Some of you may already this – that I’m an absolute fan of Korean food! Korean and Japanese cuisine are battling it out for the first spot in my list of favorite food.
That’s why one of the places I prefer to dine in is Jang Ga Nae located at Escriva Drive, Ortigas, Pasig City. It’s just a few steps away from Astoria and my other favorite Korean place, Hwang So.
Whenever I go there to have my lunch with other Korean food loving work mates, it’s always bustling and filled with other diners – a testament to the quality of food served there. More often than not, we’re always lucky to get the last available able in the restaurant. That’s how popular the place is among Koreans and Filipinos alike.
One of the things I like best about dining in Korean restaurants is the plentiful amount of side dishes you get with every order. In Jang Ga Nae, they definitely do not scrimp on these. You always get an abundance of the usual favorites, including a bowl of salad and a plate of kimchi pancake (of which’s picture I forgot to take).
Not a lot of people are fond of this, but I very much like kimchi. There was a time I craved it so much, I had to go to a Korean convenience store to buy myself a container full of it that I quickly consumed as soon as I got back to the office. Every Korean restaurant has a different way of making Kimchi (unless they have the same supplier, of course), depending on the recipe used. Some are more sour than the others while some recipes include more spice and salt. I like mine crunch, spicy, and a little bit salty and sour.
The one they serve in Jang Ga Nae is not the best I’ve tasted but it was good enough. A word of caution though to some people – if you’re not used to kimchi, take it easy or you might have your tummy grumbling after eating it. I’m seen it happen often enough to a couple of people, including myself. 😀
This was another side dish I really enjoyed eating. Seems to me like a carrot pancake but I’m not entirely sure. It has the texture of pancake but a bit more egg-y and sweet with bits of vegetables in it.
Now on to what we actually ordered, we first got this Kimchi soup that has pork and tofu in it too. Perfect for a kimchi lover like me and oh so very perfect too for a chilly, rainy day. If I were to try and describe it, I can best liken it to sinigang, though it packs much more heat.
Because of the kimchi base, this soup is a delightful mixture of sour and spicy. I recommend that you sip it slowly if you don’t want to choke on the spiciness of the soup. Precisely because it’s spicy, I like how it settles nicely on my tummy making it all warm and comfy. I think it’s best eaten with rice. If you like, you can do what my friend does – she mixes her rice directly into her bowl of soup. 🙂
My Korean dining experience is never complete without grilled meat wrapped in lettuce. Hence, we ordered Samkyupsal too. I will never ever get tired of eating this. If I had more money, I’ll order one of the more expensive beef cuts available. Gotta save up for it though. 🙂
Other things I recommend from this restaurant are the Al Tang (Fish Roe Soup) and the Japchae. One of my friends got so addicted to the Al Tang that she would go out of her way just to drop by this place to get it. For me personally, it reminded so much of the fish roe soups my granny used to make when I was a kid, albeit a spicier version of the Filipino version.
After a filling meal at Jang Ga Nae, I always drop by the next door convenience store to buy myself Korean ice cream. That’s always the best way to end a Korean meal and clean the palate of the flavorful dishes previously devoured. 🙂