Part II: Swimming, samgyeopsal and more at Solaire

Call it a joke that’s half meant, but gogigui or Korean barbecue sure is a great excuse to eat more veggies.

The Oblifiases are quite fond of Korean food. As far as my experience goes, the best Korean places tend to be the more modest ones – Manna in Poblacion, Makati immediately comes to mind – and you can forget about the franchise-y types in most malls.

In Kiwa, I realize it’s entirely possible to have an authentic and delectable Korean dining experience in an elegant setting.

It’s a beautiful restaurant. It looks traditional and contemporary at the same time. The ambience is pleasant and warm, and the staff is friendly and attentive.

This is also Kiwa’s claim to fame, if you will, apart from the superb food: there’s no barbecue smell (or ugly smoke chutes). The entire restaurant does not reek of barbecue, and you won’t come out of the restaurant smelling like barbecue.

The food is excellent. We had some beef – Saeng Jin Galbi (premium short ribs), I think – and Samgyeopsal (pork belly). Samgyeopsal is my personal favorite, especially when it’s grilled well done and the fatty bits are a bit charred. We also had some of our family’s other favorites like Japchae (glass noodles) and seafood pancake.

kiwa_barbecuekiwa_marinated_shortribs

The only fail dish we had was the Galbitang (beef ribs soup). It’s nice to have hot broth, and the beef was very tender but this soup is very bland. Having read up on Kiwa, the salads and Bibimbap sound more promising. Must try on a future visit.

And of course, it’s such a good move of the restaurant to have some bingsu. Light on the palate, refreshingly cool, and just a tad sweet, it’s the perfect punctuation to a savory meal.

I’d hate to go all the way to Solaire just to eat, so here’s hoping we have something to do there soon so we can eat here again 🙂 Click here for directions, to make a reservation and peruse their menu.


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