We were craving for Korean BBQ last night. And while we were on our way to a known place that offers unlimited Korean BBQ, we saw Hwaroro Korean Grill restaurant (화로로).
It caught our attention since there were a lot of cars parked outside even filling up the parking spaces on the street. For us, that meant they had a lot of diners.
Since we thought it was quite popular and we were down to trying a new Korean buffet place, we, of course, gave it a try.
Interior & Ambiance
Upon entering the restaurant premise, we were surprised to see the first floor empty. It turns out the dining area on the first floor is for those who want to dine à la carte. Meanwhile, the buffet area was located on the second floor.
On the way towards the buffet area, one will pass by a photo area with a backdrop of what appears to be the main gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Plus, there are a few traditional clothes hung on a rack that may be worn for free when having one’s photo taken. The management’s condition to borrowers is that the clothes should be returned properly. If not done so, the borrower will be penalized. In the occurrence that the garments got torn or got broken, the borrower should fix it. We think the conditions were fair enough.
Taking photos in the photo area is a good way to pass the time while waiting for one’s turn to be accommodated in the buffet area. It’s also a good opportunity to have a new Facebook photo or have a nice souvenir from the restaurant.
What also can be seen when passing by to the buffet area are some decors from Korea and displayed photos of celebrities and valued guests who dined in at Hwaroro Korean Grill restaurant. The arrangement felt like we were in a museum.
The buffet area of the restaurant itself looked like an existing house just renovated into a restaurant. When the main area if full of people, expect the place to be really noisy as the tables and chairs are placed close to each other. This leaves little privacy to boisterous crowds.
Those who want some privacy may, however, avail the private rooms housed in the upper level of the buffet area.
Our general thought in the restaurant is that despite its displays and fancy looking wallpapers, the restaurant’s ambiance is casual. In fact, some customers come in wearing the clothes they normally wear at home. Another thought that we had is that it looks a bit run down and the cleanliness of the place isn’t well-maintained. It’s bearable though for people who aren’t nitpicky.
While waiting for the tabletop grill to be ready for grilling, there are a variety banchan (or small dishes) to try. For us, everything tasted ordinary if not unpalatable. The flavors also of some of the dishes were adjusted to the Filipino’s palate.
Eating at a Korean restaurant for us means, eating kimchi with our meal. Too bad their kimchi (traditional Korean dish made of seasoned cabbage and salt) was way too salty. Good thing their sangchu-geotjeori (or Korean lettuce salad) was lightly seasoned and we think will go great with galbi.
I just find it unpleasant that the dessert, the gelatin with milk, was placed too close to the salad.
Food for Grilling
There are six items to choose from for grilling namely beef, pork belly, sausage, fish, marinated chicken, and marinated pork.
Their ssamjang sauce was salty too. What Me-An did was to combine the offered soy sauce vinegar with chopped chili sauce with it to tone down the saltiness.
The hot and sour soup seemed like sinigang to us rather than the supposed Korean version of it.
They also have greens for vegetable wraps and sliced oranges as fruit.
Of course, unlimited rice is offered – both plain and fried. They also offer hot tea and coffee.
Hwaroro Korean Grill’s eat-all-you-can buffet rate is PHP 399 (or 8.05 USD) for each person. You can see above that there are no add-ons to the billing. So they’re true to their advertisement that a customer has to pay PHP 399 only.
- A customer must only get what he can eat as the restaurant charges PHP 300 (or 6.05 USD) for leftovers.
- Mineral water, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages aren’t included in the buffet price. However, if you liked their Facebook page or took a photo of your visit to the restaurant then showed it to their staff, you’ll get a free iced tea.
If you have a limited budget and aren’t craving for authentic Korean cuisine, Hwaroro Korean Grill can surely satisfy you. They only have one rate so there is no longer a need for a pair/group to agree on one price option. Everyone can just focus on piling their plates with Filipinized Korean dishes and meat.
We, ourselves, got our money’s worth by mainly eating samgyeupsal (pork belly) and thinly sliced beef.
Will we go back?
Definitely! Despite the subpar quality of the food, they are quick at refilling food and the quantity of meat that can be eaten can compensate for the buffet price. It’s also a good place for a casual date and a random meetup with friends.
Hwaroro Korean Grill Restaurant (화로로)
76 Scout Tobias Street, Near Tomas Morato, South Triangle, Tomas Morato, Quezon City
Operating Hours: 10 AM to 12 midnight.
Contact Nos: (02) 4102793; +63 9175807479