With Korean barbecue currently trending, you can find a branch of your preferred Korean-barbecue chain in almost every corner of the Metro. But for smaller, cozier eateries that offer not just your usual samgyeopsal, head to Makati City. Poblacion and Bel-Air are particularly known for their Korean community, so you know that the restaurants you can find in the areas are close to the real thing. Here's a handy list of great K-BBQ places you can only find in Makati.
This casual Korean-barbecue place has two branches, both in Makati City. You can expect classic beef and pork cuts for grilling, plus a few out-of-the-box marinades. If you're looking for something new, have the Wine Samgyeop (P330) or pork belly marinated in red wine and herbs. There's also the Moksal (P330), or tender and succulent pork neck seasoned with herb salt. Aside from barbecue, you can also order other classic Korean dishes like different kinds of jjigae or stews, and deopbap or rice bowls. A plus: They'll grill your meat for you.
Seoul Galbi is at 5362 General Luna Street, Poblacion, Makati City; and 8846 Sampaloc corner Estrella Street, San Antonio, Makati City.
Bornga Original Korean Taste
Bornga is an international Korean-barbecue chain by celebrity chef Baek Jong-won—they have over 20 branches all over the world including one in Makati City. Chef Jong-won is also a food researcher so you can be sure that a lot of thought was put into his menu of Korean favorites. Go for their Woo Samgyeop (P490/150 grams), or fatty beef belly glazed with their special sauce-it's best paired with the Haemul Ssamjang (P150), or a seafood mix stir-fried in soybean paste for an umami-rich complement to the beef. If you're looking to splurge, go for the Saeng Galbi (P950/two pieces), fresh beef ribs or Yangnyeom Galbi, marinated beef ribs (P950/two pieces).
Bornga Original Korean Taste is at 2/F Alphaland Makati Place, Ayala Avenue Extension corner Malugay Street, Bel-Air, Makati City.
Donu Pork & Beef Grill
After your Poblacion bar crawl, head to Donu-they're open 24 hours. Aside from the usual selection of Korean-barbecue cuts like Galbibonsal (P700) or boneless beef ribs and Samgyupsal (P300) or pork belly, they also have an extensive menu that includes lesser-known Korean dishes. Feeling hungover? The Gopchang Bokum (P500) or spicy pork intestines is sure to wake you up; if you're not feeling adventurous, have the Ojingeo Bokum (P500) or spicy squid. Aside from à-la-carte dishes, Donu also has unlimited beef and pork barbecue for P499 until 12 a.m.
Donu Pork & Beef Grill is at 78 Polaris Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
ZhuGe-Jia BBQ & Hotpot
This Korean restaurant at Ayala Malls Circuit offers three all-you-can-eat packages, depending on what you're in the mood for. There's Package A (P449/lunch, P499/dinner), or the barbecue package which will get you unlimited pork belly and beef short plate for grilling as well as banchan, rice, and lettuce. Package B (P799/lunch, P849/dinner) or the hotpot package includes your choice from six different soup bases like Pork, Chicken, and Satay, and unlimited pork belly and beef short plate. If you can't decide between the two, treat yourself to Package C (P1,099/lunch, P1,199/dinner), which will get you both packages in one order.
ZhuGe-Jia BBQ & Hotpot is at 2/F Circuit Lane, Ayala Malls Circuit, Olympia, Makati City.
A lot of Min Sok regulars swear by their kimchi, but they also offer a lot of other Korean side dishes you can order aside from the (we should note, non-refillable) banchan like Gamja-Jeon (P320) or potato pancakes and Godeungeo Gui (P350) or grilled mackerel. Pair your sides with barbecue from classics like Chadolbagi (P400) or beef brisket and Samgyupsal (P320) to more unusual options like Useol Gui (P450) or ox tongue and Jokbal (P980) or glazed pork trotters.
Min Sok is at 5655 Don Pedro Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Korea Garden Restaurant
This Korean restaurant is one of the oldest of its kind in the Metro, having been around since the early '90s. There are no tabletop grills, but that can be a good thing, especially when you'd rather eat without having to worry if you've cooked your beef and pork properly. Aside from the usual pork (Dueji Bulgogi, P340), and beef (So Bulgogi, P350), you can choose to have Saewoo Bulgogi (P430) or shrimp barbecue and even Sengson Kui (price varies per gram) or grilled lapu-lapu. Pair your barbecue with their specialties like Kujerpan (P1,350) or DIY spring rolls with nine different fillings, Pajon (P330) or spring-onion cake, and Samgyetang (P790) or hearty ginseng chicken soup.
Korea Garden Restaurant is at 128 Jupiter Street, Bel-Air, Makati City.
If you're in the mood for more than just Korean barbecue, head to San Sung. Aside from galbi and samgyeopsal, you can also order sashimi like Yeon O Hoe (P500) or salmon sashimi, and Cham Chi Hoe (P500) or tuna sashimi. Looking for something spicy? San Sung has an extensive array of choices from O Jing O Buk Um (P400) or spicy pan-grilled squid to Nan Ji Bok Um (P400) or spicy grilled octopus. They also carry different kinds of jjigae, rice bowls, noodles, and more so there's something for everyone.
San Sung is at 5059 P. Burgos Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Nice Two Meat U
Located inside Ayala Malls Circuit, Nice Two Meat U looks slightly more polished than a typical Korean eatery in Makati. They also set themselves apart by offering only wet-aged beef and pork, with all their meat marinated in a secret blend of herbs for five days. Dining here can be a splurge so it's best to come with a hungry group so you can enjoy their sets like the Beef Set A (P1,399), which comes with your choice between galbisal (beef short ribs) or tohsisal (hanging tender) plus banchan and your choice between Hot Pot or a Cheezy dish. There's also Pork Set A (P899), which comes with samgyeopsal (pork belly) instead of beef. Aside from barbecue, Nice Two Meat U also has a Cheezy series: Choices include Egg n Cheese (P250), Mac n Cheese (P250), and Mashed Potato (P250).
Nice Two Meat U is at 2/F Circuit Lane, Ayala Malls Circuit, Olympia, Makati City.
Kozi Kozi groups their meats into different sections, which makes it easier to find something that fits your cravings. If you're looking to treat yourself, have the selections under the Kozi Best of the BBQ, where you can choose from luxe cuts like Japanese Wagyu Tenderloin A5 (P1,980), USDA Prime Rib Eye (P900), and Kurobata Pork Belly (P650). If you're in the mood for your typical Korean barbecue, they offer lots of other options, like a Daepae Extra Thin Samgyupsal (P380) which grills into something akin to crispy bacon. Aside from K-BBQ, the menu also includes different kinds of jjigae and other Korean staples like bibimbap and japchae.
Kozi Kozi is at 47 Polaris Street, Bel-Air, Makati City.
Joe Snack Grill
Joe Snack Grill keeps their menu short and sweet with eight items, but they're a favorite in Poblacion for good reason. Their grills use charcoal, which is great if you prefer that distinctive, char-grilled flavor. Feast on Kotdungsim (P550) or beef sirloin, Galmekisal (P350) or pork skirt, and Makchang (P690) or beef tripe-every order comes with free soup and banchan. End your meal with Naengnyum (P250) or cold spicy noodles for a true Korean feast.
Joe Snack Grill is at 6244 Don Pedro corner Cayco Street, Poblacion, Makati City.