Seoul Train Korean BBQ

Seoul Train Korean BBQ: the TRAIN TO kaBUSugAN restaurant

A lot of Korean restaurants have popped up in Metro Manila as Filipinos embrace the Korean culture which includes Korean bbq with banchan (or side dishes). It is only normal for someone like us, who have personally been to Korea in the past both for tourism and work, to hunger for quality charcoal grilled meat. On satisfying Me-An’s cravings during our anniversary celebration, we tried out Seoul Train Korean BBQ, a train-themed restaurant, which was still on its soft opening.

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

Currently, the restaurant is temporarily closed for renovation due to the fire incident at the second level of the restaurant. The good news is that it is reopening this Nov. 18 (Friday). So, yes, we have the opportunity to eat again and you can try it too in case you still haven’t.

 

Interior & Ambiance

From the moment we stepped out of our car parked to the moment we entered the restaurant, we were impressed with Seoul Train Korea BBQ.

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

It stayed true to its theme starting with the facade looking like a moving real train complete with rails, wipers on windows, and lights.

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

All of the little details were also well thought of such as the signages to the cute but cool graffiti walls.

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

 

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

Going inside, you will be greeted on the side with a magazine rack filled with PULP, a Philippine-based monthly music magazine. You may pick one up to read while waiting to be seated when you don’t have a reservation.

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

Another form of entertainment may be getting a gashapon (or capsule toy) for PhP 60 (or 1.22 USD) each.

 

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

If you have loads of two-PhP 10 coins to spare, you may also try beating a toy crane or claw machine by grabbing a prize.

 

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

The waiting area imitates an actual train platform in Seoul Metro with tiled walls and incoming train sounds in the background.

 

Seoul Train Korean BBQThere are also actual Seoul subway signages as if the person is really going to embark on the train carriage that certainly adds to the immersive experience.

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

 

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

Access to the dining area is through the automated door that serves as a replica of the train carriage’s door.

 

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

The dining area itself looks pretty much like standard Korean grill restaurants which have movable exhaust arms. An exception, indeed, is its train theme set-up. Some of its dining booths feature American dining car windows.

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

On one side of the dining area, there is a subway map guide plastered on the metallic walls. Background music on this part is KPop music.

 

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

Since Seoul Train Korean BBQ has a limited dining space, they also have a VIP tatami room ideal for big groups. It can seat around 12 to 15 people at a time. Reservations for it is at a consumable price of PhP 3, 000 (or 61.04 USD) on weekdays, or PhP 5, 000 (or 101.74 USD) on weekends.

 

 

Table Etiquette

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

Seoul Train Korean BBQ offers compressed towel tablets for one to clean one’s hands prior to eating. Eating Korean bbq (like a Korean) after all requires using one’s hands.

Yes, the towels expand after soaking it in water, expand and are disposable. It adds to the novelty of the restaurant since it’s seldom offered in Korean restaurants here in the Philippines.

 

Food

Side Dishes
Their selection is pretty much the same as most restaurants of this kind with a few differences.

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

For one, you don’t have unlimited banchan (or side dishes) here. You can only have them refilled once. It is honestly a bummer for people like me who digs their kimchis and sweet potato balls.

 

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

The above photo is the free side salad they offer. That side salad, ban chan, vegetable wraps, and soup are free with an order of meat for grilling.

 

Sauce

The other difference is the ssamjang sauce, the typically served thick, spicy dipping sauce for the vegetable wrap, is not free.

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

Since our Korean BBQ experience won’t be complete without a ssamjang sauce, we ordered the SEOUL TRAIN SSAMJANG, PhP 100 (or USD 2.03). It’s pretty pricey for a sauce that is typically served for free. The fact that it’s served in a really small plate doesn’t help either. However, if you’ll disregard all of its bad points, their version of ssamjang is the best one I’ve tried yet. The mixture of sweet, salty and a little bit of spiciness is on point, and the included shrimp bits inside really helps add some depth to the flavor of the sauce.

We just hope they offer an ordinary version of ssamjang sauce as an alternative for people who don’t want to spend too much for a sauce.

