Sariwon Korean Barbecue: An Authentic Korean Culinary Place

One observation which I've not mentioned in my previous blog posts is the proliferation of Korean restaurants in the Philippines, specifically Metro Manila. I thought "Pinoys" have learned to love the Korean "wave" taking into account the growing acceptance of their culture as seen in the "koreanovela" and k-pop" shows which are popular to the viewing public. Not only that, Korean made products and fashion trends are visible and marketed in Korean-owned Manila based grocery stores and on-line. June also mentioned that even Eat Bulaga's Aldub Dance in Kalye serye "Fantastic Baby" is from Big Bang, a famous South Korean pop band. Thus, it's not surprising anymore that we have authentic Korean restos in Manila serving Korean cuisine lovers.

 Fantastic Baby by Big Bang (G-Dragon, T.O.P.,  Seungri, Taeyang and Daesung)

One of these authentic Korean restaurants in Manila is Sariwon Korean Barbecue (Sariwon for short). It was All Soul's Day when the family had a great bonding (after offering prayers for our departed loved ones) at BGC's Sariwon Korean Barbecue located at 7th Avenue, West Superblock Bonifacio High Street Central. That was my 2nd time to spend a day in this Korean restaurant.

Sariwon Korean Barbecue at BGC

Based on the web's description of the restaurant, Sariwon was first established by a grandmother, Mrs. Bun-Im-Koo, who hailed from Sariwon, North Korea and that's where this Korean resto chain got its name. I understand Sariwon Korean Barbecue resto branches in Manila are local franchises of a famous restaurant chain in Korea. Based on accounts, Manila's Sariwon owners even imported a Korean chef to assure its guest customers that the cooking strategies in preparing the food are genuine "Korean".

Sariwon is not a typical restaurant we see that has contemporary and colorful furniture and decor. When I first see the place, I thought there was something rustic feel inside. like a quaint place in in Korea, but with a modern twist to it! The table, chairs and sofa are in dark brown colors, simple wall decors and white "round" chandelier-like lightings installed above each tables.

As we were about 12 in the group, we were ushered by the staff to three, 4-seater table which were closely connected to each other so our small "talks" and "laughter" can be heard by each one of us! As expected in Korean resto, each table has a built-in grill top which can be used depending on one's order.

While waiting for the main dishes, we were served with 6 kinds of "banchans" or appetizers, which is typical in a Korean dining place. Among the banchans, I liked most the green salad and the mashed squash ball (looked and tasted like mashed potato and sweet potato or"camote"), and the hot house "corn" tea which were refillable once guests request for more! As usual, Kimchi wasn't a favorite of mine, maybe because of its tanginess and spiciness. But to make my Korean dining experience authentic, I forced myself to try a bit of it.

Sariwon's banchans or appetizer

We ordered three Value Set Menu good for 3 to 4 pax (1 value set is P1,800) consisting of Yangneum Buchaesal, Dak Galbi, Haemul Pajeon, Sariwon Bulgogi and Dolsot Bibimbap.

Yangneum Buchaesal, a flavorful, marinated USDA choice top blade steak grilled at the table, which can be eaten wrapped in green lettuce.

Yangneum Buchaesal

Dak Galbi is a grilled boneless chicken marinated overnight in a secret spice sauce for that tangy taste.

Dak Galbi

Sariwon's Bulgogi served as the highlight of our dining experience. The meat was freshly prepared and thinly sliced which was placed in a table-top cooker. Thereafter, the staff poured a different kind of hot broth especially prepared for this dish, followed by the sweet potato noodles and veggies which were placed on the sides of the cooker. I understand the hot broth is made of 12 different kinds of fruits and vegetables and mixed with red wine. Wow, no wonder the taste turned out to be authentic Korean!

Sariwon Bulgogi (not yet cooked)

Sariwon Bulgogi (cooked) Silky thin slices of fresh USDA choice beef grilled with broth at the table

One healthy, non-meat option which I also loved was the Korean pancake "Haemul Pajeon", a bit crunchy on the outside and soft in the inside, quite similar to our "okoy", made of squash, shrimps and beansprouts.

Haemul Pajeon, a traditional Korean pancake made with squid, shrimp, mussels, and green onion

The complimentary dessert drink called "Sikhye" completed our meal escapade at Sariwon. It was quite sweet to me tho, somewhat like "sago at gulaman" but it looked unique and interesting! I was told that the said drink is nutritious, a healthy alternative of sodas and fruit juices as it is made of malt and rice.


Aside from the complimentary dessert we also had Citrus Herb Juice (P150) and Patbingsoo (P180).

Citrus Herb Juice / Patbingsoo, a Korean shaved iced dessert with red bean

Generally, the group looked satisfied and happy after leaving Sariwon, which only means that the authentic Korean food at Sariwon satisfied their Asian palates!

As such, ton of thanks to the generous couple during that day! Free treats pa more! Hahaha!

Till next time,
Written by Maven
Photographs by June

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