Sariwon Korean Barbecue Manila

Mother's Day is the one day out of 365 when I am allowed (officially) to choose where to eat but my being a mom got the best of me and let my kids pick instead. I couldn't be happier with their choice though - the "Best Korean Restaurant" Sariwon Korean Barbecue.

Sariwon Korean Barbecue facade

Sariwon is actually the capital of North Hwanghae Province in North Korea and is also where Mrs. Bun Im-Koo established the first restaurant of the same name. From a humble restaurant with just twenty seats, Sariwon Korean Barbecue became a multi-franchised conglomerate.

Wood and rocks dominate the restaurant interiors which are coincidentally the materials used to build a Hanok (traditional Korean House). The Sariwon restaurant's design gives prominence to a native Korean tree, the Zelkova which represents patience, tolerance, peace and harmony as well as longevity and endurance.

Sariwon Korean Barbecue restaurant interior

Sariwon Korean Barbecue table setting

We were greeted by our server (Sha) who attended to our every whim with so much courtesy and lots of smiles. After taking our orders, Sha gave us small circular things which not only fascinated my kids but my husband and I as well.

Magic tissue

Along with the "magic tissue" as my kids fondly called it, we were given a cup of Oksusu Cha (corn tea). Sha gave my kids the cold version of the tea which they surprisingly liked.

Corn tea Oksusu Cha
Left: Cold corn tea; Right: Hot corn tea

True to the Korean meal tradition, we were given six side dishes or banchan. The most important and famous of which is kimchi. 

Row 1: Shigumchi (blanched spinach) and Tanhobak Sarada (mashed sweet pumpkin)
Row 2: Kimchi (fermented vegetables) and Moo San Chae (seasoned radish)
Row 3: Kongnamul (seasoned bean sprouts) and Kochu Meolchi Dokkeum (roasted anchovies with chili)


The fresh vegetables are drizzled with a sweet sesame oil dressing with a faint hint of spice which makes out for one delicious salad! My eldest son, who is not a salad lover, asked for seconds.

Korean salad

They use smokeless roasters with ceramic charcoals to retain the natural flavors of the meat when grilled. I've been to the other Korean restaurants in the city and I always end up smelling like a marinated bulgogi. Thankfully, I didn't have that problem with Sariwon.

Smokeless roaster

Due to its raw and un-marinated state, the first to be grilled is the Seng Galbi. The meat are so fresh without any rancid aroma at all. 

Seng Galbi at Sariwon
Seng Galbi PhP 780

 The server did the cooking for us but you can also do the grilling yourself. 

Seng galbi being grilled

You have the option of wrapping the cooked beef short ribs with lettuce plus a sliver of garlic and red pepper paste....

Lettuce and red pepper paste

...or dip them in one of these (korean sauce, salt and pepper, sesame oil) and eat them with rice! 

Korean sauce, salt and pepper, sesame oil

It's so delicious either way! My boys preferred the second method while I opted for the first one. The smoky sweet flavor of the meat mixed with a sweet and spicy red paste is delectable!

I personally prefer the Galbi over the Seng Galbi because it's juicier, tender, and of course, more flavorful since it has been marinated overnight. 

Galbi at Sariwon

The grill top is changed to a copper humped top for the bulgogi.

Copper top smokeless roaster

Yooksue Bulgogi
Yooksue Bulgogi PhP 450

We chose the Yooksue Bulgogi because the kids are not really fond of noodles. It is the only noodle-less bulgogi among the three variations. The bulgogi broth and marinate is reported to be made of 12 different kinds of fruits and vegetables without sugar added by Mrs. Koo for his diabetic husband. The broth combined with the tender beef has a deep, rich beef flavor but not overpowering. We dipped the meat in the stock then into the Korean sauce. So good!

Yooksue Bulgogi being cooked

We were given Sikhye at the end of the meal for free! It is a rice beverage which is very sweet and is classified as a dessert in Korea.


And because it's Mom's Day, I got a freebie! Thank you!

Melon flavored ice cream bar

Out of the maximum 5 :


Sariwon Korean Barbecue Philippines
2nd Floor Bonifacio Hight Street Central
7th corner 29th Sts., Taguig City, Philippines
(0922) 535-2446
Monday-Sunday 11am to 11pm

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