With the rise in the popularity of Korean pop culture came Korean cuisine, and Korean barbecue is one of its dishes that has captured the Filipinos’ taste, Glaiza Lee reports.
For those who are always on the lookout for sumptuous Korean grilling experience, Goryeo Korean Dining, a newly-established restaurant located at upper ground floor of Okada Manila, highlights authentic Korean cuisine. Named after the ancient dynasties of Korea, Goryeo gives off a traditional and authentic Korean dining ambiance. With luxe accents featuring art pieces and fabrics, the restaurant is outfitted with four private dining rooms, making it an ideal place for intimate gatherings and celebrations. Its modern and elegant tables are equipped with innovative smoke-free grilling technology.
Chef Hojin Lee curates an indulgent menu, highlighting a wide selection of premium imported meats for grilling and centuries-old recipes offering a taste of Korea. Through years of working in the kitchen, chef Hojin managed to create a delicate balance between the distinction of flavor and refinement.
“Grilling has been enormously popular in Korean cuisine. Gogi-gui or Korean barbecue lies at the very heart of Korean culture. It embodies the aspects of communality. Because the cooking and eating is done at the table, Korean grilling is very social dining experience. All dishes are served at once to share rather than in courses,” said chef Hojin Lee who hails from Jeonju, a province in South Korea known for its delicious bibimbap, another famous Korean dish.
Bringing his knowledge and expertise gained from his culinary career spanning 18 years in the Okada kitchen, the Korean chef commits to provide diners with authentic encounter with true Korean cuisine. He is eager to delight their guests with his signature dishes including yukhoe (Korean beef tartare), galbi jjim (braised short ribs with vegetables), among others.
Diners can opt for marinated or unmarinated meat. Popular choices for unmarinated meat would be chadolbegi, thinly sliced brisket, and samgyeopsal, thick stips of unsalted pork belly. There are also deungsim (sirloin), kkot deungsim (rib eye steak roll), ansim (beef tenderloin), galbisal (rib meat), chae kkeut (strip loin), among others.
For marinated meat for grilling, a good choice would be bulgogi, the tender beef slices marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic and pepper. Or perhaps, an order or two of galbi, beef short ribs marinated in a sauce made from soy sauce, water, garlic, sugar and sliced onions.
Truly, nobody can resist the taste and aroma of grilled meat, while gorging on the various banchan, or traditional side dishes, that come with this Korean fare. At Goryeo, the side dishes are selected to complement each other. The kinds of banchan vary, but a Korean meal will always have them.
Aside from banchan (sidedishes), the meat dishes invariably come with fresh vegetable selection, composed of lettuce, cucumbers, and peppers.
To experience the authentic Korean dining experience, do what Koreans do and wrap your meat with lettuce –pick the fresh lettuce leaf (some like to wrap their meat in perilla leaf), put a slice (or two) of the meat and pread some ssamjang, a paste made from mixing doenjang (soy bean paste) and gochujang (red chili paste). At Goryeo, chef Hojin prepared three sauces for the grilled meat: the traditional ssamjang, the gireumjang, which is made from salt, sesame oil and freshly cracked black pepper, and Yakiniku sauce.
Some like to add condiments and banchan to their wrap. Pajeori or spicy scallion salad is one of the best banchan that complements grilled meat dish. Others usually add kimchi or a spoonful of rice for a more filling bite. Wrap everything and eat in one bite.
Most Koreans usually eat their grilled meat while lavishly enjoying their soju, famous Korean alcohol drink, or makgeolli or rice wine. Apart from world’s best soju and wine pairings, Goryeo also features innovative custom-made fruit wines.