I recently finished watching Perfect Match. Yes, I love watching these shows. Strangely, I have found that there is something about Korean soaps or Koreanovelas that always makes me hungry. I don’t know if you have noticed it, but they always make it a point to show people eating in a restaurant, or a shot of people making Kimchi or a shot of people eating in an open restaurant located right beside a street. And the food always looks and sounds so good.
On Malingap street in UP Teacher’s village, right across Pino Restaurant (another restaurant that you need to try), there is this big sign that reads Don Day. I didn’t know what it meant, and I didn’t know what type of food they were serving. So being the adventurous foodies that we are, we entered the place and were surprised to see that the set up was like that of what I had been seeing in Korean films and tv shows. Don Day was filled with long, rectangular tables and wooden chairs. The tables had a circular griller in the middle, much like what you see, in the likes of Yakimix and Ye Dang. The Koreans love this and this is what they call Samgyeopsal. The place though was not air-conditioned. It was open, and ventilation came from natural wind that came from outside and from the electric fans inside the restaurant. Good thing Malingap street is not so busy.
It was buffet style, so upon choosing your seat, you can already stand up and get food. They also have pre-cooked dishes for those who don’t want to bother cooking.
They have Chap Chae (glass noodles). It was surprisingly delicious. They also had kimchi, which I loved mixing with the chap chae. They also had a little bit of korean sushi. Choices, of course, were not as many as the other Korean restaurants, but what dishes they had were pretty good.
They also had raw meat, fish, chicken, pork, etc. that you can get and cook at your table. These are usually cooked on the grill and eaten right after. Some get lettuce leaves and ask for sauce. What are the lettuce leaves for? If you haven’t seen how Koreans eat this dish, it’s like this:
3. Add the sauces to your prepared wrap. It comes with two kinds of dipping sauces.
One is ssamjang which consists of chili paste, soybean paste, sesame oil, and other ingredients. The other sauce is gireumjang which is made with salt, pepper, and sesame oil. The former is used with the lettuce leaves while the latter is used when you just want to eat the meat alone.
What I also like about the place is the simplicity and the “no pretentions” concept of the place. It’s very simple, especially when you compare it to fancy restaurants, but the service and the food is good. The waiters are all attentive and they know how to answer all the questions that we had about their food.
The meal costs around Php 350, and it’s eat all you can. Oh, before I end this article, Don Day means something like festivities or it being a grand day for celebration and “pig”. So, that’s it for our review on Don Day. We hope that you try it; it will be a different and authentic Korean experience for you.