I just had lunch with my boss at Korean Garden, the 2010 winner of the Best Korean Restaurant Award from Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets. She wanted to experience Korean food and I was so glad that she made such a great choice. This restaurant was actually born out of an interesting love story between a Korean soldier and a Filipino woman! Fideliza “Liza” Kim Flores did not realize that she would not just fall in love with a Korean man (to become one of the first Fil-Kor couples) but also with Korean cuisine. The restaurant that they would eventually establish in 1974 would eventually become one of the first, one of the oldest, and one of the best Korean restaurants in Manila.
To be honest, the table setting and ambiance at Korean Garden is quite of old-school elegance — a throw-back to the classy restaurants of the past. But this doesn’t mean its food or service has gone stale. In fact, I enjoyed my lunch so much that I forgot to take photos except when we were on our way out and I saw their award. One should try their delicious servings of samgyupsal (삼겹살), bulgogi (불고기), bibimbap (비빔밥), and pajeon (파전). Of course, banchan 반찬 side dishes are served as part of the meal. All the dishes are cooked to perfection! I normally prefer eating at the hole-in-the-wall type of Korean restaurants since these are much more affordable and homey. However, Korean Garden just has that charm, which reminds you what fine-dining is all about. Waiters are dressed impeccably and their service is quite superb. We spent almost P2,000 for a lunch date for two but I have to admit that I ordered and ate quite a lot since I wanted to introduce my boss to Korean cuisine. There were definitely no leftovers!
So if you’re looking for a Korean restaurant, try Korean Garden. It’s located at 128 Jupiter Street, Bel-Air 2, Makati City. You can also call in advance for table reservations thru 895-5443 or 896-4361. I promise you, every peso is worth it.