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Thursday, July 03, 2014

Ssam Wrap, Kpop chicken and lots of Seoul food delights in Kogi Bulgogi restaurant

Korean culinary custom called “ssam wrap”, introduced by Kogi Bulgogi restaurant is starting to make wave almost a week already, it’s a ready to eat and DIY wrapped meat with a leafy lettuce or sesame leaf. I encountered ssam wrap in an old Korean restaurant years ago before Kpop became popular here in our land, and it’s a culture shock for me because we were cooking this slice of beef in a grill and the waiter taught us to prepare the ssam wrap, I’m a rice eater and it was not good at first, but when you dip the ssam wrap to some condiments, you’ll get the taste and enjoyment of a piece of Korean’s popular cuisine.

Here in Kogi Bulgogi, you are not required to cook the meat in a grill, but the resto will serve the meat in a platter with serving good for 3 person, it’s a heavy load of meat served with lettuce leaves, spicy kimchi, ssamjang and gochujang. The fun in Korean cuisine is that they serve too many condiments, there are garlic, onion leaves, pepper, banchan, spicy dried dilis, and many more. It’s a free condiment for you to add it in your DIY ssam wrap.

Btw, “ssam” means “wrapped” in Korean. It’s a part of their custom culinary tradition that started in the old times when rice were expensive and rare (maybe because of the winter season), and if you have small stock of rice, you can add the small plum of cooked rice in your meat, veggies and wrapped by lettuce or sesame leaf, then eat it in bite size.

Its my first time herein Kogi Bulgogi restaurant in Gateway Mall, but its not my first time to dine in Kogi Bulgogi, when this restaurant was just starting, I always visit their branch in Eastwood City years ago, but I noticed that they changed their menu and the service today is much better compare from their startup days. I learned that Kogi Bulgogi is a home grown restaurant, and not a franchise from South Korea. Kogi Bulgogi started before the Kpop and Kdrama mania in the Philippines.

Inside Kogi Bulgogi restaurant in Gateway mall. I like the wooden table and colorful chairs, its like a scene in an old classic Kung fu movie and a flashy colors of Seoul hahaha.

Here are the 4 kinds of Ssam wrap in Kogi Bulgogi

Dak Gui or Ssam wrap chicken (PHP 385)
- grilled chicken in a chili sauce, for me this is the best…very tasty and there’s a sweet and chili taste, it blended perfectly with my choice of condiments – gochujang and kimchi.

Suygogi Gui or Ssam wrap beef (PHP 420)
- grilled tender and soft beef
- its meaty and heavy in your tummy, I only ate 2 slices and I was a goner already ahhaha.
I’m glad that the beef is cooked soft and cooked close to well done, but I think you can request if you want your beef prepared “well done’

Bo Ssam or Ssam wrap pork belly (PHP 365)
- boiled and roasted pork in spices
- I’m not a pork fan, but this one is a heavy hitter too. The fatty portion of the pork belly is oily yummy but I refuse to take another bite because I’m not a pork and fat fanatic. The best to kill the oil and umay is to add more spicy condiment, the chili the flavor the better. The slice of the pork is big, I think around 6 inches in height and 3 inches in width, you have to cut it in two in order to have a bite size version for your ssam wrap. I removed the roasted skin, its crunchy and Its hard to chew it if you have a bite size pork to finish. I took a bite of the crunchy skin after one piece of Bo Ssam.

Black Angus Ssam (PHP 795)
- This is only available in their Promenade branch, it’s a Korean steak in Ssam wrap version.
I haven’t tried this..but I’m sure its one of the best and must try.

Here’s a step on how you can prepare your own Ssam wrap
1. Take a piece of meat from the platter
2. Place the meat in the middle of the lettuce leaf or sesame leaf
3. Add some condiments on top of the meat – best is gochujang and kimchi or add small bits of rice
4. wrap the food with the lettuce leaf and then insert it directly in your mouth and chew!
5. You can also dip the ssam wrap in a sesame oil or any condiments available for your enjoyment

Here’s Kogi Bulgogi’s DIY guide for Ssam wrap
After number 2, you have to wrap everything with the leaf and then do number 3.

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Here are my friends enjoying the Ssam wrap party in Kogi Bulgogi
The Ssam wrap chicken is quiet perfect for us four people.

Here’s my Ssam wrap chicken, it’s a small meat with kimchi and gochujang condiments

Wrapped it and eat it!
The fresh leafy aroma and juice of the lettuce will add more fresh feeling when you started to taste the chili and also meat of the chicken of your Ssam wrap.

Here’s the beefy ssam wrap

I took a small lettuce leaf and wrapped it on a sliced beef, Its easy to hold it if there’s no condiments added, but its better you dip it if you don’t want more spicy flavor to your ssam wrap.

The pork ssam wrap.. looks for glorious..but you can to finish this before the oil freezes (mag sebo)

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Here’s my trial of inserting the pork in my ssam wrap, you’ll notice that its too you have to cut it in order to have a bite size food, I also removed the roasted skin,because it’s a bit crunchy.

The best soup ever!!!! so tasty (I will add label later)

Kimchi rice (PHP 110)
Its my first time to eat this Kimchi rice, I think of Nasi Goreng for the coking process, I think they added some kind of Kimchi recipe while the rice is boiled cooked, at first I thought it’s a fried rice, but its not. The best to try with your Ssam Wrap here in Kogi Bulgogi

KPOP Chicken
- named after the Korean music pop craze! in Korea everything chili is common, their own version of KPOP chicken tastes better than those double friend chili chicken that originates directly from Korea. I think this re-invention of the ala-bonchon style chicken is much better, they fried and added chili or I think it a gochujang sauce. When I tasted it.. zomg!!! I want to cook my own version at home.

Soft, fried, chili and sweet.
The KPOP Chicken is one of my favorite here in Kogi Bulgogi.

Cranberry Iced Tea (PHP 70)
- refreshing as always…but.. my fave is below..

Soju lemon cocktails with soda water (PHP 198)
- The best ever to cap our dining adventure here in Kogi Bulgogi, there’s a few kick after finishing some few sip from this lemon cocktail with Soju shots. Soju are Korean wines that are so strong that can warm you up and make you sweat in just minutes. Perfect to drink during the rainy days.

Grabe lang.pinagpawisan lang ako sobra after finishing one glass, but the after effect is very relaxing haha

Also…this Ice cream bar is always present in a Korean restaurant.. I must order after your meal hahaha.
I felt like a kid when I munch this ice cream bar sandwich.

I call it the Ice cream Fish.

Because the whole ice cream bar is shape of a fish.

Thanks guys for reading my Kogi Bulgogi feature!
Thanks to Myke Soon for inviting us and introducing to us their new food products.

KOGI MOMENTS table talker
Kogi Bulgogi also invites everyone to join in their 2nd year of #KogiBulgogimoments in Instagram
Read the details above and get a chance to win some GCs

Me and @dollhana already sent our entries! check our cutesy entry

Kogi Bulgogi Korean Cuisine


EASTWOOD MALL - T: 470-6884 to 85
GATEWAY MALL - T: 2934947
Azrael Coladilla is the blogger and founder of Azrael's Merryland Blog. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media. Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards. He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, Philippine Bloggers Network, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. Azrael's Merryland Blog is included in a list of top 50 Blogs in the Philippines , ranked 65th in Top 100 Blogs that Matter , 49 must read lifestyle blog in the Philippines. and rank 40th in 100 Top Philippine Blogs by Feedspot.
He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collects Transformers toys.
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