When my K-pop friends tagged me to a Korean diner, I was hesitant at first because I’m not a fan of spicy foods. Yet instinct told me, I should try it for once. I was convinced to join them after my friend who usually eats at the restaurant told me that the dishes are palatable and the prices won’t leave me empty-handed.
Lava Korean Food Restaurant is located at 2654- A Leveriza St. Malate Manila. It is near the Philippines Sports Commission.
A fancy school supplies store was the first thing I saw when I entered the place.
I peek into the store and looked for things I could buy. The brand of the school materials was so unfamiliar to me that I decided to sit beside my friends. Then I saw something that really made me curious.
Look at this…
Are they also selling these items? What are these ‘hanging stationeries with write-ups’ for?’ I couldn’t help but ask my friend who then told me that listed on those stationeries are the names of loyal customers of the restaurant. If they eat with friends, they should sign the paper with how many persons they brought in. And when you get ten signs, you will be given a prize from the fancy store. Wow! A good way to invite customers!
My friend who often eats at Lava ordered our dinner.
She wanted us to try Tteok-bok-ki, Samgyeopsal and Doenjang Stew.
Tteok-bok-ki is a famous Korean dish that usually sells on the streets.
Don’t forget to have a glass of water after you indulge in this snack food that has sliced rice cake, clams, egg and seasonings. And be reminded that Tteok-bok-ki can quickly make you full.
Meanwhile, Samgyeopsal challenged my eating skills.
It consists of fatty pork belly meat which is usually accompanied by lettuce, kimchi, potatoes and nuts.
Lava Restaurant also gives two free sidings so we asked for kimchi and nuts.
It is also served with at least two dipping sauce.
They served us with gireumjang, a sauce made from sesame oil, salt and black pepper and with Ssamjan which is a thick paste that made from sesame oil, garlic, onion and other ingredients. For a first timer like me, I needed my friend to teach me how to eat it.
How to make Samgyeopsal:
1. Place the lettuce on your plate.
2. Get the meat.
3. Dip in your chosen sauce.
4. Choose your sidings. If possible just put two sidings on top of your meat.
5. Wrap the meat with lettuce.
It was on my second attempt that I was able to enjoy the Samgyeopsal. It took me a lot of effort and sweat before I finally got it correctly.
And to end my Korean dine-in experience, we ate some Doenjang Stew for free! Hooray!
It is a dish mainly made of doenjang, a Korean soybean paste with vegetables, mushroom, tofu and seafood.
Oh, and it was my friend’s tenth visit and she was given a wonderful prize!
ALERT!!! Give-away on going!!!
Like my friend, a lucky reader will get to own some of those lovely LARVA items. Just answer this simple question: When you hear the word “KOREA” what is the first thing that comes in to mind? The reader with the most convincing answer wins.