Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

The Korean craze has long been in the Philippines way before Sandara Park even graced our local TV sets. Koreans are now not just everywhere in the country -- particularly in Boracay, Puerto Galera and Baguio City. They are also fast being eclipsed by their own culture. In a quiet village at the border of Pateros and Pasig City between Brgy. San Joaquin and C5, 1223 Grill is proof that Korean cuisine is already accepted in the local neighborhood scene.

1223 Grill (pronounced as twelve-twenty-three) is home to Samgyupsal in this side of Metro Manila. The popular Korean meat dish consists of non-marinated pork strips that are cooked on a grill, charred to perfection, dabbed with ssamjang (Korean barbecue sauce) or dipped into it and wrapped in lettuce with Korean side vegetables and kimchi.

Grilling the pork slices
The interiors of 1223 Grill
Samgyupsal ingredients
Pop It In Your Mouth

The whole shebang is consumed altogether like a sushi (popped in the mouth; some bite off of it which can be a bit messy), depending on the portioned size that you created it into. In other words, it's ritualistic and makes you eat less even if the restaurant has it in unlimited ingredients that include the pork slices, side veggies, and kimchi. The soup and cups of rice are also unlimited.

For only ₱299, this unlimited order of Samgyupsal makes it quite affordable compared to other restaurants that offer it at ₱350 or more than ₱400.

Enter and take a seat
Paul, a co-owner of 1223 Grill
Drinks are not included in the unlimited order

Not Included In The Unlimited Order

At this small K-joint that's located at the ground floor of a building along F. Angeles St., the unlimited Samgyupsal doesn't include the lettuce which serves as the actual wrap (the first batch is free though). It's also necessary to order drinks which are not part of the unlimited order.

Something About Ssamjang

One of the unique ingredients of the whole wrap is the ssamjang which is wrap paste in Korean. It's actually seasoned fermented soybean paste. Think of it like a barbecue sauce or salsa to your taco. It's that essential as it makes the whole wrap truly Korean. If anything, it enhances the treat with a mix of salty and spicy-sweet flavors. It's where you dip the pork slices in along with the sesame oil before enclosing them in your lettuce wrap.

Kimchi and other side vegetables
Pork slices, the star of Samgyupsal
Making the wrap
Healthy Wrap

The act of grilling the pork on your dining table alone takes your mind off the conventional way of dining which usually results in overeating. Here, you eat just enough and at the right pace. What's more, the grilled pork is low in fat content and is complimented by the healthy ingredients of the wrap. This makes Samgyupsal a healthy alternative to the traditional buffet. Unlike the latter, this one doesn't make you feel guilty after you're done.

Easy Steps To Enjoy Samgyupsal

First, make sure to have all the ingredients served by the waiter on your table. Have the waiter turn on the grill and start to put the pork slices one by one for cooking. Once the pork slices have been cooked (this takes about 5 to 10 minutes), prepare them in one plate. You'll notice the amount of fat content removed from the pork which can be encouraging for those who are on a diet but want to enjoy something delicious.

Step 1: Grill the pork slices
Step 2: Let it cook itself
Step 3: Prepare the cooked pork slices and proceed to Step 4 -- making the wrap
Commence making your wrap by forming your lettuce piece (scissors are provided if you don't want to tear out the veggies with your hand). Put your preferred side vegetables, including kimchi, on your lettuce wrap. Add your cooked slice of pork then close the wrap. Pop it in your mouth and your first taste is done. Proceed to repeat.

It's advisable that you need to cook your next batch of pork slices while you're consuming your wraps so as to save time. However, make sure to consume everything because no leftovers, sharing, and takeout are allowed for this unlimited order.

Wind down with soju
Wind Down With Japchae and Soju

To wind down your meal, you can order the stir-fried glass noodles and vegetables called Japchae. It's sweet and savory, a fitting compliment to your unlimited Samgyupsal order. Finish with a bottle of a Korean distilled beverage called soju and you're good to go.

Watch A Short Video About 1223 Grill:

How To Get There:

From C5 Via a Private Vehicle
• Take a right turn to Kalayaan Ave. (the one in the direction of San Joaquin) and go straight to San Guillermo Ave. past J.P. Rizal Ext.
• Turn right to F. Angeles St. where 1223 Grill is located (right side of the street).

From SM Megamall Via FX
• Ride a Pembo-bound FX. Get off at the corner of J.P. Rizal Ext. past C5.
• Cross the road and walk two blocks till you reach the corner of F. Angeles St.
• Enter F. Angeles St. and walk till you reach the building where the restaurant is (ground floor; right side of the street).

From Pasig City Proper Via Commute
• Ride the Pasig-San Joaquin jeepney and get off at San Joaquin.
• Ride a tricycle for Buting and get off at the corner of F. Angeles St. (the 3rd street to your left before reaching C5 along the Kalayaan-San Guillermo Avenue). Walk along F. Angeles St. or have your tricycle ply along it until you reach the building where the restaurant is.
Note: Take this similar direction for private vehicles.

F. Angeles St. where 1223 Grill is located

Photography by Aubrey Gacer and Karl Acepcion

Aubrey Gacer is a Manila-based freelance photographer. Check out his work at Gacer Photography.

1223 Grill

Address: 1223 Unit 1A, F.Angeles St. Brgy. Buting, Pasig City
Phone: 0906-220-6843
Hours of Operation:
Monday to Thursday (Weekdays) 2:00pm to 12:00am 
Friday to Sunday (Weekends) 2:00pm to 1:00am 


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