What’s new at Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Unli Korean BBQ joints abound in the metro. So much so that one may be challenged in distinguishing one resto’s offerings from another’s.

Well, Geonbae Modern Korean Bar & Grill will make sure that you remember it well.

Geonbae translates to “empty glass” which has the same meaning as the expression “bottom’s up.” The name is quite apt because here, you and your friends can eat and drink to the good times.

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Last year, I had lunch at the Geonbae branch in the Tomas Morato area together with my officemates, during which we took advantage of a Buy 3 Get 1 Deal on its Php499 set. Then, I praised Geonbae’s ambiance, variety of offerings, great service and value for money.

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

After taking part in a Zomato Foodie Meetup at the same Geonbae branch, I’m happy to report on some new things for K-BBQ fans to enjoy.

1) A hyped up Php649 set

With the Php649 set (50% off for kids 10 years old and younger), you can eat your fill of:

9 kinds of appetizers: includes buldak (chicken) kimbap, yachae (vegetable) kimbap, fried and steamed manju, japchae, tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), kimchi takoyaki as well as yoen yeo (salmon sashimi) and chamchi (tuna sashimi)

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

11 Entrees: includes saewoo twigim (shrimp fry), galbi jjim (beef stew), ramyeon (Korean ramen), bibimbap, chicken bibimbap, salmon bibimbap, spicy salmon ramen and Korean wings.

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Soups and stews: includes doenjang jigae (seafood stew), kimchi jigae (kimchi stew) and galbitang (beef rib stew)

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Side dishes: includes odeng (fish cake), pajeon (green onions pancake), hobak jeon (pumpkin pancake), gyeran jim (steamed egg), napa kimchi, gamja jurim (potato marble), myulchi bokkeum, lettuce, kimchi bokkeunbap (kimchi fried rice), bap (plain rice) and cheese for dipping

21 kinds of meat: includes samgyeopsal (pork belly), spicy yakiniku samgyeopsal, ginger samgyeopsal, gochujang samgyeopsal, smoked pork belly, spicy yakiniku pork ribs, spicy yakiniku moksal, herb pork jowl, herb pork belly, pork bulgogi, pork intestine, sausage, woo samgyeop (beef belly), oyster woo samgyeop, gochujang woosamgyeop, chadolbaegi (beef brisket), galbisal (rib finger), oyster hoshisal (hanger steak), beef bulgogi, ginger chicken breast and assorted odeng.

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

The Php649 set (maximum of 3 hours staying time) is available for dinner Fridays to Sundays from 3pm onwards. Price is exclusive of VAT. Leftovers will be charged Php649.

2) A high-tech ordering and requesting system

When dining at unli Korean BBQ places, you sometimes get frustrated at the slow fulfillment of refill requests or changing of grills, right?

Well, not here. By connecting to Geonbae’s WiFi network and scanning the QR code provided per table, you get redirected to an online menu of dishes and refills, as well as service requests such as “change charcoal,” “change grill” and “check out.”

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

As soon as you select the dish or service you require, a wait staff immediately comes along to fulfill your request.

Pretty nifty, huh?

3) The entrance to a hidden bar

At Geonbae’s dining area, you will see a doorway marked with a neon sign. This door is the entryway to Alibi, a speakeasy where you can enjoy cool tunes, refreshing cocktails, yummy bar chow, and get this: an oyster bar!

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Read more about Alibi here.

So the next time you have a hankering for Korean BBQ, be sure to drop by Geonbae. Who knows what new exciting things you’ll encounter there on your visit!

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Geonbae, Tomas Morato

Many thanks to Donna of Zomato and to V and Yvette of Local Folks Group for the invitation!

This Geonbae Modern Korean Bar & Grill branch is located at 115 Scout Delgado Street Barangay Sacred Heart, Quezon City, open daily from 11am to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 84298549.

Other branches are located at

  • Third Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
  • West Drive corner Champagnat Avenue, Marikina Heights, Marikina City

Geonbae Modern Korean Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I attended a Zomato Foodie Meetup held in this restaurant.  The food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare to facilitate honest reviews and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my posts about other Korean restaurants:

Samgyeopsal Promo Offer in Jin Joo Korean Grill, Ortigas

I’ve been hearing a lot about Jin Joo Korean Grill and I’ve been hankering to try it out. When I saw a Metrodeal offer that would allow me to enjoy its Samgyeopsal Grill with unlimited side dishes, normally priced at Php470, at the discounted price of only Php149, I just grabbed it and scheduled my Korean food adventure.

This also gave me a reason to visit the newly renovated The Podium mall in Ortigas Center, wherein Jin Joo is one of the welcome additions to the mall’s gustatory offerings.

