Sariwon: Authentic Korean Barbecue at BHS Central

Although I'm seriously in love with Asian cuisine, there are still some oriental favorites that I haven't grown too acquainted to. As much as I love koreanovelas and K-Pop, I still haven't tried a lot of Korean dishes in the Metro. Fortunately, a new Korean restaurant in Bonifacio High Street Central has spared me from running into less-than-mediocre Korean food spots. Hailing straight from South Korea is Sariwon Korean Barbecue.
Sariwon Korean Barbecue

Being awarded "Best Korean Restaurant" by NBC Broadcasting Company in 2005, and by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in 2007, we knew we're in the good hands of the legendary Mrs. Bun-Im Koo, the founder of the tasty yet diabetic-friendly bulgogi sauce which made Sariwon Korean Barbecue a family-owned empire in its country of origin.

Sariwon Bonifacio High Street Central Sariwon Korean Restaurant

After starting off as a small and humble twenty seven-seater eatery back in 1938, Sariwon Korean Barbecue grew to a three hundred-seater restaurant. And this year, we're very lucky that sisters Diane and Donna Tan have brought us the first out-of-Korea Sariwon branch to give us Filipinos, a taste of Korea.

Sariwon Utensils

Inspired by the native Korean Zelkova tree, Sariwon Korean Barbecue has a sleek, up-scale dining space drenched in a warm color palette of oranges and browns. Each wooden table has a state-of-the-art smokeless grill cum boiler which can also be concealed. And to give both Filipinos and Koreans an authentic dining experience, even the stainless steel utensils are imported straight from Korea.

Tissue Tablets

Before we started off our dinner, we were first given a plate of dehydrated tissue tablets. I know this is so trivial, but I can't help but be mesmerized by how the small tablets turned into hot towels after our server poured hot water over them.

The Complimentary Starters

To formally get on with our Korean dinner, our very knowledgeable and courteous server Trixie, brought out a set of refillable Banchan -- small complimentary plates of Korean side dishes which consisted of Sigeumchi Namul (spinach in sesame oil), Kochu Myeolchi Bokkeum (anchovies with green chili), Baek Kimchi (spicy pickled cabbage), Kongnamul (boiled bean sprouts in sesame oil), Musaengchae (white radish in sweet vinegar sauce) and Danhobak Sarada (sweet potato-pumpkin salad).

Free Banchan

I really liked every banchan served, and it was quite a surprise 'cause I don't really dig kimchi. If you ask me for my favorite banchan for the night, I guess I have to go with the sweet potato-pumpkin ball and pickled julienned white radish.

Free Korean Salad

While waiting for the main entrées, we were also served with a plate of the restaurant's House Salad -- a colorful ensemble of lettuce, red cabbage shreds and tomatoes in a sesame oil vinaigrette. I forgot to ask though if this is also refillable.

The Food

After a hearty start with the tasty and appetite-whetting salad and banchan, it was finally time to sample the well-known meaty treats of Sariwon Korean Barbecue.

Galbi P545

And first on the table was this beautiful plate of Galbi (P545), 280 grams of juicy and tender marinated USDA choice beef short ribs that comes with enoki mushrooms, garlic cloves and bell pepper slices for grilling, and served with lettuce wraps and chili paste.

Medium Galbi

Our server grilled our Galbi to medium doneness before cutting it up into smaller pieces. And upon first bite, I can't help but smile with joy. These marinated beef slices can be eaten without any condiments as every bite is an explosion of sweet, savory and succulent meaty goodness. But of course, we also tried doing the Korean way by adding chili paste and wrapping it up in a lettuce leaf -- spicy, crunchy and very healthy.

Dak Galbi P350

We then sampled a serving of Dak Galbi (P350), 250 grams of delicately marinated boneless chicken grilled to a lovely tenderness. Just as how it looks on the cast iron plate, each piece is tender and succulent, spicy and with a hint of a tang. This would be perfect with a bowl of hot steaming plain rice. Too bad though, I didn't ask for one.

Sariwon Bulgogi P545

We also got to try the Sariwon Bulgogi (P545), 150 grams of thin silky slices of USDA choice beef with mushrooms and vegetables, cooked in a copper griller-boiler, and served with Sariwon's signature sauce along with freshly-made sweet potato noodles.

