Can we all agree that the word authentic in food reviews is thrown around lightly? Well, I’m happy to let you know about a legit authentic Korean restaurant in Metro Manila. Biwon Korean restaurant is located in Pasay (near MRT Taft and Mall of Asia) and it’s the perfect choice if you want to taste the real deal in Korean food.
Biwon is a Korean word meaning “secret garden”. This restaurant has actually been opened for several years already, but its patrons are mostly Koreans. It partners up with travel agencies and is a common stop for Korean tourists exploring Manila.
I’d already seen this restaurant since I pass by it whenever I’m going to MOA, but its signage is only in Korean so I didn’t really know what’s inside. This year, Biwon Korean restaurant wants to expand its offering to the general public, and as part of this initiative, I was invited for a food review.
Location and ambiance
Biwon Korean restaurant is easy to get to since it’s in Pasay (between MRT and Mall of Asia). The inside is very spacious and can fit several groups of diners. It also has rooms for private functions. There is a Korean spa in the 2nd floor.
We were initially served with several side dishes, including steamed egg and soup. They make the kimchi in-house, unlike other restaurants who choose to import it. I like the kimchi, bean sprouts and tofu in particular. The steamed egg is also addicting, and the soup is flavorful.
We also had seaweed soup (P300; also called miyeok soup) which for me is a good palate cleanser.
For the main dishes, we were served with beef bulgogi (P300) and osam bulgogi (P400; squid and pork belly marinated in a blend of seasonings). These came with portable stoves and have to be cooked for 5-10 minutes. I was actually very excited for us to do the cooking since I want to have a little hands-on part in serving our food.
Both of them were delicious. The beef bulgogi has a slightly sweet sauce that’s sure to appeal to the Filipino tastebuds.
After we’d eaten most of the osam bulgogi, we were shown how to make rice out of it. Two bowls of steamed white rice were added. The rice was flattened and then more meat was added to the dish. The sauce of the osam bulgogi coated the rice wonderfully, and it was so good — definitely one of the top rice dishes I’ve tasted. Despite claiming that we were all full, we were able to finish the osam bulgogi rice.
By the way, the beef bulgogi and osam bulgogi are good for 3-4 people each. It’s so cheap! Especially considering that it’s served in an authentic Korean restaurant such as this one.
Here are other dishes we’ve tried: chap chae (P350) and Korean pancake (P370; also called haemul pajeon). I’m not really a fan of Korean pancake because it tastes bland to me — if it comes to egg dishes, I’d rather have a steamed egg. However, my acquaintances loved Biwon’s Korean pancake as according to them it contains a healthy mix of vegetables and is tastier than those served in other restaurants.
We also had sizzling squid (P500; also called ojingo bulgogi), which has a dark-tasting sweet sauce. I like this dish, but compared to beef bulgogi and osam bulgogi it’s way smaller and expensive.
Lastly, we had beef stew (P300; also called halbi jjim). It’s very similar to Filipino pares. Everyone loved the beef stew in Biwon Korean restaurant as well.
Overall, we had a fun dining experience here at Biwon Korean restaurant. I’m glad that we also get to talk to the owner of the restaurant and listened to stories about running a Korean restaurant, differences between Korean and Filipino culture and much more. It feels good to talk with a restaurant owner who knows what they’re doing, you know? I also liked that we had to do a bit of cooking. Taste- and price-wise, Biwon Korean restaurant is a great option for your authentic Korean food cravings.
Practical Info: Biwon Korean Restaurant (Pasay)
Address: Core Town Building, EDSA Extension, Pasay City
Opening hours: 10:30AM to 10:30PM
Disclaimer: Thanks Zeus of The ODS for inviting me and Biwon Korean restaurant for feeding us! As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.
Have you been to Biwon Korean restaurant in Pasay? What other authentic Korean restaurants do you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!
What to read next:
Looking for authentic Korean food? Take a look at these: