A comfort zone is a beautiful place. But nothing grows there.”
Many years ago, my hubby can’t do without “Kim-chi”. And at that time, I knew it originated from Korea, actually, one of their national dish.
Among Asian countries, I am inspired to see Japan because I have several relatives there, to see the thousand Tori gates and Hachiko’s statue. Probably Hongkong to shop, or Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, India for having been known for their beautiful sceneries. I only got focused to Korea when I used to work at a theme park and I once dreamt of visiting Lotte world because it is the largest indoor theme park in the world.
Though I noticed as the years go by, we, Filipinos are turning Korean. Their influence in our daily lives were so apparent. Even my father used to admire Korean made cars like Kia and Hyundai even if he is using a Honda civic then. On gadgets, when Blackberry and Nokia died a natural death due to lack of innovation, or should I say other brands didn’t stop innovating, this Korean brand Samsung which used to be a staple name for appliances and home electronics came up with mobile phones and is actually going head to head with Iphones during present time.
There have been specialty stores showing up like mushroom selling home decors, kitchen stuff, cosmetics and mostly gift items which I am fond of too. A visit to these stores and you’ll never go home empty-handed as there are too much pretty and impulse items scrupulously arranged in their display shelves.
Korean cosmetics became a staple in every girl’s pouches. There were a lot of Korean salons, Clothes stores, Cosmetics shops and are thriving because they have established a market in the Philippines.
Did I miss Korean novels too? I remember more than 10 years ago, Jewel in the Palace or more popularly known as Jang Geum was truly a hit. My friends and office mates would talk about it the day after watching the series and I really can’t relate, I’ve got nothing against it, though I was a fan of something else then. =)
Hmmn, The K-pop fever, millennials going crazy with Korean celebrities, boy bands, girl bands, even I loved watching Black pink. =)
And then, going back to Kimchi, their food!!! I was still working at Enchanted Kingdom when we came up with Bulgogi and we even had seminars to be fluent in the Korean language.
Aside from Kimchi, Bulgogi, Japchae, most of which are spicy, and I’m not fond of spicy food. =( Their versions of fried chicken introduced by different Korean restaurants, I also tried.
Not until my son and Jen convinced me to try one of their famous restaurants, the first thing they were telling me is that there are items in their menu that are not spicy. =) To cut this story short, It became my favorite instantly. Tried just two: Samgyupsalamat and Romantic Baboy. =)
And Samgyup have been here since 2012!!! My appreciation of them happened just recently. Ehehe
Because I used to be scared to try new things, until I learned that I won’t be able to learn and widen my horizon if I won’t try things that are new to me. Like with milk teas, coffee used to be my comfort zone. Trying milk tea accidentally, because my friend got me one time while when we’re working, and I instantly loved it. =)
Same goes with Korean dishes, if I’m not exerting an effort to balance my meal, I’d always be consuming Korean BBQ. What I love about it is the fact that we grill it right on the center of the table. I really enjoy it. =)
Everything is fresh, sliced thinly, arranged neatly too, there are different kinds of sauces, there are vegetables, it is really cute for me. We go for the unlimited samgyupsal (Korean style of grilling pork belly) so before I know it because I truly enjoyed the fun of grilling, I am already full.
I’ve only tried Samgyupsalamat and Romantic Baboy. Though I go for the first one, the freshness of meat is almost the same, or maybe it’s the service. Staff of Samgyupsalamat are like hawks keeping an eye as to what your table lacks. They would delightfully say excuse to regularly change the grill, refill your drinks and would ask you from time to time if there’s anything you still need. I did not experience that at Romantic Baboy, except for the single-stemmed rose after dining.
There are actually a lot of choices if you’re craving for Korean dishes in the Philippines. I have listed places to visit soon too. =)
Jal meokkessumnida! (–.)
Featured image: https://ny.eater.com/maps/best-korean-barbecue-nyc