Sariwon Bulgogi with Sweet Potato Noodles

Seriously, the special broth with sweet potato noodles is a must-try! I've always believed that freshly-made noodles is definitely better. However, this is the first time I've tried noodles made from sweet potatoes. Although it somehow looks similar to Misua, it tastes amazing -- soft, chewy and mildly sweet. The Bulgogi pieces on the other hand, was cooked a little overdone for my liking. However, it still had a nice succulent beef taste.

Dolsot Bibimbap P380

For some flavorful carbs, we had the Dolsot Bibimbap (P380), a famous variation of the Korean signature mixed rice dish of savory rice with sautéed vegetables, raw egg, sesame oil and chili paste in a sizzling stone pot.

Dolsot Bibimbap Mixed

After our server mixed our Dolsot Bibimbap and gave us a bowl each, it was time to dig in. Although I haven't had a lot of bibimbaps in my life, I can definitely say that Sariwon's is one of the best in town. Each spoonful is a beautiful harmony of sweet, spicy and savory flavors. It's so tasty that I can eat this even without meat or any form of a viand.

Japchae P350

Of course, a trip to a Korean restaurant wouldn't be complete without trying its rendition of the famous Japchae (P350) -- glass sweet potato noodles, mushrooms and assorted vegetables stir-fried in sesame oil. Honestly, I'm not too fond of the sweet taste of this Korean noodle dish. However, Sariwon's has just the right amount of sweetness I can tolerate. The noodle strands are also a delight to munch -- soft, chewy and quite elastic.

Haemul Pajeon P350

Another Korean delicacy we sampled was the Haemul Pajeon (P350), a traditional Korean savory pancake with squid, shrimp, oysters and green onions, served with a sweet and salty dipping sauce. Being an okonomiyaki lover, this plateful of tasty goodness got me digging in. The pancake itself is soft and a delight to bite, while the seafood toppings came in generous portions. In fact, I loved it so much that I even ordered a serving for take out. And as expected, it gained my parents' stamp of approval.

Sikhye P60

To end our meal, we had a small cup of Sikhye (P60) -- a traditional Korean sweet drink made with malt and rice. At first, I was surprised that we'd have a beverage-like item for dessert. However, it was love upon first sip. The concoction's sweet and refreshing taste is quite similar to sugarcane. The rice grains were also a delight to the bite. It wasn't soggy, but chewy and very interesting.

The Drinks

Diners at Sariwon are given free barley house tea. But since the restaurant has a nice selection of very interesting beverages, we just can't help but order some.

Cherry Blossom Sojutini P140 Citrus Herb Juice P150

My choice of drink for the night was a Cherry Blossom Sojutini (P140), a pretty red concoction of cherry brandy, lime and soju. Although the menu claims this drink as a light cocktail for the ladies, this was quite strong for my palate. Each sip gave a strong alcohol flavor, so this is probably a good choice for the true lady drinkers. Two of our companions on the other hand, had the Citrus Herb Juice (P150), a light and refreshing blend of citrus and cucumber flavors.

Sangria Soju P195 Kiwi Shake P160

I also got a sip from my friend's Sangria Soju (P195), a refreshing concoction of apple, orange and lemon slices in a mix of red wine and soju. Compared to my choice of cocktail, this one is definitely sweeter, fruitier and more tolerable for casual alcohol drinkers. And for smoothie lovers, I'm sure an order of the unusual yet refreshing fresh Kiwi Shake (P160) won't fail to delight.

THE VERDICT

Even with barely three months of operations in Bonifacio High Street Central, Sariwon Korean Barbecue has already captured the hearts and the palates of both Filipinos and Koreans in the Metro. With a selection of excellent Korean food items, a set of very knowledgeable and courteous staff, a tastefully-decorated dining space and a list of awards to boot, I'm sure Sariwon will continue to give us an authentic taste of Korea.

Taste - 4.5/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 3.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5


Sariwon Korean Barbecue, Bonifacio High Street Central
UG/F West Superblock, Bonifacio High Street Central,
7th Ave. cor. 29th St.,
Taguig City, Metro Manila
Philippines
(02) 621-3205; (0922) 535-2446
Facebook Page

35 comments:

  1. Sariwon Bulgogi is a must order when dining in Sariwon ; ) I celebrated my birthday in Sariwon last May and my mom celebrated hers last June. If Sariwon has a branch here in Greenhills or in QC, I might be dining there every week ; p

    xoxo
    MrsMartinez

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    1. Yeah, if only Taguig isn't so far from my place, I would've brought my parents here on the first month of their opening.. *sigh* But still, a trip to Sariwon will always be worth it.. :)

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  2. Sounds like a good dining experience. I hope they will put up a store here in Davao too. :)

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  3. Korean food never fails to tempt me. Apart from being filled with colors, Korean cuisine's really tasty. I'll certainly try Sariwon the next time I visit my boyfriend in McKinley. =)

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  4. I agree with Clair. Hope they'll open in Davao. It's really something good to try. The pictures of the food made me crave for them.

