Birthday treat at All4U, SM East Ortigas

All-you-can-eat Korean barbecue joints have sprouted up all over the metro, spurred no doubt by the proliferation of K-pop and other Korean what’s-its in Filipino pop culture.

At SM East Ortigas, another of these joints opened its doors to cater to those craving for unlimited Korean-style grilled meats: All4U Unlimited Grill & Shabu Shabu.

When I ate at All4U’s Century City Mall branch, I didn’t appreciate it so much. To be clear, this is not wholly the fault of the restaurant: I had lunch earlier that day in another all-you-can-eat Korean joint and samgyeopsal was probably coming out of my ears.

This newly opened branch near my place allowed me to rediscover the resto and its offerings while sating my Korean barbecue cravings.

At only Php599 (on promo rate from Php699), one can enjoy all the shrimp, chicken breast, pork belly and beef brisket that you can grill on your table and eat. This also comes with bottomless iced tea, refillable rice, side dishes and sauces, refillable soup that you cook using the shabu shabu also on your table, as well as a packet of ramyun (Korean ramen) per table and a bar of Melona ice cream per customer for dessert.

Our group always ends up ordering multiple refills of the pork belly and beef brisket slices which I like wrappping inside the Korean ice lettuce together with garlic slices while doused with ssamjang sauce. I’m not partial to grilled shrimp and the grilled chicken breasts often end up too dry.

When we dined here during my birthday, I got half off the regular rate of Php699 plus the service staff served me a small chocolate cake while singing the Happy Birthday song. 🙂

To make the most out of this all you can eat restaurant, check out my buffet survival guide.

This All4U Unlimited Grill and Shabu Shabu branch is located at 2nd Floor, SM City East Ortigas, Ortigas Avenue Extension, Pasig City (Tel: + 63 977 6005945).

Other branches are located in:

  • Makati: 4th Floor, Century City Mall, Poblacion, Makati (Tel: + 63 2 8092881)
  • Ermita: 3rd Floor, SM City Manil, Ermita, Manila (Tel: + 63 917 2781758)
  • Novaliches: UG Ayala Fairview Terraces, Maligaya Road cor Quirino Highway, Novaliches, QC
  • Muntinlupa: GF Water Garden, Festival Mall, Filinvest, Muntinlupa (Tel: + 63 916 4263221)
  • Tagaytay: Al Fresco Area, LGF Fora Mall, Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay

All4u Unlimited Grill & Shabu Shabu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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!

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Bingsu treat at Hobing Korean Dessert, BGC Stopover

Bingsu treats have grown in popularity in the metro, especially now with the searing summer heat.  Bingsu is a Korean dessert characterized by shaved ice sweetened with condensed milk and topped with fresh fruits, yogurt, ice cream and bits of yummy baked goods.

While the fam is exploring options for lunch in Bonifacio Global City during a particularly hot summer day, we came across this branch of Hobing Korean Dessert and couldn’t resist having our dessert here.  After eating our lunch at nearby Tenya Tempura Tendon, and, eager for something cool and sweet to counter the hot and humid weather, we proceeded Hobing.

Despite being billed as the Korean halo-halo, bingsu is best enjoyed when the shaved ice and toppings are not all mixed together.  This allows you to enjoy the varying textures and flavors that went into the bingsu.

We ordered a large serving of Mango Cheese Bingsu (Php320), thinking that a regular serving will not satisfy all of us.  What we got was a delectable and prettily presented confection: finely shaved ice  flavored with mango syrup, surrounded by huge cubes of ripe mango and topped with rich New York Cheesecake bits, vanilla ice cream and slices of roasted almonds.

We are definitely eager to try Hobing’s other bingsu offerings soon.

