Cebuanos are beginning to notice the wonders of Korean cuisine and its relative healthiness. Korean dishes are well-known to have the healthiest ensemble of food stuffs in the world, and having them regularly served here in the Queen City of the South is a delightful treat to the gastronomically adventurous.
One would normally see typical Korean restaurants when you visit any of Cebu's spacious malls and luxurious resto hubs. Based in SM City Cebu, Apgujeong is one of those mall-based restaurants where food quality, customer service, and accessibility are all satisfactorily met.
My first visit to this restaurant marked my first foray into Korean food. A good friend of mine, who is also an ESL teacher, was gracious enough to show me the ropes on Korean cuisine. Since then I have visited this Korean resto several times, bringing friends and relatives willing to replace familiarity with gutsiness, and always leaving with big grins on their faces.
My friends and I went there a few weeks ago, egged on by an itching for foreign food. Just before our meals were served we made sure to whip out our measly cameras to document those mouth-watering goodies. Food quickly disappears in my presence.
Samgyupsal (Bacon Strips)
Lucky for us we remembered to take pictures. Samgyupsal gives you the opportunity to cook bacon strips on your table stove, as well as replenish your viand dishes (I wouldn’t call them side dishes) when they run out.
For the benefit of those green thumbs to Korean eating, this dish allows you to take a bite-sized piece of bacon, a sliver of condiments (small servings of vegetables and kimchi), mix them in sauces, and wrap them all up in a cabbage leaf, the variety of which I can’t put my finger on.
After wrapping them in a nice little bundle, open a mouthful and chew them all in. The resulting flavors are yours to enjoy, and the little nuances of flavor will be determined by what condiment combo you put into the leaf.
The dish never fails to impress me. (Now I sound like a food judge from Cooking Master Boy). It’s good for 2-3 people, but that didn’t stop me from ordering another one. (Price: P250)
Sogalbi (Broiled Beef Rib)
This dish is similar to samgyupsal, in that you’ll have more or less the same condiments and vegetables to mix with, but instead of bacon, you get to enjoy fresh, imported beef from Korea. This one really fills you up. (Price: P350)
To our surprise that evening, the rest of us were given bottomless servings of iced tea drinks when only one of us ordered it. That was after the crew tried to respectfully cut our dining space in half for more Korean customers, which absolutely posed no problem with us.
Their customer service, to me, is probably the best in the city, and one of Apgujeong’s strengths. The staff is always very friendly, courteous, and accommodating; never rude. Always alert at the push of a button, the service staff adds no trouble to your dining experience.
Now, if only other restaurants follow suit…
My aunt in the States, who had been in Apgujeong just once, vowed to make this restaurant her first visit the next time she could come home. This place is a veritable health haven, probably unbeknownst to health aficionados and avowed vegetarians.
Great food, great customer service, appropriate Korean ambience, what more could I ask for. The food fulfills on the Korean culinary guarantee of healthiness plus great taste. Every bit of time spent in Apgujeong is a great dining experience.
4 out of 5 stars
1st Floor, Fiesta Strip, SM City Cebu
North Reclamation Area, Mabolo
Cebu City 6000
Tel No.: (032) 232-6241