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  5. Wow, Sumi this one is great. You may never know that I so loved Korean foods more than the Japs and the Chinese. And this gives me one thousand and one reason to visit the place as soon as we get home next year. Kahit saan pang lupalop eto dadayuhin ko talaga..hahahaha!

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  6. I want the bulgogi, galbi and pajeon!!! My friends are all raving about Sariwon so I hope i get to dine here soon!

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  7. I honestly haven't tried Korean cuisine.. and this post makes me want to try one..

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  8. Finally, you tried Korean! :) I miss Korean food. If ever I visit Boni High Street, I'll try this. Sama ka next food trip ha. :)

    http://www.dekaphobe.com/

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    1. Hopefully I'm already feeling better in time for the next food trip.. ^^

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  9. i want sariwon.. im not really into korean food but im craving for bulgogi or bibimbap because of this! nyaaaaa

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  10. wow they are so pricey but I guess it's a worth of a taste for that amount

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  11. Everything looks good,..kakagutom! I hope they're better than Bulgogi Brothers, we were disappointed with BB e, pricey pa

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    1. I've heard from friends who've tried both Bulgogi Brothers and Sariwon na Sariwon's better.. ^^

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  12. shucks looks super yummy! i miss korean food :(

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  13. Yay for samgyeopsal!
    That bowl of bibimbap looks lovely. And the bulgogi, too. The meat looks divine!

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  14. Wow. It's official, I have to go there haha!

    I am going to invite my friends since most of them are Korean food and culture lovers, haha :) I am not though I love some of their foods hehee :)

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  15. I super love Sariwon... hands down my fave Korean resto! I love Sariwon Bulgogi and their unmarinated premium Galbi... yum! Aw this post makes me crave so much... <3

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  16. Ohmy gosh! All their foods looks so delish! And I believe it is delish! But I want to experience the dehydrated tissue tablets part. Not part of the edible foods experience but definitely a must-try for me. Haha! =)

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  17. I miss your blog sis! It's been a long time since I last visited purple doll :) You never fail to amaze me with your photos! Galing.

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  18. im never a fan of korean food. tried it once palang though. but your photos look so tempting :)
    Rovie, The Bargain Doll

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  19. Oh my, I love korean food! I can seriously eat it everyday. Your photos are always great hun! I love your blog <3

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  20. I have only been to two Korean restaurants Seoul Garden (eat all you can) & Raja (in Tagaytay).
    BF says there's a good place in QC too..near UP.

    I love Korean food because it has a nice blend of meat & vegetable dishes.

    I wonder do they have dukbokki?

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  21. wow this is great! I love korean food...makes me really hungry now!I wanna try the Sariwon Bulgogi and the kiwi shake looks refreshing!

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  22. Nice for sharing this Korean Restaurant. The foods makes even hungrier.

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  23. Nice resto. I love korean food. Wanted to try this resto, thanks for posting!

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  24. Wow, this one's a winner! Will try this...

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  25. OHMYGOOOOD!!! It's finally here! My friend, who recently went to Korea, told me about this place and how good their food was. He also told me that someone was bringing it to the Philippines!!! AND HERE IT IS!!! Hahahaha I'm very excited because as you know, I love Korean food! I should plan a trip to BGC just to eat here :D

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  26. Looks about right to munch now, midnight snack! lols...yummy!

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  27. Waahh! It is really hard to drop by here (your blog) by midnight cos it makes me crave. Good thing tomorrow is Sunday and I have time for food trip!! :P

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  28. I'm not really familiar with Korean food but after reading this, now I know I have been missing out A LOT on some good food. Can't wait to try out Sariwon :)

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  29. Wheeee! I'm eating there on Tuesday! :)

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  30. Ma. Angeline SumagueMarch 7, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    Yay thank you for a very informative post. I now have a better view of the price range there. Will definitely try eating there soon :D

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  31. I'm eating here tomorrow! Gonna try on your reviews. :)

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  32. i really love K-foods and really want to try the Bulgogi! I'm so curious about the Banchan, it's a must-try, i will surely visit sariwon one day...

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