30 May 2013

Eating Out: Korean Dining at Bulgogi Brothers

I've been hearing raves about this resto for quite a while, but it was just late last year when Mother J, brother J and I found ourselves in Alabang Town Center to do something (at shempre nakalimutan ko na kung bat ba kami napadpad doon), and since it was dinnertime, we decided to go Korean for a change.

Actually, apprehensive ako to eat at Bulgogi Brothers ('BB' for short) dahil si Mother J ay super pihikan sa pagkain! She has several allergies to food - especially seafood (maliban sa fish) - hence, she's always afraid to eat outside the bahay. If she was a food blogger, I bet talo niya si Richie sa pagiging Pickiest Eater! :P So we're always in a dilemma where to eat if we're with her.

On my part, I am not fond of grilled food. Seriously. As I've wrote in past entries, I don't like chewing on big charred portions of meat - like barbeque. Ang nakakain ko lang na bbq ay yung nasa Beach House Canteen, found in UP Diliman's Sunken Garden. Other than that, anything else grilled doesn't appeal to me.

But all that changed when I had a bite of BB's grilled short ribs - I was blown away! Ansarap! Well, I'm getting ahead already, hehe. Here's a lowdown of the Korean stuff on our table:

[Hot Lemonade (Php 120) for Brother J and Oksusu Cha]

After getting our orders, our server brought us our drinks to warm our tummies. Since they had complimentary and refillable tea of the day, hindi na kami nag-order ni Mother J kasi we both like tea. Brother J got hot lemonade for his bad throat that night... he found it good, not too sour. The tea offered that night was Oksusu or Corn tea, which, according to the information tag attached to the very nice thermos that I'm crushing, is good for those with high blood, diabetes and kidney problems. Mother J and I found the tea really good - it's the first time I've had corn tea and I liked it!

[Complimentary Banchan (side dishes) and condiments]

Complimentary banchan, or side dishes, are always served in Korean restos. More often than not, I'm halfway full even before the main dishes arrive because these banchan are quite filling - and refillable! That night, they served Korean salad (I'm not quite sure what the dressing was, but ako ang nakaubos nyan - really delicious!), the boiled trio (Invented name, hehe; corn, camote/yam and quail eggs), kimchi (i am an addict; i always ask for take home, hihi), some sort of adobong kangkong, and grilled eggplant with spices. You can opt to season these with either sea salt, chili or a ketchup-like sauce.

May I just say that I love their baby-blue-with-small-white-flowers dining set and heavy metal chopsticks and big spoons, as seen on the collage above?! So kiyo (cute)! Koreans use metal chopsticks (Japanese use wood, while Chinese use porcelain) because I read somewhere that in the olden times, uso ang pagfu-food poisoning sa mga kaaway, and metal utensils would expose poison placed in food. O diba may added trivia? Hehe! Also, eating rice from covered metal bowls keep the rice warm for a long time, and feels authentic Korean to me.

Okay, getting that out of the way (baka makalimutan kong sabihin later on, haha!), Mother J wanted soup, but since it was our first time, I didn't know what to order. So nakisilip-silip kami sa mga katabing tables, and saw a steaming bowl of hot soup with beef sa kalikod naming table. We asked our server to bring us that soup - the Galbi Tang. Ang bango eh! :)

[Galbi Tang - Php 420]

Galbi Tang is "a traditional soup for stamina made of spare ribs and healthy Korean herbs". It's like bulalo, but very very tasty bulalo! The soup tastes so rich, the glass noodles perfectly cooked, the veggies and mushroom add so much flavor, and the spareribs fall off the bones and is so so malambot! The 3 of us almost finished this dish - we left some lang for Ate T to taste-test. I'd like to order this winner dish when I come back! (Note: I couldn't find this dish anymore on Bulgogi Brothers' menu at Munchpunch. Strange. Or maybe wala na talaga. #sadness.)

[Galbijjim - Php 650]

Carnivorous talaga si Brother J kahit kelan, so he wanted something meaty... and shempre, it's our chance to taste Korean grilled meat! So we ordered the 'entry-level' (a.k.a. one of the cheaper dishes, haha!) Galbijjim (Braised Short Ribs) - 'short ribs cooked and seasoned with soy sauce with assorted vegtables'. Our server was the one who cooked the meat - baka magkamali pako at matigas ang kalabasan, haha! The servers were very meticulous, clean and friendly, willing to answer all my kakulitan. I found out later on from the manager that they use U.S. Angus beef, as Korea does not allow their meats to be exported elsewhere (I hope my memory serves me right).

After biting into that nicely done meat, I was blown away! The meat was well-seasoned, soft to the bite and just delicious... really delicious! I can't forget how it tastes up to this day! Cooking the veggies beside the meat just gave the meat more flavor - pati si Mother J couldn't stop raving about it! Well, suffice to say, the meat was gone in minutes, hehe - even the veggies! Bitin! We went home happy and busog!

Ang haba na pala tong post ko! I had a second go at Bulgogi Brothers last February, this time at its SM Mall of Asia branch and with brothers J, R and Ate T! That will be Part 2 of this post - watch out for it! ;)


What: Bulgogi Brothers

Where: Alabang Town Center, LG/F Alabang Town Center, New Wing, Alabang Zapote Rd, Alabang, Muntinlupa; (02) 919-6840

How much: Php 400 - 600 per person


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