To note: I hate green leafy vegetables. My friend said, “ganyan naman kayong mga lalaki eh.”
For the non-Koreans, (like me) hearing the words, “Korean Restaurant” evokes memories of koreanovelas, kimchi and koreanovelas. After almost making a right turn to Congo Grille in El Pueblo, (to eat the ever-reliable, ever-heart-stopping Sisig) my friend suggested we eat Korean, for some Korean barbeque. We took a left for Song Do.
Upon entering, we were greeted, “Annyong Haseyo,” which is “Hello” in Korean, then we climbed the stairs for the main restaurant itself. By the side of the stairs, (where the railing should be) are tons of Korean trinkets, dolls and décor to emphasize, that indeed, a Korean restaurant named “Song Do,” is a Korean establishment. Finally reaching the top, we were hungry like lions. (Could that be the point of the stairs?)
They had the traditional “sit on the floor” seats for large groups, (to further insist that you ARE in a Korean restaurant, just in case you know, you forgot.) and they offered traditional chairs and tables (with an oven in the center) as well. The place was spacious, and, being relatively new, was tidy and white as a koreana’s complexion. Metal chopsticks, the Korean-ish plates and the oven in the center of the table subtly suggests that, yes, you are in a Korean-themed restaurant.
We were about to order two sets of Pork belly, but the waiter told us that one order was enough for the two of us. Just moments after ordering, the waitress gave us corn tea and started placing a variety of appetizers on the table, which included, (and this is from what I remember,) kimchi, mashed potatoes, spicy radish, squid, lumpia, quail eggs, kangkong, soup, and the ingredients for the veggie meat sandwich.
When the pork was cooked, the waitress cut it up to little pieces. I asked her to teach my inner caveman what to do next. She washed her hands, took a piece of lettuce, dipped a piece of meat in sesame oil, dabbed a bit of this red sauce, (then she asked what vegetable I wanted on my veggie meat sandwich) and a piece of garlic. She then proceeded on folding the assembled food stuffs into a veggie meat sandwich. As I mentioned above, I abhor green leafy vegetables… and yet I found myself making wraps myself, trying on the other vegetables, and how spicy it would be if I tucked in a piece of kimchi in there.
After all the appetizers, the veggie meat sandwich, and me suddenly remembering that, yes, we did order rice, I tapped out. I was simply too full of Korean goodness. Then they placed a slice of pineapple, for dessert, which was also part of the meal. (Fiber for better digestion?)
The damage? Surprisingly light, for a place that looks like it’d cost more than your usual baon. For 465, we got the massive meal, (which, I think could easily handle 3 people, or 4 people with tiny appetites.) the appetizers, two orders of rice, a melon shake and a Coke. Service charge was 0, so we left a little something-something for the great service. (I do wonder how they do when the place is packed — if they could accommodate more cavemen like me — but it turns out that most of their customers are Koreans anyway, so there’s hardly need for a guide on those ones.)
This place is great for large functions, or for when you want to show your friends a little culture without the big dent in the wallet. Compared to the expensive, fastfood-style service that another restaurant offers, (you know who you are, Basement, Megamall B) Song Do is way, way better. Before leaving, the friendly manager asked us from which offices we were from, we both answered, and then he said, “you’re always welcome here.”
And isn’t that what you’d want to hear from your new favorite place? 4 out of 5 spoons!
( photo shamelessly taken from http://wats0n.blogspot.com/2007/01/song-do-korean-experience.html )