Modern Korean Dining at Bulgogi Brothers

We’ve been wanting to try Bulgogi Brothers–an international franchise from Korea brought here by the Bistro Group–for the longest time. We were in Mall of Asia on a Sunday and it was a welcome surprise to see that they now have a branch there. We didn’t need to argue where we wanted to eat because we knew it was time to try Bulgigo Brothers. 🙂

Our timing was perfect because we arrived just past the lunch rush so the entire staff wasn’t too preoccupied serving a jam-packed restaurant floor. There were a handful of Korean groups dining here so I guess that fact alone attests to Bulgogi Brothers authenticity. Right?

Here's the drawer with tissue, paper mats and stuff.
Here’s the drawer with tissue, paper mats and stuff.

We dined al fresco, which afforded a great view of Manila Bay. I like their tables a lot because of this ingenious drawer on the side that holds everything a diner would need–extra utensils, tissue and whatnot.

Complimentary tea and plate of.. well, I don't know.
Complimentary tea and appetizer – sweet potato, corn and quail eggs

After getting our orders, the wait served us the day’s tea–Oksusu Cha or simply Corn Tea. The tea was surprisingly good. I think B and I had about four cups each. No, we didn’t ask for extra but because they give every table a stainless steel jug each of tea.

Some of the banchan.
Some of the banchan.

After that, we were served banchan–side dishes that are served before the main dish. We were handed spinach, kimchi and whatnot. The waiter mixed them all up right in front of us and placed it on our individual plates. Now that’s some service many Manila restaurants–of the same market, of course–should take note of.

Super super super delicious side salad!
Super super super delicious side salad!

As soon as the waiter left, we quickly devoured it. I was surprised by its mild spiciness, which is pretty unusual in green salads. I’m not sure about you guys but I haven’t had a salad that had a kick to it. But then again this is a Korean restaurant. Everything must be spicy.

Customers can ask for a refill too but since we were in for a heavy lunch ahead, we decided to stick to one plate.

Here's our "soup," which is called Gangdoengjang in korean.
Gangdoengjang, Php300. The boyfriend says its soup but I say its stew.

Gangdoengjang is supposed to be “soup,” according to the boyfriend (he ordered this) but I think this is actually stew because of, well, how thick and heavy it is with so many ingredients. Just like how the waiter prepared the salad for us, he also prepped this stew for us. So basically, he mixed it all in that big bowl on the right and plopped it on our plates.

If the salad had a slight spiciness to it, then this one was on overdrive. It was ridiculously spicy, I was literally sweating after eating about two servings of this. It was mighty delicious though. If you factor in the fact that it’s a vegetable-heavy dish, one shouldn’t get full immediately right? Well, that wasn’t the case for us! We were already feeling full even before two other dishes arrived. I blame the spiciness of it–forcing us to hose it down with iced tea.

Haemul Gungjung Mandu, Php675 (10 pieces)
Haemul Gungjung Mandu, Php675 (10 pieces). Seriously good! Seriously worth the price.

One of Bulgogi Brothers’ best-selling dishes, Haemul Gungjung Mandu is basically fried dumplings with seafood. But don’t be deceived by its unassuming simplicity because it was ridiculously good especially when dipped with that spicy chili sauce. Also, there’s grilled mussels decorating the plate too–a nice touch.

Mussels, shrimp and squid are all squashed inside the dumpling.
Mussels, shrimp and squid are all squashed inside the dumpling.

We ordered the 10-piece plate but typical of us, we only managed to eat 6.  We didn’t mind though because we were so happy with that dish. Thanks to our waiter’s suggestion!

Chicken Bulgogi, Php425. This was already cooked when served.
Chicken Bulgogi, Php425. This was already cooked when served.

I must say we could have survived the meal without this Chicken Bulgogi. Not that it wasn’t delicious but simply because we were shitty stuffed. I managed to eat half a plate of this and it was really good. The chicken was tender and chewy, while the sauce wasn’t overpowering. I reckon this would taste even more delicious had we eaten this when it was still warm. We let it sit too long on the table. 🙁

Rice was served in a stainless steel bowl I wanted to take home.
Rice was served in a stainless steel bowl I wanted to take home.

Seriously, all of this would be fine to eat without rice, but since two of the dishes automatically came with rice, we had no choice. Just so you know, we tried to pare down our gluttony. I didn’t finish this bowl. Ate about 1/4 of this rice. *pats myself on the back* 😀

Happy tummy! *burp*
Happy tummy! *burp*

Bulgogi Brothers is really ramping up its presence here in Manila! I know they also have a branch in Greenbelt 5, and Alabang Town Center, but apparently there’s also another one that just opened in Subic. Business must be really good for this Korean restuarant. 🙂

Bulgogi Brothers
with branches in Greenbelt 5, Alabang Town Center, MOA, Subic
bulgogibrothers@bistro.com.ph 

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