Located at the mall’s second floor, its facade first appeared cramped. However, I changed this opinion upon entering: it has a sprawling and well-appointed dining area, comprised mostly of wood elements. Here and there are spots of interest like colorful Asian-themed paintings on the wall, tasteful lighted signages and linesmof soju bottles along another wall.

Each table is equipped with a state-of-the-art grilling stove, allowing diners to cook their meats according to their preference.

Jin Joo, Podium

Jin Joo, Podium

Jin Joo, Podium

Jin Joo, Podium

Jin Joo, Podium

Jin Joo, Podium

Jin Joo, Podium

Upon assisting me to my window seat, my server Macq immediately laid out side dishes for me to munch on while I wait. These include kimchi (of course!), strips of flat scrambled egg, soy potatoes, crushed dilis, banana slices and assorted veggies.

Jin Joo, Podium

Jin Joo, Podium

The pork belly was grilled in the kitchen since grilling at the table requires at least two meat orders. I didn’t mind since I didn’t have to worry about cooking the meat right. 🙂

When Macq finished serving and slicing the grilled pork belly, I dipped tender and juicy slices in the ssamjang and sesame oil provided, then wrapped them in lettuce leaves together with thin slices of garlic and some of the crushed dilis. This resulted to a very tasty mouthful of samgyeopsal.

Jin Joo, Podium

Jin Joo, Podium

Jin Joo, Podium

I took advantage of the unlimited side dishes by asking for refills of the potatoes, egg, and banana slices.

Jin Joo, Podium

Jin Joo, Podium

Jin Joo, Podium

The Metrodeal offer  gave a me a fine preview of what to expect at Jin Joo. Some reminders if you’re also availing of the same promo:

  • Call the branch first to reserve. Walk-ins are usually not accommodated.
  • Arrive on time as your reservation will only be held for 20 minutes.
  • You can only use one Metrodeal voucher per visit.

On my next visit, I’m looking forward to trying Jin Joo’s 10 Flavors Unli K-BBQ set priced at Php499/person (add Php50 for dinner).

This Jin Joo Korean Grill branch is located at the Second Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City, open Mondays to Thursdays from 11am to 10pm and Fridays to Sundays from 10am to 10pm.  For queries and reservations, call +63 917 2555508.

Other branches may be found at:

  • Fifth Floor, SM Aura Premier, C5 Road Corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City (open daily from 11am to 10pm | Tel No: + 63 917 2481777)
  • Eastwood Citywalk 1, Libis, Quezon CIty (open daily from 11am to 12mn | Tel No: + 63 915 2091888)
  • Ground Floor, South Wing, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City (open daily from 11am to 10pm | Tel No: + 63 917 2555509)
  • Ground Floor, Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City (opening soon)

For more details, check out Jin Joo Korean Grill on Facebook and Instagram.

Jin Joo Korean Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This post contains affiliate links.

Check out my posts about other Korean restaurants:

Why not try your hand at cooking Korean food at home?  Check out these recipe books on Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Loud Dinner at K-Pub BBQ, Trinoma

Now I can say that I’ve seen everything when it comes to Korean BBQ.

As our despedida blow-out for one of our office barkada who will be moving on to greener and less stressful pastures, we decided to have dinner at K-Pub BBQ in Trinoma. We figured that the group will bond over our shared love of Korean food and of chismis.

Well, the Korean food we had plenty. Our group availed of the Beat the Clock Eat & Run meal package wherein we can get unlimited refills for an hour at Php599 per head. The set includes:

  • Chadol Baki (Beef Sukiyaki)
  • Tong Samgeopsal (Whole Pork Belly)
  • Yengnyem Samgeopsal (Marinated Pork Belly in Sweet Spicy Sauce)
  • Dwaeji Galbi (Marinated Pork Chop)
  • Dak Galbi (Marinated Chicken in Sweet Spicy Sauce)
  • Fried Spring Roll
  • Japchae

The set also comes with side dishes such as steamed egg, kimchi pajeon, steamed rice, kimchi fried rice, soup, lettuce and house salad, as well as Melona ice cream bars for dessert.

I am not a fan of these timed Korean BBQ. Instead of leisurely enjoying your food and time with your friends, there’s the sense of trying to stuff your face before the hour for refills run out.

With its hefty price tag, the value proposition of this arrangement is also dependent upon the efficiency of the wait staff for refills. That efficiency is already compromised by the number of diners and the loud background noise.

And oh, that noise! (Yeah, I’m having a #TitasOfManila moment.)

For one thing, being a Korean resto and having K-pop decor, somehow, playing mainstream pop is off-strat. Furthermore, there’s a stage with an an open mic segment during which diners can sing if they so choose. (Well, one among us did choose, hehehe!)