 

Meat

There are a minimum order of two (2) items for a barbecue on the menu to be able to dine at Seoul Train Korean BBQ. We have no problems with it because since there is no better way of eating than eating it with someone or with a slew of friends.

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

For our meat, we played safe by ordering the classic beef and pork barbeque. All of it were grilled by Seoul Train’s attentive and experienced servers.

 

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

The SAMGYEOPSAL, PhP 350 (or 7.12 USD), three slabs of thick pork belly were cut into bite-sized pieces while being grilled. With proper flipping, the end result was a light golden crisp and juicy pork bellies which were perfect with the fresh lettuce and the Seoul Train Ssamjang sauce.

 

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

The GALBISAL, PhP 410 (or 13.22 USD), on the other hand, are boneless short rib fingers that are seasoned. The served beef was of quality.

 
Seoul Train Korean BBQ

It had the right amount of fat and it was really tender. There was no need for ssamjang sauce for this Korean barbecue as it was already succulent and tasty in itself.

Seoul Train Korean BBQ
 

For our final order, we had TTEOKBOKKI WITH CHEESE

 
Seoul Train Korean BBQ

They offered us one free cup of shaved ice with what tasted like black sugar syup. We craved for more as there were two of us sharing in just one, unfortunately, they weren’t still selling it during our visit.

 

Expense

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

The receipt you see above was copied from our receipt. We were negligent to not check our billing before paying and leaving. Please learn from us.

We just found about the discrepancies as we were doing our blog post. The Galbisal should be PhP 650 based on their menu. So we owe them PhP 250. Meanwhile for the tteokbokki, what we ordered was the one without the noodles and just asked for the extra cheese sauce. If it costs the same with the tteokbokki cheese and noodles, we would have ordered the one with the noodles instead because it’ll definitely be heavier.

Despite paying lower than what our actual bill should be, it makes us uncomfortable knowing that they are not careful in billing their customers. We hope that they won’t have pricing errors anymore once they fully open.

 

Overall

Upon reading, Seoul Train Korean BBQ look like a bad choice especially if you consider the limited side dishes, having to pay the necessary Ssamjang sauce at an expensive price, and small servings. However, if you are looking for a quality meat for a Korean barbecue, and not to mention Instagrammable interiors and a hip ambiance that kids of all ages will enjoy, you should definitely give it a try. We just recommend that you bring a higher budget than usual so you’ll feel satisfied after eating. Plus, don’t forget to make a reservation prior going there. Time after all is gold. Well, there’s no problem if you don’t mind waiting and you want to play in their toy crane machine.

If you still haven’t tried Korean barbecue yet, you won’t find it difficult to order from their menu because of the details they’ve put to describe their dishes. The knowledgeable servers also help you choose food.

We ate here on a soft opening so we are looking forward to returning here for their FULL menu. Also, they’ll have more seating capacity once the second floor of the restaurant opens.

Seoul Train Korean BBQ
5 years together and we’re going stronger than ever

 

Seoul Train Korean BBQ

28 Sergeant Esguerra Avenue, South Triangle, Tomas Morato, Quezon City.
Operating Hours: 11AM to 2PM and 5:30PM to 10PM daily.

Seoul Train Korean Barbecue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

20 Responses to “Seoul Train Korean BBQ: the TRAIN TO kaBUSugAN restaurant”

  1. Is Nov. 18 their grand opening too? Would love to try this place because of my love for Korean food!! But I hope we won’t experience the same trouble with price discrepancies. And yes, I wish they served the sauce along with the meal for free bc it’s a bit pricey. 🙁

    Reply
    • They’re re-opening this Nov. 18. Last time, it was their soft opening. Hopefully, everything is fine by then. Hope to hear about your experience 🙂

      Reply
  2. This place is absolutely adorbs! I’m not much of a Korean bbq fan but I’ll definitely visit just to check out the interiors. I also appreciate that you gave an honest review – these kinks are definitely something I’d watch out for. Hopefully they improve their service and turnaround time when they reopen on November 18. 🙂

    Reply
  3. I love Korean side dishes. I have not been to a lot of Korean restaurants in Manila but I am eager to invite my friend and eat here. I like that you put here what you’ve spent. I’ll use this as a reference. This is definitely an Instagram worthy place. I am sure a lot of teens will go here.

