Living in Quezon City, whenever I’m craving for Korean BBQ, Lloyd and I would go to Tomas Morato to get our fix. I know too well from experience that the food strip has numerous restaurants that vary in cuisine.
With plenty of choices and new restaurants opening every now and then, it has become difficult to assess which restaurants are a good value for money. So we’re trying to eat one restaurant at a time to know if it’s worth it or not.
I had a staycation/ workcation at Hop Inn Hotel’s new branch in Tomas Morato. As such, I utilized the opportunity to try out Geonbae Korean BBQ Restaurant as searched by most people online. I found out that there is also a Geonbae restaurant in Valenzuela City. The one I tried out was Geonbae Modern Korean Bar & Grill.
Geonbae Modern Korean Bar & Grill / Geonbae Korean BBQ Restaurant
Just as how Geonbae is named, the restaurant’s interiors are modern. The walls have vibrant pops of color with uncanny designs but definitely Insta-worthy. Meanwhile, a section of the floors is made out of wood so there is a cozy feel to it.
I really find the place as a hip hang out place especially when you’re meeting your friends. True enough, we saw college students and young professionals dining there considering it is a weekday. What more if it is a weekend. How packed will the place be?
Anyway, the lighting of the place is dim but they have spotlights on the grilling table. All your eyes then will naturally be focused on the food you’re grilling. I think that is great since you less likely will end up eating charred meat.
Unlimited Korean Grill
Lloyd and I had the PHP 599 (or 11.41 USD) buffet per person and, honestly speaking, we were overwhelmed with the extensive list of choices. I don’t think it is possible to eat everything in just one sitting.
We actually didn’t know what dish to start with – let alone if we should still eat banchan. A lot of tummy room is needed for us to be able to try a lot from the menu. Being the matakaw that we are, we ended up eating a lot of side dishes more so you can say that it tastes good.
Side dishes we got to try were the following:
- Kimchi. That’s a staple to any Korean BBQ. We weren’t able to properly assess if it’s fermentation and taste as well because, as we said, there was a lot of food to try.
- Cucumber kimchi.
- Gamja Jorim. Potato marble.
- Odeng. Fish cakes.
- Pajeon. Green Korean pancake.
- Myulchi bokkeum. Stir-fried anchovies.
- Tamago. Sweet egg roll.
Below are some of the appetizers that we got to try.
We were really impressed with their Buldak Kimbap. Yes, it isn’t a traditional kimbap. The roll itself was fried and there is a generous drizzle of different sauces which made it truly appetizing. This is one of Geonbae’s main differentiating factor if you are going to ask us.
There is the fried mandu that heavily reminds us of crispy wonton.
Of course, they also have the famous Korean glass noodle dish, japchae. We like how they serve only in small portions so we can try other dishes.
I absolutely love their tteokbokki (spicy rice cake) because they put melted cheese on top of it. Because of that, we no longer have to pay a hefty price just to eat a delicious version of the spicy rice cake. On the other hand, Lloyd loves how they also have salmon and tuna sashimi included in the menu.
It is also our first time to see takoyaki as part of an unlimited Korean bbq. What makes their version special is that its filling is kimchi. Wow!
If those mouthwatering appetizers aren’t enough, for entree, Geonbae has saewoo twigim or fried shrimp. Think tempura but their version is already drizzled sauce. We loved how the soft shrimp meat is enveloped with a crunchy texture.
They also have Korean wings which are glazed with a sweet and spicy sauce. I wasn’t able to try it and I forgot to ask for Lloyd’s feedback. So apologies for not being able to review it.
Included in the price is bibimbap and it is placed in a stone bowl pot with pork belly meat and a poached egg. They easily beat other Korean restaurants we’ve tried in the past with this one.
And now on to the part you’ve all been waiting for.
We had their samyeopsal (pork belly) and woo samgyup (beef belly) which, to be honest, we both find to be fatty compared to one of their competitors. However, it isn’t necessarily bad considering the price and the extensive offering they offer. What matters is that you cook it slow and steady specifically the pork belly so you’ll have a nice chew. Don’t forget to eat it with their sauce and wrap it in lettuce.
If I’m not mistaken, this is their galbisal or rib finger. We enjoyed the marinade they used for it and we didn’t have to dip it in the sauce.
DON’T EVER MISS ORDERING THIS HANGAR STEAK. I know this is an inexpensive kind of meat but it is rich in flavor. We absolutely loved dipping it in the unlimited cheese dip. I’m salivating as I’m writing this.
Love Geonbae Modern Korean Bar & Grill / Geonbae Korean BBQ Restaurant
Geonbae Korean BBQ restaurant truly offers great value for money. For only PHP 599, we get to enjoy unlimited meat plus enjoy an exciting take on Korean and Japanese dishes. We also get to eat the meat either with a cup of kimchi fried rice or plain white rice. Plus we can wash it all down with the unlimited cucumber lemonade. We’re not exactly fans of the drink but, nonetheless, the offerings are awesome. There is no bad dish.
In fact, while we were on a date at Geonbae, I saw my friend Avelovine. She told me that she always dine at Geonbae with her family. That goes to show how awesome Geonbae is.
If you still haven’t tried it, we encourage you to go for it. As for us, we can’t wait to go back with our family and/or friends with us.
Geonbae Modern Korean Bar & Grill
Address: 115 Scout Delgado Street, Sacred Heart, Quezon City
Operating hours: 10 AM to 10 PM daily