Leonard Wood Rd., Baguio, Benguet
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I have been a fan of Korean Sam Gyup Sal when I saw it on a Korean TV Drama. Why? Well, because I’m also a fan of Shabu-Shabu, which means I love being able to cook my food myself. So why not cook it at home, instead? You may ask. But, where is the fun in that?
Eating Sam Gyup Sal or grilling and dining out are kind of a Korean tradition. It’s really not because of the food, but more of the ambiance, conversations and drinking. Let’s be honest, grilling slices of raw pork belly, rolling it in lettuce and dipping it in their bean paste and sesame oil takes no skill. Plus the flavor is really predictable. Plus, the time it takes for you to wait for your food to cook.
It’s all about getting together with friends and conversing about your love life, that boss you hate, the new fashion trend, your sister graduating, and any other topic you can think of. Sam Gyup Sal dining is better paired with drinks, and beers for that matter. Or go Korean and try out there Soju, or Yogurt Soju, which unfortunately I have not tried yet as we were eating during lunch.
As you wait for the precious meat to cook, pass jokes around the table and take a few snaps of the delicious side dishes. Each restaurant have different side dishes to offer, but Kimchi is a common staple. But sometimes, you just have so many things to talk about that you’re running out of side dishes already. Good thing there’s this unlimited Sam Gyup Sal restaurant here in Baguio City!
Ah, yes, Baguio is home for the Koreans. There are lots of Korean restaurants. This restaurant though, it’s called Ummason located at General Luna road, a building away from Grumpy Joe, red, serves unlimited Samggupsal (that’s how they spell it) for only ₱299.00 per head. Yes, you read it right. Unlimited. There is no catch, no marketing ploy. If you first plate is finished, you may ask for another serving of pork belly. Same goes for side dishes, lettuce and it even includes miso soup and a pitcher of Barley tea.
I am not sure if the price is promotional, but believe me, every Peso is worth it. There were only four of us and we reordered 3x. First plate was around 5 slices of meat, second order was around 3, and the final order was around 2 slices. These are moderately thick slices. Think of liempo cuts.
Okay, so eating pork belly on a daily basis is bad for you. However, consider that you do not need to add oil to the pan, and the fat from the meat gets drained out from a spout on their specially designed grilling pan. Yes, the Koreans have thought of everything.
In fact, you’re only eating a thumb size of meat wrapped around a whole leaf of lettuce and your side dishes are all vegetables, which most burns fat, like radishes, Kimchi, tofu, pickled vegetables, zucchini, and maybe a few baby potatoes if you’re lucky.
Here we had pickled turnips, steamed spinach, tofu with a sweet soy garlic sauce, pickled radish, pork adobo slices, sweet baby potatoes, Kimchi/Kimchae, radishes in a spicy bean sauce, fish cakes, and pickled zucchini.
Rice is not included, so for rice eaters out there, you’d have to order per serving for around ₱50.00 per bowl. It’s worth it, as they serve Japanese rice, I believe. You can also order noodles instead of rice.
They also have free wifi!
I think the staff though we were massive eater. Three of us were girls. The Korean lady, probably the owner managed the cash box and she is very polite. I really will come back again and try out their other menus. Here’s their list.
*Prices are subject to change without prior notice, ok?
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My friend and I decided to get off our lazy butts and exercise by taking a walk. What was supposed to be a walk around Baguio, turned out to be a 2hr meal, when my friend and I saw a sign that read "All you can eat samgyeopsal".
Ummasson (Mother's Hand) is a Korean restaurant, located below Grumpy Joe, that just opened this past Monday. It's your run of the mill Korean restaurants here in Baguio that serves traditional Korean dishes, but specializes in samgyeopsal.
There's nothing spectacular when it comes to the visuals. They have grilling-ready tables spread out nicely, well ventilated, but no decors to give this place life; only plain white walls. Maybe it's still in working progress.
For 299Php per person, you can avail of their all-you-can-eat samgyeopsal promo. With it comes unlimited sides such as, julienned onion leaks, romaine lettuce, peppers, garlic, quail eggs, and plenty of others.
In retrospect, 299PhP is a bit too much. As I have mentioned on my review of Sam Gyup Sal, an order with unlimited sides costs 120PhP. If you order two, you'll only pay 240PhP. I know for a fact that's more than sufficient for one person. The phrase "all-you-can-eat" is a clever ploy. That was their bait, and we got hooked.
My experience, altogether was good. They had both friendly staff and owner. I believe when you have samgyeopsal in one Korean restaurant, there isn't much difference from the others. What makes the difference are the other dishes that they offer on their menu. So I will make another review on the other dishes on my next visit.
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