Long before the wave of Korean barbecue began in the Philippines, one of the first restaurants to offer the KBBQ experience is Sariwon Korean Barbecue, serving nothing but authentic and good quality meat. Seven years later, the restaurant still continues to bring the kind of service that keeps the people coming back for more.
Sariwon's story started back in 1938 with Mrs. Bun Im Koo who created her own version of bulgogi broth from 12 different fruits for her diabetic husband. Shortly after she opened her business, it grew from being a 20-seater restaurant to a business that has opened in various part of Seoul, and even reached the Philippines.
In celebration of Sariwon's seventh year, we give you a rundown of 7 of their most classic and must-try dishes! Check them out below:
A Korean meal is never complete without the banchan – side dishes – which are always served first. A table is usually served with 6 kinds of banchan, and includes kimchi, steamed namul (or leafy vegetables), peanuts, mashed sweet potato, fish cakes, and fried egg. Don't forget that these dishes are also unlimited, so feel free to have all the kimchi you want!
A dish you can try for starters is their Haemul Pajeon, a traditional Korean pancake with seafood like squid, shrimp, mussels, and green onion. It's a dish that's good enough to share with a group but is still light, so you still have space for more food!
One of Sariwon's classic dishes is their Japchae, which has vermicelli noodles, pork, mushrooms, green onion, carrots, and a variety of vegetables mixed and cooked into one colorful dish.
Another colorful dish that's uniquely Korean is the Dolsot Bibimbap, which is basically mixed riced served in a sizzling stone bowl. A bowl has a generous serving of carrots, mushroom, beansprouts, water spinach, cucumbers, and egg. Mixed with gochujang to make it more spicy and flavorful, this dish is also best enjoyed when piping hot, and right when the rice from the bottom starts to get toasted and crispy.
When dining at Sariwon, you shouldn't simply miss out on their meat, as they take pride in serving nothing but premium ones to their diners. Their meats are also cooked in a smokeless grill with cement charcoal, so if you're one who gets bothered about smelling like smoke and meat, you wouldn't be worrying about that when dining here. The staffs are also the one who cooks the meat for you to make sure that it's in the right doneness.
The Deung Shim is a 150g Premium USDA High Choice ribeye steak without much seasoning. It's the perfect kind of meat for those who are into simpler flavors when it comes to barbecue.
To those who are into the sweeter marinated meats, they can try the Yangnyeom Galbi and Yangnyeom Wagyu Salchisal, both of which are marinated in sea salt and spices. Their Galbi is 250g USDA High Choice beef bone-in short ribs, while the Wagyu Salchisal is 170g of Premium Snake River Farms Wagyu Chuck Flap Tail.
What's a Sariwon meal without their famous Sariwon Bulgogi? The dish, which has 150 grams of thinly-sliced USDA choice beef, spring onions, and homemade sweet potato noodles cooked in the signature Sariwon broth. Their bulgogi is big enough for a group of 4, especially since the broth is already flavorful and delicious on its own.
Capping off the meal, you can opt for one of Sariwon's alcoholic or non-alcoholic ones. Their Sangria Soju, for one, is a good spin on the sangria we're all used to, and is also refreshing one with a slight hint of kick. If you want something sweeter, though, be sure to have a taste of their Sikhye, a traditional sweet drink made from malt and rice. This refreshing drink is not only a good dessert drink because of its flavor, but is also something that can aid digestion – a perfect way to end a meal!