it’d be Korean until I dropped by a few days after moving in to check out the menu; curiously, none of the colleagues who live in my new building have ever bothered to visit the place and so didn’t know about it being Korean.
Makes me wonder if other hidden Korean gems are out there — although I shudder at the thought of discovering another one that I’d have to include in TEKREM and prolong the misery.

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 45 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

41 down, 4 to go.

The menu is about 55% Korean, mostly anju-type dishes.
40% western (probably carry-overs from the previous restaurant).
5% Filipino.

Andong jjimdak is a Korean chicken dish.  Typically a whole chicken (dak), cut into small pieces, braised (jjim) in a sweetish soy-based sauce made super-spicy with green chilies, along with onions, potatoes, carrots, and glass noodles.  Similar to dak dori tang, which instead involves red chili paste (gochujang) as the main flavor/heat element.  Attributed to the southern town of Andong, though origin stories wildly vary.

In line with my general aversion to spicy food, jjimdak is one of my least favorite Korean dishes.

Even worse, the jjimdak from Cocomoon was all heat, no flavor.

For the inaugural gathering at my new apartment, I invited K staff.
Also ordered Ojojing-o Bokeum (1.5), Gambas (1.25), Beef Tenderloing Tips (1.25), and Crispy Pata (1.0).

The food was meh across the board.

On the bright side, I did appreciate that they delivered the food in decent time and on porcelain plates (which we later took back).

As such, I leave open the possibility of ordering other items from Cocomoon should I ever need to feed people in a pinch — people whom I’m not interested in impressing.

The evening extended well past midnight as a whisky tasting, necessitating additional orders of anju, such as this half-assed mareun anju (1.0), which featured way overcooked dried squid and no peanuts.

* * * *

24 (Wed) June 2015

Yeolmu Bibimbap + Doenjang Jjigae


at Doniz

-Ermita, Manila-


Doniz is a Korean restaurant, located literally across the street from my old building.
I’ve eaten there a few times for lunch, just because it was so close, though no meal ever rated above 1.5.
Always empty.

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 6.175 The General vs The Boss)
  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)
On the pink sheet : “Yeolmu Bibimbap & Doenjang Jjigae P350”

This is the 10th post to cover two restaurants from different dates, one for dinner, the other for lunch.  I will do this whenever possible to accelerate the completion of TEKREM.

For a quick lunch, bibimbap and doenjang jjigae seemed like a great idea — always a sucker for point-of-sale marketing.
Expecting bibimbap with yeolmu (radish stems) as the highlight component, I was sorely disappointed to discover that the dish comprised nothing but yeolmu kimchi — and not particularly good yeolmu kimchi — topped with a fried egg.

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