Diners get the best of both worlds in Ginzadon, a fine restaurant that serves Japanese and Korean cuisines—all under one roof. Located in Resorts World Manila, it is one of my family’s favorite restaurants, as it offers fantastic food, amazing ambience, and superb service, too.
Inside the restaurant
Upon settling down, one of the servers will give you a complimentary round of appetizers, which normally includes different types of side dishes such as kimchi and some sweet and spicy dried dilis (long-jawed anchovy). In my past visits, I’ve nibbled on simple starters like peanuts, tuna salad, and bean sprouts; and even had a chance to sample more unusual food like seaweed and baby octopus, which was actually very good and tender.
Have you ever tried baby octopus?
Taste test of two cuisines
It might take a while to go through the variety of dishes listed on the long menu, but don’t be intimidated by it. Take your time while you snack on some starters and sip some hot service tea. Having eaten there for several times now, we have already found our favorites in Ginzadon.
An assortment of appetizers
We particularly love their Ebi Tempura (P550), where the shrimps are deep-fried to perfection and taste better when dipped in the tempura sauce with grated ginger. The Yakimeshi (P170), Japanese fried rice, goes really well with the tempura. The bowl of fried rice is filled with bits and pieces of vegetables and scrambled egg. It is big enough to share between two people with small appetites, or just enough for one hearty eater.
Pair your food with Japanese fried rice
The restaurant also offers vegetarian-friendly meals that even non-vegetarians would appreciate. Try the Seafood Yasai Itame (P280), stir-fried vegetables with mixed seafood. Slivers of carrots, bell pepper, bean sprouts, green beans, and cabbage, are combined with delectable squid, fish, and shrimps. Then there’s also the Yasai Tempura (P170), which is assorted deep-fried vegetables. Have you ever had breaded and fried broccoli flowers? Or asparagus spears—tempura style? I was only able to taste those in Ginzadon and I found it really scrumptious. I have fun whenever we order this dish because I try to guess first what’s beneath the breading before I actually take a bite.
Simple vegetable stir-fry with seafood
Eat your tempura veggies!
Noodle lovers would also enjoy the variety of Asian-style noodle dishes in this place. There’s the Korean classic Japchae (P400), which are sautéed sweet potato noodles with vegetables and beef strips. Although it can be a bit on the oily side, it is full of interesting flavors and textures. The noodles have a gummy feel, while the mixed vegetables and sesame seeds give some crunch. The dish is topped with thin slices of egg that add more color to it. It tastes somewhat sweet, but not overwhelmingly so.
The traditional Korean Japchae
Another notable noodle dish is the Yaki Udon (P380), which is stir-fried thick Japanese noodles with pork, seafood, and vegetables. It looks alive as it arrives to your table—some of the flakes on top seem to move because of the steam from the hot dish. This is a savory serving of chewy noodles with pieces of pork, shrimp, squid, and mixed vegetables. Aside from these two, there are other noodle variants in Ginzadon—some are served with soup and some are ramen-style.
A big plate of Japanese noodles
Of course there are also meat delights to satisfy the carnivorous diners. I highly recommend the Yakitori (P210), grilled boneless chicken barbeque that is simply sweet and mouth-watering. It’s the sauce that makes it extra special, I would say. I especially like the charred parts—please, don’t discard those. Even the leeks in between the chicken cubes taste great. Too bad one order comes with two sticks only.
Mouth-watering chicken barbeque
Another poultry dish that I sampled was the Tori Teppanyaki (P350), which is chicken teppanyaki cooked with sake in special Japanese sauce. The chicken was cut into bite-sized pieces and was very tender. It was a bit salty for my taste though. Good thing it came with a serving of stir-fried vegetables to counteract the saltiness.
The Korean barbeque beef ribs are a treat!
The Kal Bi Gui (P800), barbecue beef spare ribs, is worth trying as well. The thin slices of grilled beef, with bone on, are topped with sesame seeds and served with lettuce leaves. Don’t be conscious about eating with your hands, as you need these tools to wrap the meat in the lettuce. This is the best way to complete your eating experience.
Diners may also eat by the counter
The great thing about eating in Ginzadon is that members of Resorts World Manila get special discounts and have the option to pay with their points, too!
(Note: Ginzadon is undergoing renovation as of the writer’s last visit, which was July 20. It is currently sharing space with nearby Passion Restaurant.)