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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sambo Kojin: The Kitchen God

After the rise of Yakimix Smokeless Grill, Sambo Kojin also a yakiniku smokeless grill followed suit and became an instant hit to buffet lovers. Boasting Korean-Japanese food fare, the smokeless grill buffet's first branch in Eastwood, Libis slowly but surely attracted a crowd.

I remember when it was still a little new, weekend dinner doesn't need a reservation as you can surely start pigging out at their buffet without the wait. However, as Sambo Kojin realized its title "Kitchen God" -- Sambo stands for God, and Kojin for kitchen, reservations for weekend dinner became a must.

Tuna and Salmon sashimi and assorted maki

A few weeks ago, we dared to enter the Kitchen God's lair without reservation on a Saturday night. And as expected, the waiting area was packed. We were 9th on the list and it took over half an hour before we were called up.

As usual, I started my dinner with a plate of Tuna and Salmon sashimi, along with assorted makis. Their sashimis tasted fresh. And although they have quite limited variety in their maki selection than Yakimix', everything I've tried in their sushi and maki offerings were good.

Ika Sushi, Alaska Beauty Roll, Dragon Roll, Tuna and Salmon Sashimi

Another plate of Salmon sashimi, sushi and maki

After quite a while of digging on their sashimi, sushi and maki section, I tried their Miso Soup. The soup sits on a large pot, with the tofu and the wakame seaweed on separate serving bowls. The soup has rich miso taste without being too fishy. And I just love how soft and smooth the tofu is, in contrast to the slightly chewy wakame seaweeds.

My Miso Soup with generous amount of tofu and wakame seaweeds

Both my date and I proceeded to the cooked food's section after the hearty Japanese start. We were able to sample some Cordon Bleau, Tonkatsu, Yakisoba and Korean Beef Stew among others. Even though Sambo Kojin has quite a few variety in their cooked food's section, all of the entrees we've tried, although not the best in town, tasted good for its price range.



We also got some Ebi Tempura, Tofu Steak and Pork Gyoza, all of which tasted good.


After sampling the cooked food's selection, we proceeded to the most exciting part of dining at the Kitchen God's yakiniku smokeless grill -- the DIY grilling! We got some of my favorite Enoki Mushrooms rolled in Pork, and some marbled beef. I just love the slight crunch from the Enoki Mushrooms and the tenderness of the pork. The marbled beef, especially the one marinated and dipped in Sambo Kojin sauce, is one savory meat fest in my mouth! Among all of the food selection I've tried in the Kitchen God's lair, this is definitely my most favorite.


We then got another round of food for grilling, a second round of their Sambo Kojin sauce-marinated beef and Enoki Mushrooms and Sprouts rolled in Pork, along with some vegetables, squid and prawns

Our food for grilling

Mushrooms & Sprouts rolled in Pork, marbled beef, some mushrooms and veggies on the grill

And to end our grilling adventure, we had some desserts. We were able to try some of their cakes -- all of which are so-so, some fresh fruits and mocha ice cream with chocolate fondue topped with mini marshmallows.

Ice Cream

THE VERDICT

With the success of Sambo Kojin, we understand why we had to wait for a while before given a table. Anyway, the wait was well worth it because of the exemplary service the staff provides, and the good and satisfying food offerings of the Kitchen God. From the fresh and delicious eat-all-you-can sashimi, sushi and maki selection, you can already get your money's worth. Cooked food lovers will also be left satisfied with their entrees and noodles as they are of good quality as compared to other buffets in the similar price range. And, the grilling experience which is actually Sambo Kojin's selling point, will definitely keep you coming back.

However, in my case, there is a different reason for visiting this Godly Kitchen -- the Sambo Kojin sauce-marinated beef.

Aside from these, Sambo Kojin made another feat to attract old and new diners alike. They installed chillers to keep their raw seafood and meat offerings fresh. This is definitely a Godly Kitchen characteristic I'd like to see.

Taste - 4.5/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4.5/5


Buffet Rates:
Weekday Lunch - P495
Weekday Dinner - P595
Weekend Lunch & Dinner - P595
Children 4ft. & below - P295
(Add P100 to price for left-over rate)

Sambo Kojin, Eastwood
Eastwood City Walk, E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave, Bagumbayan, Libis
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Philippines
(02) 421-0145 to 46

25 comments:

  1. This is good food photography. :)

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  2. @Rae: Thank you so much for the compliment! :) I'm still experimenting with my food photography though.

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  3. Ur still lucky to be 9th on the list. :) went there on a saturday dinner and we're surprised to be #42! We thought the receptionist was kidding. :)

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  4. @Berylle: OMG!!! Did you still wait? That was exag! @__@

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  5. Nice photos! :) Marble beef is my favorite too! :D

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  6. @Sumi Go, since the photos made me hungry, they're good :P

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  7. naku! check mo muna buffet station ng marriott cafe, you are planning to go this week di ba? kasi kami last friday lang grabe walang crabs, no shrimps, no prawns, no lobster, no peking duck, no hakaw!! and expectations ko daw ang may problem grrr... alimasag lang and tahong and tahong and tahong lang kaya!!!

    julie

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  8. Sodium Erythorbate * nom nom nom nom*October 30, 2011 at 11:42 PM

    Hi Julie. Anyway, I don't know where they got their very..uumm..beautiful name but just like YAKImix, despite its name the food actually is very good. Not to mention their sauces, the beef, the sauces, their beef.. I'll definitely be back to that big CR-like interior restaurant.

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  9. ansarap balikan!
    nice shots! ^_^

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  10. you're really amazing!!!!i like you're site......napaka informative....keep it up!!!

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  11. try also 7 Corners of Crowne Plaze, it's really nice......although medyo expensive ng konti, the last time i paid 1300 per head.....

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  12. Everything looks so yummy will have to check this out soon. But will have to plan it because Eastwood is far from our place, but based from the pictures looks like the trip will be worth it.

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  13. The food photography was so good. The food looks more delicious!:) Miso Soup is always a favorite of mine whichever resto it would be.:)

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  14. I also love Yakimix and have dined there several times but haven't taken any photo. hehe. Must visit again and shoot some.

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  15. Umaii na! I was able to try Yakimix and enjoyed it, this restaurant must rightfully represent the name or else...sayang naman, looks good though especially he tuna pieces...I can see they're high grade. :)

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  16. We just finished our brunch here, and your post made me hungry again! :)

    Truly impressive pictures. I have to check out your blog if you have a description of the camera you are using since I am looking for a new one myself.

    I have not been in the Philippines for more than a decade now, and you've convinced me to put Sambo Kojin on the list of restaurants I will definitely visit with my family when we finally visit again!

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  17. Awwww! Now I am craving!

    Very profy shots, too!

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  18. Oh my, the pictures made me wish for those badly. I love the sashimi :)

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  19. Oh my i love japanese food!!! these pictures made me super hungry!will try this out next time!thank fotr the reco!

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  20. Meron din sila sa West ave. We used to dine here! :)

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