I just ate dinner with my dongsaeng 동생 (younger sister) in Kaya Restaurant at the ground floor of Glorietta 4, Makati. I’ve always wondered why I’ve never seen any Koreans eating whenever I pass by any of their branches. Now, I know. It’s overpriced and so un-Korean in the way they serve their food.

First off, authentic Korean restaurants serve free side dishes to their customers. Just visit any of the hole in the wall Korean restaurants near Korean communities and you’ll experience this. What’s more, these side dishes (which can reach up to 10 different types) are also refilled for free. I know they tuck in the price of this in the other food but the free refills make it really pocket-friendly. Kaya actually charged me for kimchi!!! The Korean horror!!! (>.<)/

I really don’t get why other people are raving about Kaya. It’s so un-Korean! The bibimbap 비빔밥 (mixed rice meal with meat, egg, and vegetables) was so-so, even when I ordered it served in a hot stone pot. I dare say that Mr. Kimbob serves even better bibimbap than Kaya for about half the price. The jin mandoo 진 만두 (steamed dumplings) was just passable – nothing special here. The pajeon 파전 (onion leek with squid pancake) was just ok – there was so much of it left over after the meal that we had it wrapped up. Although, I have to admit though that the spicy squid in the Doshirak 도시락 (Korean lunch box) was good.

I also don’t even remember seeing soju 소주  in the menu.  If I’m right, this is a clear oversight. All authentic Korean restaurants serve soju. Because this is the best partner for 삼귭살 (pork belly). Soju is normally what is overpriced in Korean menus locally.

I was in a rush to get back to the office that I wasn’t able to get the receipt hence the lack of prices here. Our total bill was around P700 (for four dishes) – which is just right for a good meal for two in Korean restaurants. But Kaya just tasted uninspiring to me so it felt really expensive since there was really nothing special about the place.

Next time, I’ll post about Baek Yuen – my favorite Korean restaurant in Cavite. Now, that’s real Korean food.

About joon 준

Hi! 안녕! ^^

8 responses »

  1. Kaya Restaurant Really Overpriced…

    […]Tags: Bibimbap, Doshirak, ?, ?, Fod, Glorieta, ?, ?, ? ?, Jin Mando, Kaya, Kimchi, Korean, Menu, Pajeon, Price,[…]…

  2. Thanks for this review about Kaya. I wouldn’t have to waste my money there. 🙂

    I haven’t really eaten in any Korean restaurant in the Philippines ever since I got hooked to Korean culture about six years ago. I would always ask a friend (who studied in Korea) whether this and this place serves authentic Korean. To my disappointment, most of the restaurants I’d point out are a no-no to authenticity. And even if they’re authentic, it’s always so expensive.

    Not until Mr. Kimbob last week! I found it in SM Megamall foodcourt and since I’m very skeptic about (authenticity) Korean food outlets, I did not give in at the mouth-watering photos. I had a good exchange of information first with the crew. I asked several Korean-authenticity probing questions until I decided that this must be worth trying. Lo! IT WAS SOOO KOREAN! And since then, I’ve been eating off their menus almost everyday. 😀 Their 떡볶이 rocks!

    Oops, this is quite a long comment. But really, thanks for the heads up about Kaya. I’d rather spend my P700 on Mr. Kimbob. 🙂

    • joon 준 says:

      Unfortunately, even Mr. Kimbob isn’t as good as when I used to eat there everyday. I think only the 떡볶이 is still good. Everything else has changed in term so of taste so I was quite sad the last time I went there. They had the store renovated but the food quality changed.

      Just go to an authentic Korean restaurant instead. Your P700 will be good for 2 servings of 삼굪살 and unlimited 반찬, of course. As for Kaya, just skip it. It’s not worth it at all.

      • Winter Harmony says:

        I think it would depend on the branch? The one in SM Megamall have Korean customers whenever I buy there. But I hope they keep the authentic taste. I’ve always wondered how 떡볶이 tasted and was surprised it was really good. Keep up the blog! 🙂

    • joon 준 says:

      I always see Korean customers in Mr. Kimbob. Especially students and 아주머니 (ajumoni) during lunch. That’s because it’s the most affordable Korean place to eat. I still wish the taste hadn’t changed (at least in SM Makati, I’m sure the taste isn’t as good as before).

      And don’t worry about your comment being long. I like reading comments from my readers.

  3. Kate says:

    Hello – I havent given the chance to sample Kaya’s dishes, but your review agrees with my Unnie’s – they serve overpriced, not-worth-it “Korean” dishes…..and I agree with the fact that tasty Korean food can be found in Cavite (being Caviteno myself). Could I ask where is Baek Yuen resto located?

  4. derdo says:

    Hi Joon. Would you know which Korean grocery store sells tea made of corn? I tried this in Bulgogi Brothers and though as a rule I don’t take tea, I enjoyed the corn tea they served.

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