When you underestimate an unassuming restaurant and fail, everybody wins. That’s the case with SBK Seoul Barbecue , a humble Korean restaurant along E. Rodriguez Ave, Libis, Quezon City that serves authentic Korean dishes—so legit I’m thankful I gave in to a friend who had been bugging me [for months] to visit this Asian diner.
Unlike most restaurants that strive to stand out from its surroundings, Seoul Barbecue looks very plain and very straightforward from the outside. It’s actually more noticeable at night when the storefront is all lit up.
The equally simple and homey interiors features adjoined dining tables to accommodate big groups. There are secluded parts as well, perfect for [relatively] private gatherings.
A quick observation inside the restaurant didn’t stir any excitement in me. And for an experience primer such as this, one can only hope that the food saves the day.
And boy did they.
I was taken off guard by the price, but was relieved when I saw that it’s big enough for a group of 4 to 5. I liked that it’s not too oily for a fried seafood pancake, and was very rich in flavor. I didn’t like the dip that much, but I enjoyed smearing my Haemul Pajeon with the sauce from Dwaeji Galbi.
Served bubbly hot in a traditional Korean pot, this spicy un-curdled tofu stew warmed me up instantaneously. The spicy broth was already likeable, but the egg and clams made the broth even tastier. A perfect comfort food on a cold or rainy night.
Japchae remains to be one of my favorite Korean dishes, probably because it always brings to mind the Filipino-style pancit we’ve known. The Seoul Barbecue version didn’t disappoint because it was served warm (others like it cold) and with lots of carrots, onions, spinach and shitake mushrooms.
Of all the dishes we ordered, it’s the Dwaeji Galbi that I wish I had only for myself. It was marinated enough for the sweet and spicy flavor to permeate the meat, and grilled just right for that irresistible smoky taste I so loved.
SBK Seoul Barbecue is the closest authentic Korean restaurant to Eastwood City, just a footbridge away actually. I heard that it’s always packed during weekdays, which is an indication of its quality and established following.
To be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed with Seoul Barbecue’s, boring and bleak atmosphere. It’s a good thing that I wasn’t alone, so the fun talk made up for it. But then again, I really enjoyed the food because they’re true to the traditional Korean way of preparation, and tasted legit, too. I’ll definitely come back, because I’m still all about the taste.
SBK Seoul Barbecue
Address: Block 13 Lot 20, E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave., Acropolis, Libis, Quezon City (across Eastwood City and near Microtel)