This branch of Hobing Korean Dessert is located at the 3rd Floor of BGC Stopover Pavilion, Rizal Drive cor 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City. Other branches of Hobing Korean Dessert are located at:

  • Lucky Chinatown Mall in Binondo
  • SM Megamall in Mandaluyong
  • Glorietta 4 in Makati
  • Jupiter Street in Makati
  • Eastwood City Walk in Quezon City
  • SM Aura Premier in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Ayala Malls the 30th in Ortigas Center, Pasig
  • SM North in Quezon City
  • Banawe Lifestyle Center in Quezon City
  • SM City Marikina in Marikina City
  • U.P Town Center in Quezon City
  • SM San Lazaro in Manila
  • Ayala Fairview Terrace, Fairview Quezon City

Check out my rundown of bingsu treats in the metro.

Hobing Korean Dessert Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beat the Summer Heat with Bingsu!

Summer is definitely in full swing. The days are longer and hotter. One of the things I’m looking forward to this summer is cooling down with a bowl of bingsu.

Bingsu is a Korean dessert traditionally made with ice shavings, condensed milk and sweet toppings such as red beans, chopped fruit, cookies or candies and ice cream. While forms of this dish have been in existence since the 1300s, its modern form started with the introduction of patbingsu, featuring red bean paste, during Korea’s time under Japanese rule in the early 20th century. Foreign influence during the Korean War in the 1950s led to the inclusion of ingredients such as canned fruits, ice cream, cereal, nuts and syrups.

Bingsu shops and restos that offer variations of this yummy dessert have sprouted all over the metro.  Here are some you might be interested to try:

Mango Bingsu at Jang Da Bang by Jang Ga Nae (Php199 for regular)

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The sweet and succulent mango bits give this bingsu its dominant flavor but the tidbits of other fruits and the cereal provide a nice contrast of tastes and textures.

Jang Da Bang Cafe is located  8137 Plaza Ortigas, Jose Escriva Drive, Ortigas, Pasig City (behind the University of Asia and the Pacific)

Read my full restaurant review here.

Mango Cheese Bingsu at Hobing Korean Dessert (Php320 for large)

Mango seems to be an unbeatable bingsu variant. Coupled with large chunks of rich New York Cheesecake and topped with vanilla ice cream and sliced almonds, this delectable confection is a refreshing explosion of sweetness in your mouth.

This branch of Hobing Korean Dessert is located at the 3rd Floor BGC Stopover Pavilion, Rizal Drive cor 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Read my full restaurant review here.

Rockmelon Bingsu at Gangnam Wings (Php280)

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This dessert is prettily presented with melon balls served in the melon shell and topped with a big dollop of vanilla ice cream.

Gangnam Wings is located at the Megastrip Unit 1-114 Upper Ground Floor, outside Building A, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City.

Read my full restaurant review here.

Injealmee Snowflake at Coreon Gate (Php168)

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This seems to be among the more traditional bingsu variants, flavored by bean powder and given texture by the sliced almonds and chewy rice cakes.

This branch of Coreon Gate is located in the Metrowalk Complex, along Meralco Avenue, Pasig City.

Read my full restaurant review here.

Korean Red Bean Bingsu at Bing Seoul (Php59 for regular)

Another more traditional and mildly sweet bingsu variant, this is a no-frills, no-fuss serving (quite cheap too!), with flavor driven by the red bean paste and the dollops of condensed milk poured onto the ice.

This branch of Bing Seoul is located at the Ground Floor of SM City East Ortigas, along Ortigas Avenue Extension, Pasig City.  (Update: A week after I posted this, I learned that the Bing Seoul stall at SM City East Ortigas has already been pulled out.  The nearest other branch is located at SM Center Pasig.)

Ube Macapuno Bingsu at Bon Chon (Php99)

This bingsu variants melds Pinoy flavors with the Korean dish. Ube (purple yam) powder drives the flavor while additional textures are provided by the macapuno (coconut jelly) strings, cubes of leche flan and rice crispies. It would be best to try this out soon as it available only for the summer.

This branch of Bon Chon is located at Il Terrazo, along Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

Infographic courtesy of Mica Jose (IG: @dragostea)

Check out my rundown of Ramen joints in QC here.

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.