Bi-Won is Korean for Secret Garden. No, it's not another Koreanovela that our Pinoy youth especially young girls are fond of. It's an authentic Korean restaurant located along EDSA corner P. Celle street not far from the intersection(Pasay Rotonda). They have been in operation for ten years so don't be fooled if the place looked secluded. If our young Pinays are tuned in to the Korean soap operas, we might as well appreciate their culture starting with their dishes.
Koreans are much closer to us in terms of proximity not because they are our Asian neighbors but also most of the Korean students are studying here in the Philippines. Our host, Ms. Cristina Hong told us that most Korean celebrities who went in the Philippines knows Bi-Won and dines there. Even the President dined there one time. Ms. Hong oriented us about Korean dishes that we are going to have for lunch.
We were led to one of their private dining area. Each room has two tables and has two burner stoves each. We were given utensils for each of us. Ms. Hong explained to us that Koreans always have spoon for the rice and chopsticks in an average meal. Not just any chopsticks. Chopsticks made of metal. Ms. Hong explained that metal utensils that was made from either gold or silver was used by Korean royalty.
For starters, we were given small servings of food that we mistook for appetizers. Ms. Hong explained that Koreans don't have appetizers but these food is eaten with the main dishes. Unlike some establishments that serves Korean food, the kimchi is prepared fresh every day.
|Chef Lee and Ms. Cristina Hong|
Our first taste test was the Seafood Pancake. It is served in a round serving plate. It is like an omellete but on a bigger serving. We were introduced to their Korean chef, Mr. Lee, before trying out the Bulgogi. I like how the Bulgogi was served. They put it in the stove. You might think that the Bulgogi is greasy but it's not. While heating, it drains the excess oil from the beef.
What I just found out about Korean food is that they also grill their meat. We just put the slices of meat in the stove and get it whenever we like. Their Korean noodle dish, Japchae is one of my favorites. It is like vermicelli cooked like our local pansit.
There are more of Korean dishes we haven't tried but I am sure it will be just as good. Their dishes costs around at around 300 Pesos per order. Bi Won Korean Restaurant is at the corner of P. Celle street along EDSA and it's not far from Taft avenue. If you have Korean classmates here in the city, please do tell them about Bi Won. We Filipinos can dine there too. Most of the staff are Filipinos too.