Annyeong haseyo! Hwangyong hamnida Bulgogi Brothers to Davao!
I hope I got the words right. *wink*
People especially foodies and food trippers in Davao City, among them are a few friends I know, who love Korean food welcomes Korean restaurant Bulgogi Brothers’ opening its latest branch in the city.
They will soon open at the Second Floor in the Fountain Court area just across Krazy Garlik (also a member of the Bistro Group of restaurants) and near Giardino Gelato.
ALL Photo credits to DAVAOFOODTRIP.COM
Korean cuisine is still something that I have yet to try and explore honestly. When I think of Korean food, I instantly think of Kimchi especially after recently watching on TV an interesting feature of how it is made, processed and packed in a factory in Korea. Kimchi is said to be one of the healthiest fermented food. So don’t say/eat cheese anymore, smile and say/eat… Kimchi! *wink*
Now an invite from the restaurant manager Ms. Janna Lopez to the sneak preview of the 5th branch of Bulgogi Brothers, a member of the Bistro Group of Companies was something my husband and I looked forward to. This fifth branch will be the first branch of Bulgogi Brothers in the Visayas and Mindanao. We were invited to experience authentic Korean food such as Bulgogi (a famous Korean beef dish), signature dishes from their ala carte, barbecue and rice and noodles section that all will be served by their servers in training. I am grateful for the invite and so I hang on while the schedule was changed a few times.
The invite finally realized past 1PM of January 10, 2013. At the door upon entering I first saw a familiar face smiling at me among the servers. It’s Jheff from Friday’s Abreeza (also a Bistro Group restaurant like Bulgogi’s) and so I thought what a small world! The table we were seated had Dave as our server. He was good, seem comfortable and good . He gave me and Jo a great service during our lunch. He also patiently answered my questions regarding the Korean dishes they were going to serve us then. He was able to explain what the dishes were. I honestly got lost in the Korean names of the dishes except Kimchi.
My hubby however could not make it on the new date set for the event when it got moved to another date when he is out of town on an official trip. I invited Jonas, another blogger I know who got to come with me instead. I’m just going to treat my hubby at Bulgogi next time after they finally open. I know initially how more excited he was to try their Korean dishes.
They have this large mural painting that occupies almost the entire stretch in the wall at one part of the resto.
Dining guests at Bulgogi can and are expected to enjoy authentic and delicious Korean food, a nice and cozy ambiance that is quite expected in most of the newest Asian restaurants that we have been to in the city and other places. Bulgogi as well, more than just good food as it is known for in Korea, aims to offer the special quality of service that customers can expect from all Bistro restaurants.
The special menu with the dishes offered to the invited dining guests…
First served was a welcome appetizer that has 3 pieces of boiled quail eggs and boiled green soybeans called as edamame. These are among their complimentary appetizers that they serve their guests.
Oksusu Cha or Corn Tea was their Tea of the Day. They serve complimentary tea to dining guests. This tea is said to be good for those with high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney problems.
They also served us this bottomless lemon iced tea for our drinks.
They also served complimentary side dishes… such as pickled vegetables. They could also serve corn, sweet potatoes and Kimchi.
What we had were… Pickled Kangkong (water spinach)…
Sauteed sliced egglants…
The quintessential Kimchi… the traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables as for this one it’s seasoned cabbage. Kimchi is a staple side dish in Korea and the best known food there. It tasted just as I imagined and it is a little bit spicy.
For our salad, I had the Chicken Naengchae (honey chicken with fresh salad) while Jo had the combination of both as shown in the photo below. This is then a combination of Chicken Naengchae (left side) and Sogogi Naengchae which is beef with fresh salad.
I like the fresh salad with sliced tomatoes and when I ate the beansprouts I noticed the hint of sweetness since there is sugar that is added in this salad. The oriental dressing they used for this salad is a combination of lemon juice, olive oil, soy sauce and sugar. I enjoyed eating this salad being more on the sweet side and I liked the taste of the honey chicken.
We ordered Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew) for our noodle dish and it is among their best-sellers. It is hot and spicy but this stew contains lots of ingredients especially vegetables (I can’t remember all of them). This stew has ripened kimchi, tofu and rice cakes. This is one dish whose tastes really reminds me of a stew recipe that my mom used to make at home.
