Years ago before casual Korean restaurants popped one by one in Metro Manila malls, the only place I trust for Korean restaurants is the Ortigas area specifically at the back of University of Asia & Pacific. A friend introduced me to one of the small authentic Korean restaurants that looked legit Korean. Owners stayed at the cashier area who could only speak in English or Korean. I think it was obvious they were the owners. I couldn’t remember the name but I could identify the Korean charactered sign. Time passed by and that’s history. Now, I live in a country where Korean restaurants chase the Filipinos, making it available in all malls. They don’t settle in one area but continue to spread their dishes all over Metro Manila.
One of the popular Korean restaurants I often see in malls is Kogi Bulgogi. It’s impossible not to swing your head and look at this restaurant because of their cute and fancy interiors. Later, I’ll take you inside and show you more of what’s inside.
I heard Kogi Bulgogi’s cutest branch is located in Gateway Mall. O and I don’t normally hang out in Gateway. In fact, Greenhills branch is nearer to us. For a change and a fun lunch out, we tried to check out why this branch is the most adorable one compared to other branches.

The Food:

You can’t miss out on their Ssam Wraps or what we know as lettuce wraps. Common to other Asian dishes like Chinese recipes including lettuce wrap peking duck.
 How to eat the Ssam Wrap?
1. Take one leaf in your hand.
2. Add sauce, toppings, meat and rice on top.
3. Hold them all together.
 4. Place the whole wrap in your mouth and enjoy! 🙂
Dak Gui Ssam / Ssam Chicken Wrap (Php 385)
Rate: 4/5
Pork, chicken or beef, you have that option for your Ssam Wrap.
The bare hands serve useful as you eat your wrap. From the instructions above, it’s not a big question mark anymore on how to eat Korean wraps properly.

Above photo, Dak Gui Ssam, favors my taste among the choices of Korean wraps. The chicken meat’s sweet and chilli marinade created an even tone as I matched it with fresh lettuce and Korean dippings and sauces.

Suygogi Gui / Ssam Beef Wrap (Php 420)
Rate: 4/5
Heavy grilled beef didn’t push me to go more than 1 piece of wrap to enjoy. It has a similar taste and marinade with the chicken but the beef itself caused me to get full right away. I think I had too much chicken that I didn’t save some space for beef.

Bo Ssam / Ssam Pork Belly Wrap (Php 365)
Rate: 2/5
Fats make me cry. Slices of pork belly appeared to have more fats than real meat, which I found odd to wrap in lettuce. As I judged by the way it looks, it didn’t get my appeal too much. Pork, chicken or beef? I’ll go for chicken then beef. No to pork on this one.
KPOP Korean Fried Chicken (Php 265)
Rate: 4/5
Known as the KPOP chicken influenced by the popularity of KPOP stars in the Philippines. Similar to how popular these Korean stars are, this Korean Fried Chicken is getting more attention in Kogi Bulgogi due to its sweet and chilli partnership in double deep fried style.
Haemul Tang (Php 305)
Rate: 4/5
A spicy Korean stew with mixed seafood we all raised our cups to. I was enticed with its zest of spiciness, which you could actually modify from a range of 1 to 10.
Tuk Bulgogi (Php 405)
Rate: 4/5
Friends I dined with, including O, thought of the same thing to resemble the taste of Tuk Bulgogi. We all agreed it’s the Koreans’ take on Japanese’ sukiyaki. You’ve got that sweet taste harping in every sip and as you join the soup with vegetables or meat. I love sukiyaki, just how much I enjoyed Tuk Bulgogi!
Samanco Korean Ice Cream (Php 65)
Rate: 5/5
A voice asked for dessert and a no-brainer answer for me was, “gold fish please!” I call Samanco Korean Ice Cream as “gold fish” since the time I discovered my love for it long long time ago. Red beans and vanilla ice cream sandwiched in a fish-shaped bread is a winning affordable dessert. I go to Korean groceries for this! 🙂

The Ambiance:

It’s not a coffee shop, just looks like one because of its funky and cute set of interiors in every corner. Spacious walkway with natural light coming from the window. During daytime, dressy lights lose its functionality and serve as an aesthetic display to complete the feel of this cute Korean restaurant.
Kogi Bulgogi gives a comfortable ambiance, very different from authentic Korean restaurants I used to visit in Ortigas.
For snacks or coffee, Cafe Soon also inside Kogi Bulgogi is a stop-by. The interiors now match this type of food.
From food to ambiance, Kogi Bulgogi entices if what you’re looking for is a casual Korean dining that’s accessible and reasonable.
Have you been to Kogi Bulgogi? Share with me your thoughts!
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The Food Scout
Location: 3F Gateway Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Operating Hours: 11:00am-11:00pm
Contact: (+632) 293-4947
Twitter: @kogibulgogiph
Instagram: @kogibulgogiph
Budget: PHP350++

Food 8/10
Ambiance 9/10
Service 8/10
Cost 8/10
Overall 8.25/10