Monday, December 12, 2011

KBOP Venice Piazza, Korean Fast Food in Manila

I'm a Korean food lover. It all started when I lived in Beijing for a while and discovered that there is a country called South Korea, for real. Almost all of my classmates there were Korean and they introduced me to Korean food. I didn't like it at first but it kinda grew on me. Chinovelas were replaced by Koreanovelas. When I came back to the Philippines, J and I were there when Yedang was still 9 Pizza 7 Chicken near Metrowalk. We were also one of the first Yedang fans and the craze quickly took over our entire family. J and I would occasionally go to Sarambang today for some cheap Samgyeupsal and Chadol. I tried to learn as much Korean cooking a few years ago but I was happier eating. Then I went to Seoul and my palette just expanded. The quest has never stopped to find more Korean restaurants that fit my palette and budget in Manila. KBOP Quick Korean came up again a week ago and here are the dishes that caught my attention.

We have actually tried KBOP before in the Venice Piazza's Platter for 8 launch. I have tasted this Chapchae before. Better eat it while it's hot and chewy. Chapchae was actually one of the first things I didn't have to grow my liking for because it was sweet, chewy and not spicy, reminds me of Pinoy food all the time.

Korean-inspired chicken that is fit to my Chinoy taste buds is hard to find. The sauce is not bad and the chicken is thoroughly cooked. This is the KBOP Chicken. Nothing beats the chicken with peanuts of 9 Pizza 7 Chicken that are no longer available in Manila now... Sigh*

This Chadol (Chandolpakee Grilled Beef Steak as KBOP calls it) is very far from the super-thin slices of fatty beef I eat at Sarambang. Mr. Mel Gozum's trip to New York changed his idea of Chadol into thick, all-meat and lean chunks of mustarded beef. Pinoy's would love to eat this version. Most of the people I know would remove all the fat they see from the Chadol... (Think sukiyaki cut oozing with oil haha).

And while the others were busy with the other food, I munched on the kimchi. The kimchi made by Koreans that I have tasted will have you running for water for the heat. I would prefer the kimchi cooked because it would turn down the heat and the flavors will all come out like how my Korean friend taught me to eat it. KBOP's kimchi is actually one of the better ones I could tolerate and have searched Manila's market for in a long time. It was more sour and not too spicy. I wish I could pick out the soft leafy parts though hehe.

Mr. KaAsenso Jorge Weineke III was proud of their KBOP chef's Pinoy-tasting panna cotta, perfect for that craving for some Christmas dessert. It's soft, sweet and light and definitely not Korean but Pinoy.

All I can say is that you can still see some Pinoy favorites in KBOP, even if it is categorized as a Korean restaurant, like BBQ and grilled stuff. This is definitely the place to treat and take a die-hard Pinoy food lover who would like to be introduced to Korean food slowly, fits right in the budget too. Think Korean fast-food suited to the Manileno palette, price-wise and food choices galore, so unlike the specialty fast-food restaurants like this Kimbap and Ramen only restaurant that they have in Seoul. The difference probably lies in the fact that we have two Pinoy owners who love to bring to other Pinoys their appreciation for Korean food but still takes into account the Pinoy taste bud that is crucial sometimes when we want to be introduced to a cuisine so different from what we're used to.  

Store Details:
KBOP Quick Korean Food
Open Mondays to Sundays 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
2/F Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill, Taguig City

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