This has Korean rice cake which was chewy. I thought at first it looked like penne pasta. I actually did not see nor notice the long tubular rice cakes included in it as they all settled at the bottom of the bowl.
Then we ordered the Haemul Gungjung Mandu (deep fried dumpling with seafood and served with spicy sauce) - I enjoyed the taste eating the fried dumpling which has pork. It also has mussels and a few pieces of shrimps hiding underneath.
I tried dipping the dumpling into the Ssamjang sauce which is a popular Korean spicy dipping sauce and I liked how they both tasted together. The sauce is often described as a thick, spicy paste used with food wrapped in a leaf in Korean cuisine. I am learning new things – on Korean food that is – from this food trip experience.
They have on the menu the Dubu Steak (deep fried crispy tofu with teriyaki sauce and bean sprout) however our server Dave said this was not available anymore at that time we dined there. I would like to taste that deep fried tofu next time.
Then not to be missed at Bulgogi, diners can feast on assorted Bulgogi that literally means “fire meat” in Korean and is most commonly translated as Korean barbecue.
Bulgogi Brothers offers many ways to enjoy different Bulgogi that literally means “fire meat” in Korea.
1) Unyang Style Bulgogi is the famous heart-shaped beef patty from Bulgogi Brothers that is cooked and served with slices of onions and sweet potatoes. If you are up to a hearty patty goodness dipped into the Ssamjang sauce made of soybean paste (which I think is my fave from the three dips/sauces served). This is garnished with mint leaves on top of the onions and sweet potatoes.
Served with sticky rice, the type of rice used in Korean cuisine which is perfect for the use of chopsticks.
Of the three sauces (from right to left) spicy togarashi (chili pepper spice for the Japanese) sauce, salty barbecue and ssamjang – which they provided for us to choose from to dip our bulgogi, this was one below is my personal fave. The Ssamjang sauce is a popular Korean spicy dipping sauce.
2) Gwang-Yang (seasoned beef with sweet sauce)
3) Seoul (sliced beef with vegetables, fruits, onion and soy sauce)
These bulgogi are cooked and served right at your table, on the spot. It is part of the restaurant’s service that the server will cook the meat in front of you on the table-top induction cooker. For us since our table for two was small and was already full of dishes, we went to the area (they are still finalizing the restaurant set-up) where Dave cooked our Unyang.
The servers were trained here. The Korean lady chef in the photo came from Korea to train them.
Un-yang… heart-shaped beef patties which are made of choice cut beef cooked along with slices of sweet potatoes and onions.
I noticed the golden spoon and chopsticks they provide on every table. I tried using the chopsticks and since am no master with this thing, they graciously provided me with a fork.
They have a nice wine cart that caught my attention. It would be easier to serve out wine and other drinks from this bar section somewhere near the center of the whole resto and roll it out to the tables of dining guests.
Bulgogi Brothers has over 38 stores in South Korea. Then Manila was the first to have its first international branch. Their branches are located in Level 3 Greenbelt 5, Lower Ground Floor Alabang Town Center, Level 2 SM Mall of Asia and Level 1 Riverwalk Harbor Point Subic. The only Bulgogi Brothers branches I have personally seen so far are the ones in Greenbelt 5 and in SM MOA. This latest one in Davao City is however the first branch I have tried dining in because when I knew that they will be opening a branch in SM Lanang, we decided to wait for it here instead and try it in Davao instead of dining in those two branches I mentioned which we saw in our last vacation with my boys to Manila.
Here is server Jheff who also worked for TGI Friday’s before.
I took more photos of the resto outside in the Fountain Court area side.
It has been a very nice, pleasant and interesting food trip experience being the first Korean restaurant I have tried as far as I can remember. Thank you once again Ms. Janna for the invite! Also thanks to our server Dave. Service was great so I hope they would keep it up at all times. Their Korean food was delicious.
Special thanks to Ms. Shierra (TGI Friday’s) and Jheff (from Friday’s to Bulgogi) small world indeed!
Thanks to blogger Jonas as well for coming along with me! Till next time…
Gamsa hamnida Bulgogi Brothers!