Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sariwon: Authentic Korean Flavors at Bonifacio High Street

With so many dining options at The Fort, it can be quite daunting deciding where to eat. But if you're looking for authentic Korean flavors, head on to Sariwon.

Authentic and traditional Korean dishes, including Korean barbecue or bulgogi prepared and grilled right at your table. It was my first time at Sariwon, and thanks to, I got to sample Sariwon's signature dishes with other bloggers.

Browsing through the menu, I found the story of Sariwon an interesting read. Established way back in 1958 by  Mrs. Bun-Im Koo in the town of Sariwon, where she developed her signature broth recipe for Korean Barbecue or Bulgogi using twelve different fruits and vegetables without any sugar. Originally meant for her diabetic husband, Sariwon has grown through the years and awarded "Best Korean Restaurant" by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. Amazing story. And now it's here in Manila. Way to go Mrs. Bun-Im Koo...

Located at Bonifacio High Street, Sariwon adds a unique flavor and dining experience to The Fort's many restaurants.

Inside Sariwon, one finds traditional touches of wood and stone giving it a warm and homey feel. With an extensive line of authentic soju and beer, Sariwon also offers soju-based cocktails, perfect before the meal.

Sangria Soju (P 195), a blend of soju and red wine with apple, orange and lemon. The soju gives this deceptively sweet cocktail a nice little kick...

Cherry Blossom Sojutini (P 140), a blend of cherry brandy, lime and soju...

Seoul Sojutini (P 160), a refreshing citrus cocktail with lime, triple sec and soju...not too sweet, refreshingly light and crisp...but this packs quite a kick...

and the Lychee Sojutini (P 140), a blend of lychee, lime and soju.

Sariwon also offers fresh fruit shakes, and after a slight buzz from the cocktails, a fresh fruit shake seemed like a good option.

I go for the the fresh Kiwi Shake (P 160), refreshingly sweet and tart, a perfect drink with the coming meal.

Other fresh fruit shakes include the Banana Apple Shake (P 120).

Here's something cool...a tray of little white capsules which I thought were mints were actually paper towels. When water is poured, the tiny capsules slowly

Dinner began with the arrival of the House Salad, fresh, crisp greens in a sweet and tangy Asian vinaigrette...

...followed by traditional Banchan appetizers, which include the iconic Kimchi or fermented cabbage, raddish kimchi, blanched watercress, mashed pumpkin and potato, seasoned Korean bean sprouts, and chili anchovies.

Our server, MJ, presents the first bulgogi dish, Galbi (P 525), juicy and tender marinated USDA beef short ribs before preparing the table top grill.

Once the table top grill is fired up, the short ribs are then added along with some vegetabes.

The aroma from the grill gradually builds up your anticipation and appetite, maybe another sojutini would help restrain yourself from grabbing the meat. There's just something about meat on a grill that brings out one's primal instincts...

And after just a few minutes, it's almost done. And the best part is that the smoke is well controlled, in fact, I didn't even notice much smoke from the grill, unlike other establishments where you end up smelling like the grill.  Nice touch. 

The ribs are then sliced, ready to be served.

Fresh, crisp lettuce with chili bean sauce to roll up the grilled beef ribs are also served. The beef short ribs were tender and juicy, and not dry at all...

...and the grill was then prepared with a little beef stock for the next bulgogi dish...

...the Sariwon Bulgogi (P 545), thinly sliced USDA Choice Beef grilled in beef stock with vegetables and sweet potato noodles.The delicate, thinly sliced meat is then arranged on the grill...

...mushrooms and scallions are added...

...and the broth slowly heats up...and you notice the thin strips of beef gradually changing colors...

...just a few more minutes...

...and it's done.

The meat is then served on bowls along with the vegetables and sweet potato noodles, just perfect with the dipping sauce. Deliciously soft and tender, almost like butter. Perfect.

Other traditional and popular Korean dishes were served, like the Haemul Pajeon (P 350) traditional Korean pancake with squid, shrimp, oysters and green onions. Subtle, delicate flavors and interesting mix of textures makes this dish a winner. 

Japchae (P 350), Korean vermicelli noodles with mushrooms, green onions, carrots and other vegetables, highlighted by subtle flavors and the soft yet chewy noodles with vegetables add more interesting textures to the dish. The Japchae is also served in traditional copper bowls, another nice touch.

Dolsot Bibimbap (P 380), rice topped with mixed vegetables, chili paste and an egg, served in a hot, really hot, stone pot. The heat from the rice and the stone pot gradually cook the egg when mixed, a complete meal in itself.  Add some chili sauce to the mix and the flavors just burst in every spoonful.

For dessert, we were served traditional Sikhye (P 60), a sweet and refreshing cold drink made with malt and rice...

...and some Korean Melona  ice bars (P 60).

Kathy, a fellow blogger, recommended the melon flavored ice bar, and she was right. Best fruit flavored popsicle I've had in a long time.

Diana Tan, the friendly Manager and owner of Sariwon, makes sure all your needs are attended to while at Sariwon. And always with a smile.

It was an excellent meal, and I'm sure most of the bloggers were satisfied. Overall, I was impressed with the food's quality and authenticity, and the courteous and efficient service from the staff. The overall look and feel of the place, the cleanliness and lighting,  completes one's experience at Sariwon. It's definitely a worthy and welcome  addition to Bonifacio High Street's restaurants. Special thanks to Diana Tan of Sariwon and Khaezel Espiritu of OpenRice.Com for hosting an awesome dinner.

Sariwon Korean Barbecue is located at 7th Avenue corner 29th Street, Bonifacio High Street Central, The Fort, Taguig City or call 621-3205 for inquiries.

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  1. Replies
    1. Hi pinkc00kies, definitely a must try! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Wow, what a fantastic dining experience. I, too, am a fan of Korean food. They use only the freshest ingredients available and with nary a trace of seasonings. The "presentation" of the dishes are so pretty and colourful as well. Gaganahan ka talaga. Here in Phnom Penh, there are a lot of Korean restos that have opened and they are from the budget to high-end price range.

    Wishful Shrinking

    1. Hi Sreisaat, fresh and colorful ingredients really make Korean cuisine stand out. Thanks for dropping by!

  3. This post makes me crave Korean! Everything looks yum!

  4. Replies
    1. Hi Ramona, really cool dining experience, great to hear from you Ramona!

  5. I just added Sariwon to my foodie bucket list :)Everything looks really good!

    1. Hey there The Drunken Pig, definitely a must try! Thanks for stopping by, cheers bud!

  6. I think we should try this restaurant soon.. Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. Hi Rackell, cool place and great food! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. oh golly! i won't be able to start my diet if i keep looking at these photos! the bulgogi is mouth-watering! i'd love to have some kiwi shake right now.:p


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