Friday, May 31, 2013

Matgalne Restaurant: All-You-Can-Grill Liempo & Beef With 20+ Unlimited Korean Side Dishes!

Last week, Matgalne Korean Restaurant invited me and 2 of my friends to try out their lunch buffet where we could grill unlimited liempo/pork and beef, plus enjoy more than 20 Korean side dishes. Wow! Now that sounds like a major pig out session, don't you agree? 

I tagged Batch and Yumi along for the event. Since I live in Makati, the restaurant was conveniently less than 30mins. away from my apartment. We were advised that it was near St. Giles Hotel and that I should look for an orange building. I was expecting their store front to display their English name, but at the time of our visit, it only showed their Korean name, so we just got off our cab and hoped we were in the right place. Luckily, we were. :)

I made a beeline to their bibimbap section because I was thrilled to make my own bibimbap! This is one of Korea's signature dishes and when translated, means "mixed riced".

Easy peasy. I scooped a small amount of warm white rice and topped it with all the sauteed and season vegetable selection available and for the final touch, I put in a hefty dollop of gochujang or chili pepper paste. You know me, the spicier, the better!

Time for some action! Mix the ingredients altogether thoroughly just before you take a bite. I fell in love with the harmony of flavors and textures, plus the spiciness really added a lot of character to my bibimbap! Bibimbap can be served both hot or cold, but I prefer it hot. Definitely comfort food material.

We were served both beef and pork plates for grilling. You can definitely see how fresh the meat were.

Batch, our designated cook for the day, started to grill the meat into golden brown perfection.

One of the staff advised us that the best way to eat the grilled meat was to wrap it up in lettuce, fold it and dip it into their recommended dipping sauce of salt and pepper in sesame oil. Very simple, but it works! We also experimented and dipped some into red chili pepper paste.

I did mention that you can enjoy your unlimited grilled meat with plenty of Korean side dishes to choose from, right?  Let's get started, then!

Assorted fresh vegetables. Green/ red bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers.

Chwinamul or Seasoned Aster Scaber. Made from various species of wild flowering plants including Aster Scaber. The leaves have a distinctive scent and their consumption is believed to be good for one's health. Health benefits? Protein, calcium, vitamins B1·B2, niacin, and iron!

Ham Jeon. A pancake-like Korean dish made mostly of eggs and flour, with ham.

Kimchi. Their kimchi was seasoned just rightly so. Level of spiciness is spot on. I actually have never been fond of kimchi in the past, but I rather enjoyed Matgalne's version of kimchi.

Kimmari or Seaweed Roll. We found ourselves munching on several of these!

Japchae/ jabchae/ chapchaeMade from sweet potato noodles (Dangmyeon) stir-fried in sesame oil with various vegetables, typically thinly sliced carrots, onion, spinach, and mushrooms and sometimes served with beef

Fun fact: the name, japchae, comprises the two hanja words; jap (literally "mixed and stirred") and chae ( literally "vegetables"). Therefore, japchae literally means "a mixture of vegetables."

Zucchini Jeon . A pancake-like Korean dish made from zucchini, drenched in flour with eggs.

You guessed it, right! Onion Rings, one of my favorite snacks!

Dak Kang Jung or Sweet and Spicy Chicken. Yumi has been fasting for some time now and  avoids eating beef and pork so it's wonderful to know that their buffet selection has chicken!

Kimbap or Gimbap. Derived from the Japanese Futomaki but uses ingredients not found in the futomaki. Kimbap rice is also prepared with sesame oil, instead if rice vinegar.

Various leafy vegetables (romaine lettuce, chinese pechay, etc.) you could use as a wrap for your grilled meat.

Another no-brainer side dish, Banana Turon! I wasn't expecting to find turon in their side dish selection but I couldn't pass up the chance to try it. Sweetness is just about the right level. It doesn't take a lot to impress me when it comes to turon, and their version is fairly good. 

Jumeok Bap or Dried Seaweed Rice Ball. Reminiscent of the Japanese Onigiri, I quite enjoyed this. Each rice ball is not too big that you can conveniently pop one after the other.

Mattang. Sweet potato glazed with caramelized sauce. Reminiscent of our very own kamote que, but better! The sweet potato used was the sweeter and softer variety, which I love!

Odeng Bokkeum or Stir-Fried Fish Cake. 

Mushroom Jeon or Beosot Jeon. A pancake-like Korean dish made mostly of eggs and flour, with beoseot (mushroom).

Ojinguh Bokkeum or Korean Spicy Stir-Fried Squid.  There are generous amounts of bite-sized squid stir fried together with vegetables in sweet red chili sauce.

Hobakjuk or Pumpkin Soup. Creamy, smooth and comforting, exactly how an excellent pumpkin soup should be.

Lunch and dinner buffets are available in both of their branches. You can enjoy all-you-can-grill liempo/ pork and beef including more than 20 Korean side dishes, ALL UNLIMITED! If you are within the metro and looking for healthier pig out spots or you've been looking forward to satisfying your Korean food fix for so long, try Matgalne! It would be even better to bring your office mates, friends, or family along. After all, great food is always best enjoyed with great company. See you on my next pig out session!

Matgalne Restaurant

Matgalne Restaurant, Main Branch
4768 Kalayaan Avenue Corner Mariano Street, Poblacion
Makati City, Metro Manila
Tel #: (02) 890 – 2949

Matgalne Restaurant
2F Millenium Place BIdg., Meralco Avenue
Ortigas Center, San Antonio
Pasig City, Metro Manila
Tel #: (02) 632 – 9714

Estimated Budget: Regular price for the lunch and dinner buffets is P399.00. Special lunch buffet promo for ONLY P299.00. Lunch buffet starts from 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM while dinner buffet starts from 5:30 PM to 11:00 PMPromo period ends on June 30, 2013.
Payment Methods: Cash
Business Hours: 11:00 AM to 12:00 AMMonday to Saturday

Your pig out buddy,

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