Still, the noise precluded most of the chismis to the point that as soon as we finished the refill hour, we hung out at the cafe next door to recover and chat.

Note to self, and to you, dear readers: this place is not one for languid dining. But a great one for boisterous fun. Unfortunately, not for a tita like me.

K-Pub BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts about other Korean restaurants:

Learn more about Korean cuisine by checking out these books on Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Now available at Gangnam Wings, Megamall: Samgyeopsal Sets!

My love for Korean food is well-documented in this blog and in my social media accounts.  This love has only been further stoked when, urged by my husband and daughter who are both K-drama fanatics, I started watching Goblin.  Everytime I see Gong Yoo, Lee Dong Wook and Kim Go-Eun either wolfing down or sedately eating samgyeopsals or ramyuns, I would find myself near to salivating.

I was happy to discover this Korean chicken-and-beer joint located at SM Megamall during a recent Zomato Foodie Meetup.

Named after the upscale district in Seoul made famous by Psy’s earworm of a song, the place had a lively and informal vibe, with playfully designed interiors (check out those rubber chickens!) and K-pop music videos playing in the background (yes, including songs from Goblin OST). Gangnam Wings is well-suited to the after-office crowd who will be craving for their chimaeks (chicken and beer) after a day’s work.

This resto is well-known for its authentic Korean fried chicken: crispy skin and tender juicy meat enhanced by distinct sauce coatings. Even its dishes have that playful vibe with its most popular orders named (not surprisingly) after famous Korean dramas: Goblin Wings (Php280 for half dozen pieces), which is a combo of three sauces – the Original Crispy, Garlic Soya, and the Sweet and Spicy – Php280; and Descendants of the Chicken (Php548 for ten pieces), which consist of any 2 combinations of sauces from Korean Buffalo, Korean Barbecue, Honey Garlic, Soya Yogurt and Spicy Asian.  These sauces indeed have distinct flavors but, surprisingly, I liked them all, even the Korean Buffalo which was quite spicy.

I would recommend pairing the chicken with Beef Bulgogi Fries (Php298).  These consist of thick fried potato wedges topped with beef bulgogi bits, aromatic herbs and a special mayonnaise.

A surprising piece de resistance is the Ginseng Chicken (sorry, I didn’t get the price :-)).  A whole spring chicken is boiled, together with herbs and seasonings, for an hour with rice inside, such that the rice cooks while inside the chicken.  The closest it comes to texture and flavor is the arroz caldo but with significantly less rice and a lot more falling-off-the-bone chicken.

For dessert, we had Rockmelon Bingsu (Php280), shaved ice with melon balls served in the melon shell and topped with a big dollop of vanilla ice cream.  I can imagine myself eating this with my kids to ward off the summer heat in the near future.

I also sampled two of its Sojuritas (soju cocktails): the Watermelon Soju (Php688)and the Yakult Soju (Php248).  Both were refreshing drinks with a little kick but I had to stop myself at two shots apiece as I still had to drive myself home.  (By the way, I much preferred the tangy sweetness of the Yakult Soju, but then again, I was never a big fan of watermelon anyway.)

However, the real star of the show is the affordable Samgyeopsal Lunch Set which are now available for lunch and dinner.  From 11am to 2pm, diners have the choice between Unlimited Pork at Php349/head, or Unlimited Pork and Beef at Php399/head.  From 5pm to 8pm, on the other hand, Unlimited Pork is priced at Php449/head, while Unlimited Pork and Beef is priced at Php499/head.  These sets come with unlimited meat, rice, ice green lettuce, side dishes (such as kimchi, mini potato balls, sweet fishcakes, vinegar radish, bean sprouts and onions, all prepared fresh in the kitchen) and iced tea.

Currently, all of these Korean barbecue sets will be composed of unmarinated meats but marinated variants are being considered for future offerings.

A concern that was raised was the absence of exhaust pipes to suck out the smoke from the cooking meats on the dining tables.  Surely, the lunch crowd will not appreciate smelling like inihaw when they get back to their offices after their meal break.  Owner Rinky Tuano assured us that this concern has been considered and will be addressed by air conditioning and the exhaust in the kitchen.

Gangnam Wings is located at the Megastrip Unit 1-114 Upper Ground Floor, outside Building A, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City.  Other branches will open soon in San Fernando, Pampanga, Sta Rosa, Laguna and in Antipolo, Rizal.

Gangnam Wings Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other Zomato foodies, I was invited to attend a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

At the request of Gangnam Wings, this post was updated to reflect the new pricing of the Samgyeopsal Sets.