I’m definitely a person who loves eating out, and discovering new things to surprise my palate. For a few years now, I’ve been going to this Korean BBQ place, Makchang Restaurant (formerly Joe’s Grill) just across Robinson’s Ermita’s Department Store (Women’s Section) ever since my highschool barkada Meryl brought us there. It’s along Adriatico Street, if ever you want to try eating there, you should though, food’s great!
So what’s so great about this place? click the read more button and you’ll actually see more photos of us having a great time. :) Plus what dishes to try and how to eat the Korean way. LOL
Another thing, there’s a portion of the restaurant where you can actually sit on the ground, like in traditional Korean/Japanese houses. It’s a special corner of the restaurant which is not normally opened to everyone, but you can request to be seated there, and they’ll gladly oblige. The setup is typical of any shabu shabu place, except in place of a stove, you have a charcoal grill, and with a hood too, so the smoke is controlled while grilling.
Gogigui (Korean BBQ) is actually the Korean style of roasting or grilling, and this sort of establishment is very common in Korea. I’ve never been to Korea, but my mom, who’s been there twice, told me that it is indeed common, as common as street food. Typically, people eat here with beer or soju, as they say soju is best paired with grilled meat such as the ones you’ll be seeing below.
Places like this are slowly gaining popularity in our country. Although in the few years that I have frequented this place, more Korean nationals eat here than Pinoys, I still believe this type of cuisine will catch up with the Filipino palate. Well yeah, you won’t randomly enter these types of restaurants because a) the menu’s in Korean, b) there are more Koreans than Filipinos dining so it might be awkward, and c) no one has taught you the proper way of eating this type of Korean BBQ. But seriously, eating at one is worth all the apprehension. LOL (Read on for a mini tutorial on how to. HAHA)
With my blockmates, as a celebratory dinner for my win in the student council elections.
Read more for more photos, and more about the food. :)
When in Korean restaurants, side dishes, soups are typically free, and in makchang, that is exactly the case. So you’re actually just paying for the meat that will be grilled.
They serve miso soup, a huge bunch of greens such as fresh lettuce and perilla, sweet potatoes and garlic, side dishes (banchan) such as kimchi (spicy fermented vegetables) and pajori (spicy scallion/green onion salad), along with condiments such as ssamjang (bean paste of some sort), sesame oil with salt and pepper, and other seasonings.
For the meat, I strongly suggest Beef/Pork Galbi, it’s marinated, and based on experience, it has the most flavor among everything in the menu.
So how do we eat the Korean way? The most observed one is actually wrapping the meat in the lettuce/perilla leaf, along with rice and the side dishes.
What I always instruct others do when I introduced this type of korean bbq is (and believe me, I’ve brought a lot of people in Makchang, and everyone always goes home happy and amazed):
- Pick a nice lettuce leaf with a sufficient surface area, a little bit bigger than your palm/hand.
- Place the leaf on your palm and put a slice of the meat on it.
- Add an adequate amount of rice.
- Add side dishes such as kimchi, as you desire. (I personally prefer the pajori, but you can add them both)
- Top with condiments and other seasoning.
- Wrap like a bulb, and stuff it in your mouth WHOLE. (you’ll see a photo of me stuffing one in my mouth later in this post. HAHA)
This is actually galmekisal (unsalted bacon)
Lots and lots of lettuce, the darker leaf and the bottom of the basket and right most of this photo is the perilla leaf. At the top right corner of the photo is the pajori.
Cooked and cut meat plus sweet potato/kamote!
Me holding the lettuce bulb for a demo to my friends (it was Krizia, Roselyn, Nel, and Alyssa's first time there! I had already brought the others there during enrollment period. haha)
stuffing it in!
kids too full to function!
Fran and Michelle
Nel and Krizia
Roselyn and Alyssa
Me and Angelica
Playing around with the flag decorations
Photos taken using Alyssa's iPhone and my iPad. sorry for the low res photos. :)
I had my friends write me notes using the Glow Draw App of my iPad for fun, while we were waiting for the meat to be grilled, and voila!
Thank you for reading this and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I had fun writing this! :)