After having a very busy weekend, I found myself browsing thru Facebook in a group called Let’s Eat Pare. Upon searching for my next meal, I came across a picture with ribbons of pink thin meat strips, soup, and assorted vegetables and balls. I found myself headed there not long after.
Exploring the Malate, Manila area it’s surprising to see numerous Korean and Japanese restaurants that are open 24 hours. It’s the best cure after a night out drinking.
When we arrive at Sinsun, we noticed the industrial modern design, steel pipes hanging from the ceiling, with stainless silver tables, wooden booth seats, and walls. Everything about the place has a gray-brown hue. It can be quite smoky when you enter due to all the cooking taking place at the tables.
The restaurant is divided into two parts, one for those who want to eat Shabu-Shabu, and one for those who wanted Samgyupsal. Even though we wanted Shabu Shabu, we ended up sitting in the other area. The smell of burning pork and sizzle of the meat was very audible amidst the crowd of locals, Koreans, and even foreigners.
They have a wide range menu of classic Korean dishes, what stood out though is their unlimited sets.
- UNLIMITED SAMGYUPSAL (PORK) SET – 500 PHP
- UNLIMITED SAMGYUPSAL (PORK and BEEF) SET – 580 PHP
- UNLIMITED SHABU-SHABU SET- 500 PHP
The rule is, all those in the table must order the same kind of set if they will avail of the unlimited sets. We ended up ordering the Unlimited Shabu-Shabu set that comes with a side dish, rice, assorted vegetables, mushroom, balls, and slices of beef.
What is Shabu-Shabu?
Shabu-Shabu gets its roots to Japan where you cook meat, and vegetables in a huge cooking pot and several dipping sauces consisting of sesame sauce and ponzu sauce. Typically, what Koreans do is to add noodles or rice at the end of the meal and create a porridge with the broth.
Once they served the soup base, the first thing I do is to taste the broth, it’s a rich beefy flavor similar to the Filipino dish bulalo. The broth is filled with cabbages, shrimps, and mussels. The broth itself is very tasty.
They also serve the Shabu-Shabu sauce consisting of a soy based sauce, crushed garlic, scallions, and freshly chopped chili. To make the sauce, add some of the garlic, scallions, and chili to the soy sauce and dip the cooked meat and vegetables.
They served the vegetables first with an assortment of petchay, water crest, and cabbage with a side of lobster balls, crab sticks, and enoki mushrooms. All the vegetables were fresh. After a few minutes, they finally served the beef. We were so overwhelmed with a mountain of thin beef strips that lay before us.
The sliced beef strips were of high quality, and very thinly sliced. You only needed a minute of cooking before consuming this tasty beef. I wanted to eat more vegetables, but somehow the meat kept calling back to me. It was tender, flavorful, and fulfilling. The warm and tasty broth, with a variety of vegetables, was a real treat.
At the end of the meal, we were handed two melon flavored Melona ice cream. It was a nice surprise after the hearty meal.
Overall, we were very impressed with the quality of their ingredients and food. Everything was delicious, fresh, and addicting.
We have to admit that hearing the food cook in the other tables we couldn’t help but look over to see what was cooking.
In our second trip to Sinsun, we ordered their unlimited Samgyupsal for 500 PHP for pork and 580 PHP for beef and pork.
What is Samgyupsal?
Samgyupal is thin pork slices grilled then eaten by first dipping the cooked meat in sesame oil then on samnjang sauce, then enveloped in a piece of lettuce. For even more flavors, you can add kimchi or palmunchin and fresh garlic.
Here in Sinsun, they serve thick cuts of aged pork meat, when you taste it, you’ll know it does make a difference.
The UNLIMITED SAMGYUPSAL meal comes with soup, unlimited side dishes, rice, and lettuce.
Their broth is composed of light konbu, enoki mushrooms, and assorted seafood(crabs, shrimps, mussels, and clams).
Instead of the typical thin slices of pork they usually serve in Korean Eat-All-You-Can restaurants, Sinsun served us with thick cuts of half-cooked pork slices. The meat stays tender even though the outside part is grilled well. It’s juicy, and the taste is so addicting that we ended up having several refills.
Sinsun has the best quality of meat we’ve had, as compared to, other korean restaurants.
- QUALITY OF FOOD: They have a generous serving of premium quality meat (especially the beef), Vegetables are fresh and the broth is highly delectable
- BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE: Lack of knowledge of the menu, no rapport, and very slow service. They need to improve their order taking process and communication between wait staffs
- ERGONOMICS: Industrial design is enticing and brings out the liveliness of the place.
- VALUE FOR MONEY: 500PHP/buffet is a pretty good deal considering the quality of their food.
- WAZE MAPPED: YES
- WILL WE COME BACK?: YES, definitely.
Having a warm bowl of soup is always enough to calm the nerves, and give you that feeling of contentment after a long day of work. I hope that their staff will be better trained in my next dining experience at the Sinsun Seolnongtang.
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