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.