Sunday, June 23, 2013

More Than Kimchi - Bulgogi Brothers Davao Review

When one hears Korea - we immediately think of KPop that has invaded the country faster than you can say   "anyeonghaseyo". Davao City has also welcomed many Korean nationals either for study/business or plain leisure. 

Personally, I associate this country with that Korean novela I religiously followed on TV - Jewel in the Palace and of course, Kimchi. The former showed Korean cuisine and the painstaking process which goes into preparing even the simplest of dishes that it has become more of an art. So when invitations were sent to try the dishes at Bulgogi Brothers Davao, I knew it was going to be an experience I can't afford to pass. Ina-Tay along with three other Davao bloggers Jonas, Quims and Sarah sampled a mix of new and iconic dishes. Bulgogi by the way literally means "fire meat" and is most commonly translated as Korean barbecue. These are thin slices of beef, pork or chicken specially marinated in a combination of Korean sauce and other seasonings to enhance flavor and tenderness. 

We were first served their Tea of the Day which was the healthy Bori Cha (Barley tea). My companions kept refilling their cups and said it tasted good. I had to forego tea because it has a filling effect on me and I was saving my appetite for the main courses. While chatting with the branch's friendly manager Sir JayPee, the staff then brought the side dishes called Banchan. There were of course Kimchi, boiled quail eggs and sweet corn, fried dilis, eggplant and sauteed kangkong complete with condiments like salt, pepper and ssamjjang. Did I mention these are all for free every time you dine there?! I had to definitely sample Bulgogi's version of the Kimchi. I was pleasantly surprised that it was not very spicy contrary to the other Kimchis I have tried in the past. It still had the signature combination of sweet, salty and spicy but at a level comfortable to most Pinoys.

Nothing to be afraid with this Kimchi!
I think some of us are familiar with the Korean favorite bibimbap and it was served next. Bulgogi Bibimbap is rice topped with julienne zucchini, brown mushrooms, bean sprouts, carrots, eggplant and meat with raw egg on the center. The mix of colors was so appealing the four of us had to take photos before mixing it. Despite the many ingredients, it all came together! It is best to add the Bibimbap sauce to enhance the flavor but overall it was a beautiful symphony of flavors and colors in bowl!

Bulgogi Brothers Bibimbap - Php 325.00 (serves 2)
Then we sampled Bulgogi Brothers' Haemul Gungjung Mandu or Seafood Royal Dumpling in English. This Korean dumpling is filled with ground meat and vegetables then fried and served with a mix of mussels, shrimp and squid. It has its own sauce also to boost the flavor. I found it interesting and was different from the usual fried dumplings. 

Haemul Gungjung Mandu - Php 350.00 (serves 2-3)
Next on the list was the Bulgogi Brothers Special - a duo of Unyang and Gwangyang-style Bulgogi. The heart-shaped beef patties and thin slices of beef are fried with the juices used to saute the onions, bean sprouts and sweet potato. WOW! The patties were bursting with flavors and it was an experience having the staff cook it right on our table! No extenders were used on the beef patties and the veggies were still crisp!

Bulgogi Brothers Special - Php 895.00 (serves 3-4)
Last but definitely not least on the list was Kkotgalbisal or Boneless Beef Ribs. It was cooked right on the table like the previous dish, barbecue-style along with onions and garlic. Massineun (delicious)! The beef was so tender and flavorful in itself I only tried dipping it in the Bulgogi Brothers special sauce on my last serving. I'm not a beef fan but this is the dish I will surely order on my next visit!

Kkotgalbisal (Boneless Beef Ribs) - Php 675.00 (serves 2-3)
And I must not forget their rice - Quimz called it Special Sticky Rice and rightly so because it was the best bowl of rice I had outside of home. It's very soft and white and I felt like royalty to be eating this along with the delicious dishes!
Uber-delish rice - Php 75.00 
We also tried their signature drinks - Citrus Mint and Raspberry Tea - to flush down our authentic Korean meal. I prefer the first drink since I'm a huge mint fan but the Raspberry is also good especially for those who prefer a fruity concoction. 

Citrus Mint and Raspberry Tea - Php 95.00 each
For dessert, we were served with Korean ice cream bars. I tried the Cledor Berry Mix and finally answered why a lot of people are starting to patronize Korean ice cream! It is similar to that popular Magnum but I loved the ice cream base which has an unadulterated berry flavor with just the right level of sweetness. A perfect ending if I may say!

Korean Ice Cream bars - Php 95.00 each
My Bulgogi Brothers Davao experience was truly worth sharing with all of you hence this rather lengthy post. You can't blame me if I want to give justice to the food we tried without having to go to Korea just to experience the best of Korean cooking. Thank you Bulgogi Brothers Davao and to their very accommodating staff headed by their manager Sir JayPee Oquendo. Don't be surprised to see me again one of these days!

Bulgogi Brothers Davao is located at the Fountain Court, Second Level of SM Lanang Premier, Davao City. If you want to try the dishes I just mentioned and other authentic Korean fare, visit them and you will surely have a delicious time like what he had. 

Like their official Facebook page here and be updated of their events and promos.

Kamsahamnida Bulgogi Brothers Davao! 

1 comment:

  1. Let me try this. I haven't tried Korean food all my life even though there's lots of Korean restaurants in Cebu. I will try this one here in Davao. :-)