    Reply
  4. Cool setup 🙂 I’m pretty sure people who love Korean BBQ and fancy train rides here and there will adore Seoul Train. I’m really glad you gave your honest opinion and told us what made the experience good and how it could’ve been better. I’ll be sure to direct K-foodies their way.

    Reply
  5. Still not convinced…. :)) I hope you can go there again soon and let us know about your experience again.

    Reply
  6. Shame that the dining experience wasn’t that great and the restaurant is not careful when it comes to billing. The decor and the idea behind the design looks very interesting however, I think they have too many rules. I never go again to a place where they make so many rules. It’s a meal in the end, I will order what I want and not the quantities they are asking for. In my country, only bad restaurants ask for a minimum spend when you book a table.

    Reply
  7. Wow! This is really cool. I enjoyed reading and looking at the photos. This pretty much captured my insatiable thoughts. Though im a very visual person.. i like it when interiors are nice but ofcourse food taste and value for money should atleast jive! Would look forward for the full menu you’ll share on your next visit 🙂

    Reply
  8. I’m actually in Greenhills right now, so I’m close to this resto! I passed by this place before but didn’t know that it looks like a train even on the inside! I think this is one of those restos where I would go to more for the interiors than the food. Thanks for your honest opinion, especially about the error in the receipt!

    Reply
  9. This place looks interesting! My second child would love this place. He likes trains! I wonder when we could go there to try their food. Quite far from our place.7

    Reply
  10. Never been tried Korean restaurants, but this one is cool. Whoah! Price (for menus) are worth it! Already put it on my notes. Do they have facebook fan page so I can check more info about them?

    Reply
  11. I love barbecues! Every summer in south of France we did barbecues. I can understand the price might be a turn off, but I think for a single experience it would be worth according to the originality of the place. I’ve never such concept of using a train and from the pictures it looks awesome. I really like the small hints they put for the decoration to mix restaurant and train. Since I watched Pulp Fiction I always wanted to eat in a restaurant in cars (which I never found tbh), now I want to eat in a train too Haha

    Reply
  12. Initially, thought this place looks amazing. The art work is clever and the train is an innovative idea. Think the claw type machines maybe a step too far though. Makes the place a bit gimmicky. On the plus side the Korean bbq meat looks delicious as does the sides. Obviously they need the concentrate on pricing and getting the billing side of things correct which would stop me returning. Great post though and really interesting.

    Reply
  13. This looks fun! This is an unconventional way of dining out…well, from where I am from. The food looks good as well. Lovely couple too!

    Reply
  14. A train themed restaurant, interesting! I like that idea. I like themed restaurants in general. I like the graffiti wall! Capsule toys.. I used to love that! It’s such a long time ago since I got one haha. It’s a nice idea to have it in this restaurant. I like going to bbq restaurants. This one seems very nice. he food looks good. It’s a pity to read about limited side dishes. I would still try it out though!

    Reply
  15. Korean restos are popping like mushrooms everywhere. I guess we cannot blame the restaurant owners give the Filipinos fascination and clamor for everything Korean. This sure is a great place to visit for that unique and fun dining experience. The food all look very enticing, too. I must try this soon with my boys. I just hope they serve my favorite Korean dish, jap chae!

    Reply
  16. Because of the train like ambiance, and the expandable towel you demonstrated, I am tempted to try this resto, at least once. I have to prepare roughly 2.5 K though, for a family of four. I agree, a bit pricey. I hope the experience and the food is worth it.

    Reply
  17. Wow! Looking at your images of this restaurant took my breath away! I can’t believe someone has gone to the effort to create a restaurant in a train! Although it may be expensive, I think sometimes it’s more about the experience that makes it worthwhile. (May I add what is there not to love about BBQ? Haha! 🙂 Keep up the amazing work and happy travels!

    Reply
  18. Very helpful review! I’ve been reading a few blogpost about this restaurant and I’ve been seeing mixed reviews. Most of them saying that it’s too expensive and you can get the same quality of meat that they’re serving on other restaurants with cheaper price. But seeing the interior, and the instagrammable ambience, I think it would be worth a try and I’ll see for myself if it’s a good one. 🙂

    Reply

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