When work becomes a bit stressful, lunch becomes a comforter.  When the stress heightens to an OMG-I-can’t-take-it-anymore state of being, we walk 10 minutes to little Korea in Ortigas to this little hidden Korean restaurant called Minato.

Minato's menu.

My officemate, Toby introduced me to Minato.  See, he’s a graduate from the University of Asia & the Pacific and this resto’s just behind their school.  Most of my officemates who came from that school know of this hidden haven of Korean goodness, too.

Now, I’m not really a big fan of Korean cuisine.  When I first discovered kimchi (spicy pechay side dish), I didn’t like it.  Although… I can’t quite remember the name of this Korean resto at the Dela Rosa carpark in Makati but they had amazing Korean beef stew!

Kimchi is another story.  Not everyone likes kimchie but have you ever heard of Kimchi jeon?  It’s kimchi mixed in pancake batter and fried like pancakes, then served with a red spicy sauce.  There’s another restaurant beside our office’s building called “Mashita” and they make a pretty good batch of those kj’s.

So my knowledge of Korean food was limited to beef stew and kimchi.  I tried to learn some when I taught English to Korean expats last year, but never did get a chance to eat at any of the “authentic” Korean restos nearby.  So now I tell you, if you ever get the chance to eat at an authentic Korean restaurant, never hesitate!  Go!

Here are the reasons why I like Korean cuisine, or K-Foo: Korean Food:

1. They’ve unlimited side dishes.  Remember the pancakes I mentioned earlier?  In Minato, they serve it free!  Along with at least five other refillable side dishes ranging from baby potatoes, crispy dilis, bokchoy, ampalaya, and of course… kimchi!

Side dishes surrounding the Jumulruk

2. They have these dips that accentuate the dishes we ordered but will never overpower the taste of the meats.  One’s like an oil-type of dip with salt and pepper, the other’s oily, too but with a different flavor.  Our favorite’s the red sauce – I don’t know what’s in it but it has spices, chopped mini veggies, etc. (Note to self: research this sauce).

The sauces!

3. They’re simply delicious.  We ordered the ff.:

Jumulruk (roast beef)


Sam kyup sal (roast pork)

Sam Kyup Sal

Galbi jim (beef stew)

The beef stew aka Galbi Jim

You eat jumulruk and samkyup sal with the sauces, wrap them around in lettuce and bite into their goodness! Simple but divine!

4. They’re perfect for sharing!  Food that initiates a good conversation and washes away your worries is the best food you’ll ever consume.

So nevermind if you don’t like Kpop or if you can’t stand the outgrowing number of Koreans in the country… try their cuisine, and the last irritating Korean you’ve encountered will seem slightly less annoying to you.