Guess what? It's one of my favorite cuisines -- Korean!
And it was very timely too! One of my college classmates' food-loving family just opened a fairly new Korean restaurant. And with my friend Berylle and our ever-supportive and gentleman-ly boyfriends in tow (waiting for us to finish taking photos before eating = more pogi points), we checked out Leann's Tea House in Quezon City.
Named after the first daughter of one of the owners, Leann's Tea House is located along Mother Ignacia Avenue. They boast of offering healthy, free of MSG, and authentic Korean dishes, which uses the recipes of the owner family's Korean in-laws. And you know I trust Korean restaurants more when an actual Korean is behind the food.
Renovated from what used to be the owners' old home, Leann's Tea House positions itself as family-style Korean restaurant, instead of a BBQ-pub, where families (even with small children) and friends can bond and enjoy good food. And the place really exudes just that kind of vibe. Simple yet warm (not literally), homey and comfortable.
If you're familiar with Korean restaurants, then you probably have an idea of what I love about them... Two of which is complimentary tea and banchan. All refillable! └(=^ω^=)┐
Normally, I don't gush about complimentary tea despite being a tea lover myself. However, Leann's Tea House isn't named a tea house for nothing. They rotate offering complimentary corn and barley tea. And during our visit, we were lucky to have chanced upon the corn tea which was flavorful and tasted like how corn tea should really taste like -- not overly diluted nor synthetic-tasting. It was so good, I think we had about 10 refills!
|✓ Complimentary oksusu cha (corn tea)|
The banchan were equally enjoyable as well. Other Korean restaurants will give you 6, 8, or even 10 kinds. But at Leann's Tea House, the 4 varieties were enough to get us hooked as it's definitely quality over quantity. Their kimchi had the right amount of tang, and was spicier than most kimchi I've had in the past. But it's the Korean salad I really loved. And although other Korean restaurants would use the same kimchi for the salad dressing, they used a sweeter-not-so-spicy blend for the salad here.
|Complimentary banchan (small plate appetizers/side dishes)|
✓ kimchi, ✓ Korean salad, ✓ gamja (potato) salad, sukju namul muchim (seasoned beansprouts)
The boys on the other hand, loved the potato salad which somehow reminded me of mashed potatoes, but more savory. And the seasoned beansprouts was a great, refreshing side too, to cut the richness of some of the main dishes.
Unli Samgyeopsal & Woo Samgyup
Many Korean restaurants today offer unlimited pork belly and even beef belly. And while it makes the competition a lot stiffer, I can't deny that in the end, the diners are the winners.
And at Leann's Tea House, diners who order for the Unli Samgyeopsal or the Unli Samgyeopsal and Woo Samgyup are definitely set to leave the place happy and full. Served with condiments, lettuce for wrapping or rice, carnivores can freely feast on the pork belly and beef belly all-they-want. Just take note though that maximum time of ordering and re-ordering meats is 3 hours, which is already plenty of time for a grill-fest.
|Unli Samgyeopsal (P349)|
Unli Samgyeopsal and Woo Samgyup (P399)
Here's the serving of Samgyeopsal we enjoyed for the night. We wanted to go for it and get a refill, but we thought it'd be wiser to save some space for the other dishes. We're definitely bent on returning again to avail of the unlimited promo though. I can seriously eat pork belly with kimchi and beansprouts wrapped in lettuce all day!
|Samgyeopsal (P240 ala carte); Unli Samgyeopsal (P349)|
|Grilling the beautiful pieces of samgyeopsal~|
We also enjoyed this serving of Woo Samgyup which are thin slices of beef belly that I bet goes great with some rice. Cooked to medium doneness (the way I like it), I chose to have it the healthier way -- wrapped in lettuce with some garlic and Korean salad. Yum!
|Woo Samgyup (P300 ala carte);|
Unli Samgyeopsal & Woo Samgyup (P399)
The Ala Carte
Other than the unlimited pork and beef belly, Leann's Tea House also offers dishes from their ala carte menu. And although each serving won't stuff you to the brim (unless there's only 2 of you, or you're alone), I guarantee that these dishes are of great value.
