6.193 TEKREM 42 + 43 : Bul + Yak

6.193

17 (Fri) July 2015

Deungsim

1.0

at Bulgogi Korean Restaurant

-Ermita, Manila-

with RK and various K staff

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Bulgogi Korean Restaurant is a Korean restaurant, supposedly specializing in beef, as the Korean name So Han Mari (“one cow”) would falsely suggest.  As indicated below, I should’ve sensed something amiss from a restaurant where the chef/manager would be senseless enough to smoke right out front and let himself be photographed doing so.

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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Discovered 42 just recently, which lies on the route between my new place and work.

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

43 down, 2 to go.

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Note the spongy surface of the meat.

A travesty of Korean BBQ.  The meat itself had been improperly frozen, for too long.  Then, it was placed on the grill, still frozen, which I hadn’t realized until looking over and seeing blood pooling on top of the slab.  Even worse, the coals were way too weak, failing to produce a proper crust to seal in the juices.  Finally, it was overcooked — ordinarily, I’d take my meat piece by piece before it got overcooked, but here they cooked everything together off to the side and served it all at once.  The result was horrifically dry, slightly gamy.

When I complained to the Korean chef/manager, he stubbornly attempted to put up various defenses, each more ludicrous than the other, none of which I’ll bother to describe here.  My sense — speculation derived from various things that he said during the surprisingly long argument — is that he immigrated to the Philippines at a young age, around adolescence, 20 years ago, probably hasn’t been back since, worked in the service industry here but never had any formal training/education.  As such, he has no idea how to do things properly and has no idea that he has no idea — reminded me of that guy in Hoengseong (see generally 3.051 Bullshit).

* * * *

9 (Sat) May 2015

Jajangmyun

2.5

at Shabu Yaki

-Malate, Manila-

solo

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Shabu Yaki is a Korean/Chinese/Japanese restaurant.
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A little bit of everything; on this visit, most customers (all locals) were eating shabu shabu.

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 6.168 Battle Octopus)
  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)

This is the 11th post to cover two restaurants from different dates — over two months apart — one for dinner, the other for lunch.  I will do this whenever possible to accelerate the completion of TEKREM.

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More sides than usual for a jjajang myeon meal, like that pancake (jeon).
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It was okay.

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