Korean food is a recent addition to my list of favourite cuisines. I mean I’ve tried it before but maybe I was too young and too dumb to appreciate it as much as I did with Japanese food, which I’ve loved since I was a kid. I must admit the sudden surge in popularity of Kpop and Hallyu played a big part in why I decided to give Korean food another go some years ago.
I haven’t turned back since. I mean I just got a craving for some jjajangmyeon after a character in the drama I just finished watching mentioned it. Ugh.
Thankfully there are quite a few Korean restaurants here in Manila run by real Koreans, which mostly already ensures that we get some pretty authentic fare. Personally I always try to go for those places rather than the commercialised ones because I feel that they don’t try to scrimp on the ingredients and subsequently the quality of the food is much higher. They also don’t give you a teeny tiny serving and charge a ridiculous amount for it.
My family is adventurous with trying different cuisines in general, which I’m really grateful for, because at least we’re all on the same page when it comes to Korean food. We all really love it! And we all agreed that we loved the food in DAOM Korean BBQ Restaurant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
This little place is nestled up on the second floor of the Paseo de Sta. Rosa shopping compound, a small and simply decorated restaurant with a very homey ambiance.
It was a holiday when we came here and there were about four other people eating (the Paseo shopping area that day was essentially empty too) so I can’t comment on whether the service would be fast during rush hour but it sure was with us.
The hardest part with dining in a restaurant serving one of your favourite cuisines is the ordering. You have to pick just a couple of dishes without going overboard! I think the waitress really waited a while to take our orders, but as soon as she jotted them down the side dishes came out.
One of the things I love about the Korean way of dining is the abundance of side dishes or banchan. Each meal has at least 2 up to 12 side dishes, already good accompaniment for rice on its own really but not if a lot of you are sharing I guess. All the Korean-owned restaurants I’ve eaten in so far serve a ton of side dishes, and here in DAOM is probably where we were served the most generously with 10. And it’s refillable which is really awesome. The owner herself made sure we had a good fill of food beginning from the banchan.
Why don’t I try to identify as many as I can? (With the help of Wiki haha!) Somebody please do correct me if I’m wrong with any of them (and please supply the Korean name for the ones I don’t know) because this is also a learning experience for me!
Top row from left to right:
- Kongnamul— boiled bean sprouts with sesame oil
- Kkakdugi— cubed white raddish kimchi
- Muchae— julienned white radish in sweet vinegar sauce with strips of seaweed
- Japchae– glass noodles with sweet-garlic sauce
Bottom row from left to right:
- Sigeumchi namul— lightly boiled spinach dressed in sesame oil, garlic, and soy sauce
- Green beans with shrimp with a light sesame oil seasoning
- Seguidillas beans dressed in sesame oil, garlic, and soy sauce
- Korean-style potato salad
Everything was yummy, just so you know, but my favourites are always the sigeumchi namul and the kkakdugi. Kimchi is almost a staple here at home so I don’t even need to mention it haha!
Okay, let’s get down to the main dishes we ordered. We did not do any Korean barbecuing for today and simply ordered a couple of dishes. First up is this revelation of a dish by the name of Jokbal BBQ (Php 900), which is pig’s feet barbecued with sweet and spicy sauce, cooked so soft and tender it melted in the mouth wonderfully. You wouldn’t even know it was pig’s feet! (Let’s not think about the calories for a sec haha!)
The Jokbal is a huge serving, with a side of lettuce and some sauce to wrap it with like any Korean BBQ dish. Ask for lettuce refills because I think wrapping it up is the best way to enjoy it.
I think kimbap (Php 300 for two orders) needs no explanation. Honestly kimbap made in every Korean-owned establishment seem to look and taste the same to me. I always prefer Japanese rolls because I feel they are more creative, but that is not to say I don’t enjoy kimbap. Having it in every Korean meal I sit down on is proof enough.
We also had some bulgogi deopbap (Php 300), which is essentially thin slices of beef marinated in a sweet soy sauce base mixed with glass noodles. While deopbap is supposed to mean “covered rice” (rice covered by meat), I don’t actually remember if we requested for noodles but I do believe there is some rice underneath there. In any case, this was a nice and light dish with clean flavours.
I don’t eat rice on the regular but I’d finish a whole bowl of bibimbap (Php 350) myself if it came down to it. It must be because bibimbap has all the flavours and components I look for in a dish. It is literally a complete meal in itself with carbs, veggies, and protein. How do you eat it? You add the sauce and give it a good, then let it take over tastebuds.
I like my bibimbap spicy, and I like letting it sit in the hot bowl for a little bit so that the rice gets nice and toasted. This dish has been on my to-make list forever! I’ll definitely have to make it soon because another craving just hit me.
Speaking of cravings, I admit I had been wanting some Kimchi Jjigae (Php 280) for since seeing Kim So Eun cook it for Song Jae Rim many many weeks ago on the Korean variety show ‘We Got Married’, so I took this opportunity to have my fill. What can I say about this warm bowl of hot and spicy stew except that it warmed me to the core?
Such a satisfying way to end the meal really.
Before we left the owner handed me a few pieces of Korean lollipops. My only regret is that I completely forgot to tell her jalmeo geot sseum ni da! I had a great meal!
I really liked eating here. DAOM evokes the same feeling I imagine I would get if I went to Korea right now and got invited to a home-cooked dinner by a Korean friend. I imagine these are the sort of hearty and delicious dishes his/her mother would cook for us. I definitely will come back for more! 🙂
DAOM Korean BBQ Restaurant
2F Paseo de Sta. Rosa, Laguna
Mobile No. +63 905 482 0044
Full disclosure: This meal was not sponsored in any way and all opinions stated above are my own.