There are lots of Korean Nationals especially in Makati, near the red light district. Due to that fact, there are lots of Korean establishments nearby and one of them is Masan Garden. The restaurant is advertised as a Korean & Japanese place but I see it as more of a Korean food place. Authentic, that’s what I love! The owner is always there wearing a Korean costume with a big smile on her face too. Very warm & welcoming, even if we’re not Korean, we still felt so welcome 🙂
As we entered the place, 2 dolls were immediately visible as if they were greeting us hahaha! Then a server assisted us and brought us to our chosen seats.
The ambiance is very Korean-Japanese. Bamboo trees sketched in the glasses, very Japanese design all over the restaurant. The customers being mostly Korean also helped with the ambiance hahahaa, made it truly authentic. I was really so excited to eat Korean food again, especially the soup!
Here are our orders:
- Salmon (Php 300)
Salmon Kui as the menu says. It’s just a simple piece of salmon, you put calamansi on top and you are ready to eat. Simple but delicious! Cooked well, and still moist. There really wasn’t any presentation to this dish, which was a shame since it really tasted very good. In most cases, I try to emphasize good food presentation since it is also part of the experience, but honestly with this dish, you really can’t complain with how it tastes.
- Roasted Pork (Php 320)
Pork Bolgogi. I love this dish, very spicy but tasty! The chili really did give the pork a bit of a kick. I wish I wasn’t so late when I arrived, I could have eaten more of it. The chili based sauce really was delicious. For those that don’t like spicy food, sometimes that’s the trade-off when it comes to dishes like this, because the taste of this dish is truly wonderful!
- Roasted Beef (Php 320)
Beef Bolgogi. Actually the same as Pork Bolgogi but instead of pork, they used beef as the main ingredient. I always prefer beef over pork but still, both tasted delicious. This dish was a different variant from the previous dish not only because of the different meat, but because of the different base used to stir fry the dish. You could taste a bit more of the onions, and the sesame seeds also gave it a more nutty taste, no single ingredient was overpowering, but it really was a great combination of flavors. The seasoning was also excellently done. As with most dishes, it doesn’t matter what you put into it, sometimes it can be ruined because it is too salty or under seasoned. In this case, the meat was tender and the seasoning was just right.
- Garden Fresh Lettuce
The lettuce were given to us for free as we ordered the bolgogi (both beef & pork). Basically, we just wrap the bolgogi with the lettuce, put their special sauce + garlic. Perfect lettuce wrap! I loved it! My mom also used the salmon with it.
- Bibimpop (Php 300)
A popular rice dish in Korea. I wasn’t able to taste this though, as my soup order already includes rice so I passed on bibimpop. Although, it certainly did look appetizing. This is almost a meal within itself, a great looking concoction indeed!
- Hemul Pajon (Php 280)
I don’t know what the english term for this dish but I would say this is like a vegetable cake or vegetable omelette. It’s a bit oily though but it was yummy. I like the how the greens were incorporated in this fried cake, it certainly gave it a great taste that wasn’t too heavy, even if it was a bit oily :p
- Bean Curd Soup (Php 270)
The last time I visited Masan Garden, I ordered the Bean Paste Soup and I hated it. So this time, I made sure that I ordered the right one which is the Bean Curd Soup. This version is just lovely, it tends to be spicy, you might want to ask them to just put a small amount of chili. This is basically soup, with soft tofu and beef. I can finish this on my own, together with the high quality rice included in the order. The base is just so yummy, I really loved how full of flavor this dish was! This is definitely a dish worth ordering every time you dine Masan Garden!
Aside from the awesome service (I think awesome is an understatement but service was just superb!) & great food, I love how generous they are with their FREE appetizers. It doesn’t matter how many are in the group, it could just be 2 or a group of 5, we were still given all the available appetizers like spinach, kimchi, tofu, dilis). Now, that’s exceptional value!
We also get free fresh pineapple after our meal! 😀
Lots of reason for me to go back. The authenticity of the dishes, the wonderful ambiance, and the superb service! Have you tried Masan Garden? If not, then you should! 🙂
Masan Garden Korean & Japanese Restaurant
29 Polaris Street, Bel-Air Village I, Makati City, Philippines