My Korean Dining Experience

Tastes of the World – Korean Version

by: Melvin Corales

Excited to try the side dishes

Excited to try the side dishes

After a couple of weeks of planning and postponement, the time has come for me to critique the very famous Korean cuisine. Shiela and I went to Ye Dang Korean BBQ because she wanted me to try different food aside from Italian and Singaporean. Best part? It’s her treat.

Ye Dang is located at Meralco Avenue in Ortigas, Pasig City. You might want to take a cab as it is quite a walk from Megamall.

When we arrived at Ye Dang, I was nervous and excited at the same time. I am not really adventurous when it comes to food and Shiela knows that but since it’s her treat, I decided to give it a go. She ordered samgyeopsal-pork belly (niether marinated nor seasoned), dipped in sesame oil with salt and pepper then wrapped in a pungent leaf with a ssamjang (a bagoong-ish sauce).

Dining at Ye Dang

Dining at Ye Dang

Pork Bellies/Samyeopsal

Pork Belly/Samyeopsal

Samgyeopsal

Samgyeopsal

The other one Shiela ordered was the Korean beef stew-a dish comparable to Pinoy’s “pares or asado”. It is a sweet dish, too sweet actually after a few servings but it is the closest I can get if I want a Filipino-ish dish.

Korean Beef Stew

Korean Beef Stew

At Ye Dang, meals are usually for sharing. We only ordered two dishes but it felt like we were eating forever, not to mention we barely finished our seven side dishes. Yes seven. Imagine if you order a dish and you get seven side dishes. Isn’t that great? And the good thing about it is that the side dishes are unlimited. Too bad we weren’t able to get another serving of sweet baby potatoes because we are so full. Maybe it is something about their rice which is really sticky (“suman” consistency) and is more filling than our usual white rice.

I gave all the side dishes a quick taste, starting off with the most acceptable by my palette which is the sweet potato, the next one is the sweet dilis, traditional kimchi, spinach, raddish, fish cake and a jelly-ish dish. All in all I give the side dishes a 5 out of 10, I know what I signed up for, I know Korean dishes are spicy and how the kimchi is supposed to taste but the side dishes are either too sweet, too sour, or too bland for me.

7 side dishes - sweet anchovies/dilis, baby potatoes, kimchi, raddish kimchi, spinach and something jelly-like

7 side dishes – sweet anchovies/dilis, baby potatoes, kimchi, raddish kimchi, spinach and something jelly-like

Kimchi

Kimchi

Sweet Baby Potatoes

Sweet Baby Potatoes

Fish Cake

Fish Cake

Verdict:

Taste (overall): 7 out of 10

Taste is acceptable for an outsider’s point of view. Some ingredients may be a bit overpowering but I won’t dock points off of that.

Ambiance: 9 out of 10

Though while eating, you will notice you’ll be surrounded by Koreans in no time, that’s OK, it gives you an authentic Korean experience right in the middle of the city. Being an artist, the place is not the most pleasing for me but it’s fine bacause the place is cozy and comfortable.

Value for Money: 8 out of 10

Prices are a bit higher compared to other restaurants I’ve been through before. Servings are big, a serving is usually good for 4 to 5 people, which makes it worth a try.

Service: 8 out of 10

Service is fast. What I don’t like is that they insisted to cook our pork belly inside their kitchen. Hahaha. All in all, service is quite well.

Overall: 7 out of 10

Korean dish is way far from our palette but it is worth a try. Coming from a person who is not adventurous with food, a seven is a good score. I won’t go there if I want a comfort food. But if you want to surprise a Korean friend with authentic Korean cuisine in the Philippines, Ye Dang is the place.

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