Monday, November 21, 2005

'Nam: (Food)Tour of Duty

Two weeks ago, we got back from a month-long vacation in Vietnam and Cambodia. Oh, the food, the food, the beer. While most travellers arm themselves with a Lonely Planet Travel Guide, we just took LP's World Food Guide on Vietnam and arrived hungry and thirsty.

To all those who are planning a cheap vacation, this is it. Eat and drink all you want for as little as $15/day. Accommodations included! We plan to feature a few food/drink highlights at a time so stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Min Sok Korean

A new staple of ours in Makati, Min Sok serves lutong-bahay (home-cooked) Korean food in a house-turned restaurant. MDEB turned us onto this restaurant after squash one night and we unanimously agreed that it was a find. We have been back at least five times since then.

A reliable measure of authenticity is the glaring Korean-ness of the place. There's a TV showing Korean soaps/variety shows. Plus, I've never seen another pinoy in the joint.

Our favorite dish is Sam Gyeup Sal (P200) - slices of what I think is liempo (pork belly) grilled right on your table and eaten in cups of lettuce with rice and about a hundred other Korean side dishes the names of which I have no hope of remembering.

When we first looked at the menu, we were a bit disappointed because we were expecting lower prices. But this was all forgotten once we ordered, because immediately, the yummy side dishes were brought out - and they were refillable to boot. Some of the better ones are large bean sprouts (soy?), radish kimchi, cucumber kimchi, and these little squares of fishcake.

The proprietess is a swell lady. She'll teach you how to eat the dishes and what condiments to add. Sometimes, she'll even throw in a dish for free. When we were first there, we drew some mild rebukes from her for eating the condiments as appetizers.

Other highlights: We've tried two of their soups (P180) - kimchi jigae (spicy and tasty) and djang jeang jigae (less spicy and as tasty). If you're thinking that my spelling is atrocious, I'll have you know that even Koreans don't agree on how to spell their words with Roman letters. You also have to order some Soju - a rice-based whisky. A bottle of Jinro goes for P175 - a bit pricey, I know, but worth trying. If you do order it, never pour your own shot. Unless you're alone, of course. In which case, drink away.

P200 per person should fill you up. Add another P100 if having soju.

5655 Don Pedro Street corner Jacobo. Don Pedro is perpendicular to, and on the Rockwell side of Kalayaan Avenue.