A great appetizer to start a meal with is the Tonkatsu Kimbap, a creative marriage of a Korean favorite and the Japanese's breaded superstar. Like the usual kimbap, it has rice, ham, egg, crabstick, spinach, carrots and pickled radish wrapped in nori, then wrapped again with a thin layer of breaded, deep-fried pork. Every bite off this dish is oh-so-good. Crunchy and rich on the outside, but refreshing and quite sharp on the inside. Served with katsu sauce, this is definitely a dish kids and adults alike will surely fall in love with.
|✓ Tonkatsu Kimbap (P250)|
Something that one shouldn't miss in a Korean resto is the Galbi Jjim -- a hearty Korean stew made from slowly-simmered short ribs often eaten on Chuseok. And while I prefer dry, non-wet food to soups, this is one of the exceptions. The flavorful broth with the beef short ribs, onions, carrots, potatoes, leeks and dates is just so comforting. Whether paired with rice or eaten as it is, this is one soul food my soul will never get tired of!
|✓ Galbi Jjim (P400 for 2-3 pax; P600 for 4-5 pax)|
We also had the LA Galbi which is one of Leann's Tea House's bestsellers. Unlike the beef belly, this dish is marinated and uses beef short rib that's cut across the bone. It was also lightly-grilled already when it was served. But of course, we still grilled it more to our liking (medium doneness) and cut it in smaller pieces. And while it takes a little more effort, although you can let the staff do all of it but we opted not to, this is no doubt the highlight of our visit. Tender, succulent, flavorful. Now, if only this was also available unli!
|✓ LA Galbi (P420)|
No visit to a Korean resto would also be complete without Japchae, the famous Korean noodle dish using sweet potato noodles. Firm to the bite yet chewy and quite springy, this is a sautéed noodle dish I can never get enough of. Every mouthful is not only a treat because of its texture, but taste-wise as well. The flavors from the meat, mushrooms and vegetables marry to an enjoyable sweet and savory noodle goodness. However, I found that the dish was a little on the oilier side.
For carbs, we also had the Bibimbap -- a famous Korean mixed rice dish with beef, spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, onions, egg and ssamjang (spicy soy bean paste) served in a hot stone pot. This dish has been one of my favorite rice preparations ever since I first tried it, and Leann's Tea House gave it justice. Although flavor is sweeter than most I've had before, this is a very enjoyable rice dish even when eaten on its own. By the way, all of us just can't get enough of the slightly-burnt bottom. So good!
|Bibimbap when mixed~|
For drinks, we got to try something a little different. These tea drinks are unique not only because of the fact they're frozen (or smoothie'd), but also of their taste. They're not overly sweet, and I actually have a hunch that they (or some of them) don't even have sugar. But if you're adventurous and love tea, do give them a try!
|Refreshing "Frozen" Tea Drinks|
Green Tea, ✓ Omija Tea, ✓ Red Ginseng, Black Tea
- Green Tea - tastes like a light, slightly creamy matcha drink
- Omija Tea - tastes light, fruity, tangy and refreshing
- Red Ginger - taste is reminiscent of Chinese herbal tea and ginger
- Black Tea - taste has a floral note, light yet very fragrant
Like most Korean restaurants in the metro, Leann's Tea House also give out complimentary desserts. I'm not sure until when they'll be giving away free Excellent ice cream, but they might change it to complimentary fruit slices soon. On a side note, it's the boyfriend and my first time to try this ice cream, and we're hooked! Love the butter-like packaging, and its smooth and creamy vanilla taste. d(=^･ω･^=)b
If you ever visit Leann's Tea House and found yourself loving their kimchi, know that you can actually take it home. We got to bag a bottle each ourselves (Super thanks, Jiselle!), and I'm loving it in my salads and meats. You can make a mean kimchi rice with it too!
|Leann's Tea House Kimchi (P180 per bottle)|
Although I initially found it odd that the restaurant is named a little too Chinese restaurant-sounding than Korean, after this visit, I have no doubt that Leann's Tea House is indeed a great family-style Korean restaurant. Everything we got to try that night proved that the place serves honest-to-goodness Korean food. From the banchan, the grilled meats, the ala carte items, down to the drinks, our group had nothing short of great-tasting Korean fare. And with very affordable price tags, and prompt and friendly service to boot, I'm sure to put a good word about Leann's Tea House to family and friends looking for a good Korean meal in Quezon City. I personally can't wait to visit again too!
Note: Leann's Tea House is open from 11:00AM to 2:00PM and 6:00PM to 10:00PM only.
Taste - 4/5
Ambiance - 3.5/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Taste - 4/5
Ambiance - 3.5/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Leann's Tea House, Quezon City
105-R Mother Ignacia Ave., (near Tomas Morato)
South Triangle, Quezon City
Metro Manila, Philippines
(02) 411 8902; (+63) 916 604 5236
Posted in: ala carte buffet, eat-all-you-can, food, grill, korean, korean barbecue, meat, quezon city, samgyupsal