Min Sok has always been special for hubby and me. Hubby introduced this Korean resto back when we were still dating. He used to be an ESL teacher in APC, giving ground to Koreans who were in the country to learn English (that's why he is very familiar with Korean Restaurants). Since I am always intent when it comes to trying out different cuisines, I never gave that chance any second thoughts when hubby asked me. From the day that hubby brought me to Min Sok, I have always entreated to go back again and again. So even after getting married, Min Sok has always been our top choice for an authentic Korean feast!
|Simple tableware - nothing fancy|
There is nothing glamorous in this store -- it's a house with it's first floor converted into a commercial dining space. The furniture is not grand and there are no designs (paintings or fixtures) to boast. It's just your regular Filipino-type [food] house with air-conditioning. Noticeable pieces here would be their tables, each equipped with a grill where you can directly cook some of the options within their menu.The place itself is not in the main road -- you have to go through several turns to get there. But, what's so amazing in this store is the hands-on management style of the owner. You would see her in the store all-day-round, attending to customers, cleaning tables, getting orders and checking if everything is doing well. The customer service (of even the staff) is so welcoming to the point that they would really stop whatever they are doing to cater to your needs.
In the times that we've been there, we never had the chance to bring our little daughter. Mainly because the food would be too spicy (kimchi spicy) for her that she might not be able to eat at all. Much until this weekend, after having Shin Ramyun for breakfast, I suddenly craved for some authentic Korean food. Since we were with Cherienne, coming from her monthly check-up, we decided to bring her along. We were so excited since it was her first time and the thought of sharing something very dear to us with our daughter was simply sweet and priceless.
The following are our staple orders at Min Sok --
Samgyupsal for 300php
The very popular Korean dish made up of the most expensive part of pork -- pork belly that has been cut into thin strips, more like uncured bacon. You have to pan fry these strips (using the grill on the table) with thick pork fat (a word of caution: not to eat) used as the source of oil. The aroma of meat being cooked sets the stage for your dining experience. Raw garlic and onions are also grilled, together with the meat to add flavor, smell and to use later in preparing the dish. Samgyupsal comes with two dipping sauces -- duenjang or Korean soybean paste (that has a hint of shrimp paste) and gireumjang which is made of sesame oil with salt and black pepper. It is also accompanied by lettuce, a whole lot of side dishes, and of course a generous heaping of Kimchi! You have to take note, however, that you need to order at least two servings of Samgyupsal for them to utilize the grill on the table. Otherwise, they will just serve it grilled already. Also, for every two orders of Samgyupsal, they'd give you free soup.
|Onto the grill!|
|Side dish galore!|
|The wonderful dips - deunjang in the front and gireumjang at the back|
Eating Samgyupsal is the exciting part of it all. I can still remember the grin on hubby's face the first time he had me try it --
1) Take a grilled pork belly from the grill
2) Dip it into the gireumjang
3) Get a lettuce leaf ready, spread it wide and place the meat on top
4) Add some of the shrimp paste
5) Add some other side dish that you want
6) Add some Kimchi
7) Wrap everything into the lettuce, sides first then north and south of the stalk
8) (Prepare yourself) eat the whole thing in one go!
|Here we go --- drool!|
Deunjang Jjigae for 220php (you can get it for free for every two orders of Samgyupsal or any meat meal for grilling)
Jjigae is a dish that is similar to stew. It has different varieties. Deunjang Jjigae is made up of deunjang or Korean soybean paste. This soup has a very rich broth with pieces of meat, firm tofu cubes and generous heaping of vegetables such as zucchini, onions, spring onions, garlic and red/green chili. It's usually spicy but you can request for a child-friendly version (as we did for Cherienne). A very healthy broth indeed. Broths and soups are served boiling hot in containers that keep the temperature well and the food tasty. Be careful when you get some the first time it arrives.
Kimchi Jjigae for 220php
Oh-so-spicy Kimchi based soup with a whole lot of lettuce, pieces of pork, firm tofu cubes, onion springs and some glass noodles. A must try for those who can't get enough of Kimchi! You can also opt for this soup, in place of Deunjang Jjigae, as the free soup. Another option is their Sundubu JJigae which is made up of uncurdled tofu and seafood instead of pork.
The following are some of those we've tried recently --
Chadolbaki for 350php
Chadolbaki is sliced beef brisket. The meat, which is usually fattier than other parts of the beef, is sliced so thinly that it doesn't contain too much fat. It's also grilled and wrapped within lettuce leaves together with some side dishes of preference. I'd have to say that Samgyupsal goes well with the leaves.
Galbitang for 250php
Another soup that's made up of beef short ribs. It has a rich, watery soup base with garlic, onions, scallions, radish and glass noodles. The meat is so tender, and the soup is refreshing. A nice soup that hubby and I recently appreciated.
They also serve sticky rice and a whole lot of other soups, noodles, meat and Korean Liquors. You can check out their menu below.
Min Sok is the best Korean restaurant in town when it comes to food taste, customer service and overall value for money. We have tried a couple of other Korean restaurants, and trust me, nothing beats Min Sok in our hearts!
Unlike in other Korean restaurants where you have to pay for extra side dish, lettuce or Kimchi, Min Sok serves unlimited -- you just have to ask for it.
---Min Sok Saeng Deung Sim : 5655 Don Pedro St., Poblacion, Makati City