Go Crazy Over The All-You-Can-Meat Extravaganza At Gen Korean BBQ
It seems that the Filipinos’ K-fever isn’t dying down just yet, as more and more Korean lifestyle brands become a part of daily life and new Korean restaurants pop up in every neighborhood in the metro. Before you can even say “Annyeonghaseyo!” and pour yourself another shot of soju, head over to SM By the Bay at the Mall of Asia Complex and check out Gen Korean BBQ.
Gen Korean BBQ is an eat-all-you-can restaurant that allows diners to feast on different kinds of grilled meat alongside a selection of unlimited banchan or side dishes. While there may be a Korean restaurant on almost every street corner of Metro Manila, this Los Angeles-based franchise (this branch is their first outside the United States) stands out as it only serves premium cuts of beef and pork imported from the U.S., which are then served raw to be enjoyed by diners over a tabletop grill. As many fans of Korean food would know, the grilling is as much a part of the overall dining experience. The lunch crowd can choose from 25 kinds of meat and seafood for the mains, while diners coming in for dinner can have up to 35 dishes to select from.
Of course the traditional Korean barbecue cuts such as samgyubsal (pork belly) and woo beasal (short plate beef belly) are present, but add a platter or two of hangjungsal (pork cheek) for something different. Go a bit more adventurous with the Red Wine Samgyubsal for a new twist on an old favorite or the Gen Signature Yangyum Galbi, marinated bone-in short ribs that are perfectly seasoned that you won’t need any dipping sauces. Highly recommended is the Manager’s style Premium Gen Chadol or thin strips of beef brisket that comes with white onions and “crazy sauce.” Looking for something with a bit of sweetness and less spice? The Hawaiian Bacon is a good choice for a balance of sweet and savory in one dish.
A variety of traditional banchan is served to complement the meats, starting of course with kimchi, a range of pickled vegetables, salads, and more. And while each platter of meat comes with either rice or lettuce leaves for wrapping, ask for the radish pancake, a paper-thin wafer that adds a refreshing and crisp bite to your usual Korean BBQ wrap. Another tip: make sure to ask for the “crazy sauce,” a sweet-tangy-spicy condiment that—trust us—goes well with everything.
There’s a whole range of meat and seafood dishes to choose from, so it’s best to come and visit with a large group so everyone can try a little bit of everything. Lunch buffet starts at P798 and dinner is at P1,298, and diners can enjoy bottomless drinks as well for a minimal fee of P108. A wine list is also available upon request. In the U.S., Gen Korean BBQ restaurants have a waiting time of about two hours for a seating—and the wait is well-worth it, mind you—this SM By the Bay branch can seat up to 500 people. Service is quick and the staff are friendly, especially for first-time visitors to a Korean barbecue who might feel a little intimidated by the tabletop grilling or overwhelmed by the number of options. Whether you’re a newbie who needs some guidance, or a K-BBQ veteran who knows their way around a grill, the staff are ready to assist or recommend new ways to enjoy the experience.
Gen Korean BBQ is at Bldg J, Unit 1-16, SM By the Bay, Seaside Boulevard, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City