Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Food News: Bulgogi Brothers Opens in Subic

Bulgogi Brothers recently opened its fourth branch at Riverwalk Harbor Point in Subic, bringing its brand of authentic Korean cuisine to Subic residents. Currently with three branches located in Greenbelt 5, Alabang Town Center and SM Mall of Asia,  the Subic branch is part of an on-going expansion program with two more provincial locations in the pipeline. 

Bulgogi, or Korean Barbecue, literally means "fire meat," referring to highly seasoned meats on a grill. And at Bulgogi Brothers, you get to taste premium meats grilled and served right at your table.

Unlike the other Bulgogi Brothers branches, the Subic branch is unique because of its VAT-free feature. Cool.  I was fortunate to be part of a group of bloggers invited to sample some of Bulgogi Brothers' signature dishes,  and it was pretty awesome...

Diners are greeted to a warm welcome led by Mike Felimiano, Bulogi Brothers Subic Branch Manager, and his friendly staff. Immediately, one feels at home at Bulgogi Brothers.

Diners are served complimentary sweet corn and beans... well as hot tea.

Traditional Korean  Banchan starters are also served, including pickled vegetables, sweet potatoes and the iconic kimchi. No real authentic Korean meal is complete without these little plates.

The lunch starts with a serving of Spinach Salad, a refreshing light dish that's big on flavor. Served cold, the veggies are crisp and fresh, with the dressing adding sharp notes to the dish. 

Next up is Haemul Gungjung Mandu, crisp, fried pork dumplings topped with spicy mussels, shrimp, squid and a spicy dip.

Elegantly arranged, one can see why the crisp dumplings are one of the bestsellers at Bulgogi Brothers. The seafood topping and the chili sauce combine distinct flavors and textures that just blends so well together.

And you can't stop with just one dumpling...and I can see this dish pairing well with a beer or some Soju.

The next dish is another Bulgogi Brothers' bestseller, Dubu Steak, fried crispy tofu with sweet teriyaki sauce and fresh bean sprouts topped with pork and mushrooms.

The combination of crisp and soft textures, and the subtle flavors enhanced by a light teriyaki sauce makes this another winner. If you love tofu, you'll definitely love this. 

The Raspberry Mint Tea and Citrus Mint are refreshingly soothing, also ideal to keep the spice levels in check. Though overall, the dishes were not too spicy.

Individual dipping sauces are then placed on the table, and you know what's coming next...

Premium Ribeye and Boneless Short Ribs Combination, prime cuts of beef marinated with traditional Korean ingredients that enhance the meat's flavor and tenderness.

You can see the subtle marbling in the marinated beef, a sure sign of the beef's tenderness.

Our server then grills the marinated meat with onions and sweet potatoes, and hearing the sizzle right in front of you is quite an experience.

The sliced beef is then gently turned over and in a few minutes, it's done. Tender and flavorful, the quality of the beef and the traditional marinade makes all the difference. Definitely one of the best bulgogi dishes I've tried in a long time.

Bulgogi Bibimbap, with vegetables and egg, came next.

A traditional Korean dish with thin strips of bulgogi, vegetables on hot steamed rice that literally cooks the raw egg in minutes.

Our server then adds some chili sauce before mixing the bowl. The richness of the egg and sharp notes of the chili sauce blend well with the other ingredients, a hearty and filling dish in itself. The subtle heat and the mix of ingredients makes this a great dish for sharing.

Bulgogi Brothers Special, a combination of Un-yang (traditional patties) and Gwang-yang (seasoned beef with sweet sauce) style Bulgogi.

The platter of red meat and brightly colored vegetables makes this a visual treat, as our server readies the table top grill.

Check out the heart-shaped patties. Cool.

Bulgogi is a real treat for the senses, the sight, sound and aroma combine as you eagerly anticipate the dish.

No oil is used to grill the meats, so you get to taste 100% pure beef. The patties were tender and juicy, perfect with a dab of chili sauce.

Next, thin strips of beef brisket are grilled along with bean sprouts and vegetables...

...and after a few minutes, another great bulgogi dish.

The table top grilling is a cool feature in Bulgogi Brothers, an entertaining touch that gradually builds up one's anticipation, and it takes some serious self-restraint from immediately grabbing the meat from the grill. The Bulgogi Brothers Special is ideal for sharing, providing two types of bulgogi in one dish.

Completing our meal is Haemul Doenjang Jjigae, a refreshingly spicy soybean stew with kimchi, assorted seafood, vegetables and soft rice cakes.

The richly spiced stew and its soothing heat rounds up an awesome lunch at Bulgogi Brothers.

Bulgogi Brothers also offers an extensive wine selection, and authentic Soju as well.

Colorful cups for the Soju...

Sophie, Bulgogi Brothers' Head Trainor from Korea, shows off the impressive wine and soju selection.

Sophie and Chef Kim, the culinary force behind Bulgogi Brothers' authentic Korean cuisine and efficient service. Both have been in the Philippines since the first Bulgogi Brothers branch opened, ensuring the high quality and standards are consistent in all branches. To Sophie and Chef Kim, great job!

And if it happens to be your birthday, get ready to be "Gang-Nammed" by the Bulgogi Brothers' friendly staff, a nice touch to the homey and casual feel of Bulgogi Brothers. 

Interesting trivia: "Gang-Nam" also refers to a district in South Korea which literally means "South of the River," and coincidentally, the place where the first Bulgogi Brothers restaurant opened. Cool.

At the end of the meal, diners are offered Korean ice cream, nice touch.

I go for the Encho, packaged in the blue wrapper. It's vanilla ice cream coated in chocolate and sprinkled with nuts. And there's more, inside is a solid chocolate bar. Good eats.

Caffe Latte, to cap a perfect meal at Bulgogi Brothers.

The 180-seater restaurant is bright and clean, casual and comfortable, ideal for family get-togethers. The interiors feature a modern and contemporary design yet exudes a warm and cool vibe, a perfect backdrop to any meal. An awesome meal, definitely worth more visits in the future. And as Bulgogi Brothers continues to expand, lovers of authentic Korean food may soon find the Bulgogi Brothers' brand of cool Korean cuisine in more locations. 

Special thanks to Mitzi Navarro, Marketing Director, The Bistro Group (L); Kay Moran, Graphic Artist, The Bistro Group (third from Left); James Feliminiano, Manager (fourth from Left); Roda Adriano, Marketing Manager, The Bistro Group (fifth from Left); April Almonte, Assistant Brand Manager, The Bistro Group (Center); Josh Torres, Digital Manager, The Bistro Group (behind) and fellow bloggers Eugene Constantino and Yedy Calaguas (R) for an awesome lunch. 

Bulgogi Brothers is located at Level 1, Harbor Point Mall, Rizal Highway, CBD Subic Bay Freeport Zone or call 0905-365-4826 (mobile) for inquiries.

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  1. Saw this when I last visited Subic. I wonder how it will fare there considering that Subic has so many Korean restos already. :)

    1. Hi mich, I think Bulgogi Brothers has the edge in terms of quality and service, always great to have choices. Great to hear from you mich!

  2. Everything looks so delicious. I like particularly that tofu dish.

    1. Hi Angie, the tofu dish was great! Always great to hear from you Angie!

  3. I haven't try any of their branch yet, hopefully soon.
    Thanks for joining and hope to see you again this week.

    1. hey FTF, good eats! Thanks for stopping by!


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