If there’s anything about turning 26 that’s different from my other birthdays, it’s that I was no longer dreading it. Maybe it’s because I had a flight to catch the next day. Or maybe it’s because I was looking forward to my birthday dinner at Cafe Chosun in Malate. Or maybe I am maturing a little bit, and I realized that growing a little older isn’t so bad.
After researching and researching where to eat for dinner that day, my sister and I decided on Cafe Chosun. Good thing it was open 24 hours because we had dinner quite late. It was raining hard on my birthday, and as usual, the streets of Makati were flooded. We almost got stranded, but no rain could dampen my spirits. After all, it was my birthday.
I’m no longer a birthday grinch!
I’m now 26 but I’m still their bunso! I love my Chocolate Sans Rival cake from Aristocrat, by the way. I can eat this all day.
Anyway, off to the food!
Cafe Chosun is right across Robinson’s Place Manila, and it’s relatively new in the area. It got popular when it was featured in Anthony Bourdain’s segment in the Philippines for his show Parts Unknown. I didn’t get to watch the episode, nor do I have any idea why he visited a Korean restaurant when he should be, I don’t know, featuring a turo-turo.
What I do know is that I probably ate more than he did. I rank our dinner at Cafe Chosun among the best Korean meals I had in the country. From the grilled meat to the ban chan to the customer service–everything was perfect.
Since there were eight of us, we ordered 5 servings of meat–samgyupsal (pork belly) and chadol baki (beef brisket). Aside from that, we also ordered a bowl of ttukbaegi bulgogi (hot pot bulgogi) and a lot of rice.
One of the servers cooked the meat for us and he most definitely grilled it to perfection. It was yum, okay? The samgyupsal was juicy and not overly charred. The chadol baki was great, too, but I just fell in love with the fattening samgyupsal. Wrapped in lettuce and a bunch of ban chan? H-e-a-v-e-n.
A close-up shot of the yummy chadol baki
The love of my life, up close and personal
They were very generous with the ban chan (side dishes) as well. We were served two bowls of sundubu jjigae (spicy tofu stew), two bowls of gyeranjjim (steamed egg dish), different kinds of kimchi, and other side dishes that I cannot name.
Unlike in other restaurants where they can only give a maximum of two refills, they kept refilling ours
They served us more than a platter of this kimchi.
And this one, they served like it’s just pansit you serve at birthday parties. It was a lot.
Good thing we didn’t let our biases stop us from eating here. We do have our favorite Korean restaurants in Manila, and I’m just glad that I have another one to add to my list. It’s too difficult to rank my favorite restaurants, but this is definitely on the top 3. They have top-notch service and great value for money. And the food? Something that I still dream about today. /sobs I will definitely come back for more and more and more.
The past year hadn’t been easy, and the coming months seem to be challenging as well. But as long as I get to spend days like this, with my family and Alex, and and as long as there’s great food to eat, life doesn’t seem so bad, ain’t it?
Address: Ramona Apartment, 1555 Pedro Gil St Cor. Adriatico, Ermita, Manila, 1000
Contact No.: (02) 256 3641
Opening Hours: 24 Hours
Budget: PHP 250 – PHP 350 per person