Back when Korean BBQ was not yet a hit among foodies, I’ve always had a penchant for Korean food. I’d rave for Dolsot Bibimbap that sizzles on a huge stone bowl or a platter of well-seasoned Bulgogi that I’d pair with crisp lettuce or steamed white rice. For these cravings, I’d go to Poblacion or Makati Ave. often to get a generous spread of signature Korean dishes. It’s the usual freshness, variety, colors, and interesting flavors that excite me.
As the unlimited Korean BBQ has ruled the food scene with its winning feat of refillable meat, sides, and sauce varieties, the other authentic Korean dishes have seemingly taken the back seat. It’s been a long time since I purely basked in the indulgence of Korean food, without finding myself in a grill-it-yourself unlimited Samgyupsal. Having missed those days, I recently discovered a restaurant in Pasig that rekindled my love for Korean food — Ye Dang.
ABOUT YE DANG
Ye Dang is all about authentic Korean food. Thriving in the business for years, it’s been recognized as one of the best Korean restaurants in the Metro. Even before unli Korean BBQ became an overkill, Ye Dang satisfied its customers with high quality Korean food. As the new owner takes over, the restaurant underwent major revamping from the menu, style of serving, to improving its interiors. Although the new management initiated some changes to improve the customer experience, they still preserved the quality of Korean taste which the restaurant has become well-known for.
The ambiance of the restaurant may look old and traditional with the usual wooden tables, chairs and grill exhausts but it looks well-lit now per stories of people who frequent the place before. The restaurant is still undergoing minor renovations but these won’t distract you from enjoying your food.
Although it only allows a la carte orders, what sets it apart from other Korean restaurants is the availability of servers who can grill the meat for you, making your dining more enjoyable and hassle-free. By the way, they use charcoal for grilling.
The restaurant does not fail in maintaining the Korean theme by using steel chopsticks, porcelain cups, and silver utensils.
I’ve heard good stories and feedback about Ye Dang’s menu offerings. After all, it won’t withstand its modern competitors for no reason at all. I was excited to try the dishes to validate this.
Ye Dang used to have a single serving of Banchan (sides) per table and you’d have to pay an additional fee to get extra servings. This became a point of concern for loyal patrons who regularly visited the place. Ye Dang’s new management made sure that this was one of the areas they improved, hence now serving unlimited Banchan to make their guests more satisfied.
Among the side dishes, what I like the most was the marble potatoes. Other restaurants only serve the mashed sweet potatoes (camote) so I find this unique. Other side dishes like the sweetened nuts, blanched spinach, fish/vegetable cake, kimchi are notably delicious and generous in servings. You won’t find cheese here, though.
Now this was the most awaited part — getting to try the authentic Korean mains!!!
One of my favorite Korean dishes, the Dolsot Bibimbap (Php 330) was among the dishes the stood out for me. It was served in hot stone pot that remained warm even up to the last part of our dining. The serving size is huge and topped with an assortment of ingredients. I easily fell in love with it. It’s good for sharing.
The Tteokbokki (Php 380) was generally satisfactory in terms of taste and serving size. I am not a fan of spicy food so I was not able to eat a lot of this, but according to my blogger friends, the noodles are a bit overcooked. The spicy stir-fried rice cake was chewy and I liked it.
The Jap chae (Php 380) was also different from the others I have tried. Maybe it’s in the noodles used or the abundance of toppings — diners would surely look forward digging into this. One plate is good for 3-5 people.
Only a few restaurants have this on their menu, and you better try this out: Grilled Mackerel (Php 500). Surprisingly, the fish was not malansa and it was not bony. Squeeze lemon or calamansi to remove the aftertaste.
We also tried the Soondubu Chigae (Php 330) or the spicy soft tofu hotpot. It was served with shrimps and the spiciness was tolerable.
Another best seller in the restaurant is the Pajeon (Php 380) or the Korean style pancake. Half of it was beef, half was seafood. The taste was okay for me, but nothing too exceptional aside from the generous fillings.
We had three samples of their Korean BBQ: Bulgogi (Marinated Beef, Php 330), Samgyeopsal (Pork Belly, Php 330) and Dak Galbi (Chicken BBQ, 330).
I’d spill some secret: the restaurant makes use of Soju to tenderize the meat and make it more flavorful. Indeed, all the meat samplers were tender and cut to thin proportions for easier cooking. I loved all of them!
Korean Cravings Satisfied
I have nothing but good words for this restaurant. It’s been a long time since I enjoyed eating authentic Korean cuisine apart from the Korean BBQ restaurants sprouting like mushrooms everywhere. And as they’d say, you’ll never go wrong with the original. The food scene may have changed with the evolving preferences of today’s generation, but always – you’d keep coming back to your first love. Thanks for having us, Ye Dang!
Address: Gold Park Complex, 88 Meralco Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City
Phone Number: 02 82469069 ext:878
Opening hours: M-S 1am – 2:15pm, 5:30pm – 10:15pm
Facebook: Ye Dang Korean Restaurant