I love Korean food more now than I did before I met Danny. So, on some days when we feel like eating healthy, we would go to a Korean restaurant. There are only few in town and I guess we’ve already tried them all. What they have in common is their price per dish. Usually, it ranges from Php120 to 1,500. Here are our very short reviews and ratings in no particular order (★★★ is the highest) for each Korean cafe and restaurant in Davao as of March 2015:

1. Gomone (고모네)

image
My favorite – 참치 회덥밥 (Chamchi Hoedeopbap / Sashimi Rice Salad) Php250
순대 (Soondae / Blood Sausages) – Php 250
IMG_0143
낙지볶음 (Nakji Bokkeum / Spicy Octopus Stir-fry) – Php250
IMG_8685
찐만두 (Jjin Mandu / Steamed Dumpling) – Php 200

Tip: Gomone is always packed with customers even after peak hours. Better to come early or call for a reservation. Parking is also limited.

Ratings:

  • Quality : ★★★
  • Ambiance : ★★★
  • Convenience : ★★★

Recommendations: 

  1. 닭갈비 (Dak Galbi / Chicken Galbi)
  2. Complimentary iced coffee = dessert!

heart.gif

image
Image taken from Google Maps (click for larger image)

Address: Surveyor St., Doña Vicenta Village

2. Korea Town

IMG_9495a
Buffet Php345/head
반찬 (Banchan / Side dish) for FREE! … and FREE refill
해물파전 (Haemul Pajeon / Seafood Pancake)
돈까스 (Tonkatsu / Pork Cutlet)

Tip: They have buffet every 15th and 30th of the month at Php345/head.

Ratings:

  • Quality : ★★★
  • Ambiance : ★★★
  • Convenience : ★★★

Recommendations:

  1. 삼겹살 (Samgyeopsal / Grilled Pork Belly)
  2. Complimentary 수정과 (Su Jeong Gwa / Cinnamon Persimmon Punch)

Address: Victoria Plaza compound beside Ahfat 3, J.P. Laurel Avenue

3. Seoul Ga (서울가)

It’s one of the best for many Filipinos I know, but not for me. Sorry.

비빔냉면 (Bibimnaengmyeon / Spicy Cold Noodles) on the lower right. Circa 2012.
짜장밥 ( Jja Jang Bap / Rice with Black Bean Sauce) – P220
비빔밥 ( Bibimbap / literally means Mixed Rice) – Php200
삼겹살 (Samgyeopsal / Pork Belly)

Tip: Avail for their lunch promo. Cheaper, but not lesser portion.

Ratings:

  • Quality : ★★☆
  • Ambiance : ★★★
  • Convenience : ★★★

Recommendations:

  1. Mango Kimchi side dish
  2. 두부 김치 (Dubu / Tofu kimchi)

heart.gif

Address: Victoria Plaza compound beside Coco’s, J.P. Laurel Avenue

4. Manna

Lesser quantity of food compared to other Kresto. Their grills are sometimes malfunctioning.

image

Recommendation: 양념치킨 (Yang Nyum Chicken / Seasoned Fried Chicken)

비빔밥 (Dolsot Bibimbap / literally means Mixed Rice)
Pork Chops? Yup, that’s right!

Ratings:

  • Quality : ★★☆
  • Ambiance : ★★★
  • Convenience : ★★★

Addresses: Lanang fronting Grand Regal Hotel / 2nd level Sky Garden SM Lanang Premier

5. Jeong Ga Ne (정가네)

Far for people living in the south. They give LOTS of side dish but everything is either bland or spicy. Best for people who are super health conscious.

보쌈 (Bossam / Boiled Pork Wraps)
된장찌개 (Doenjang Jjigae / Soybean Paste Stew) on the left.

It is the equivalent of Miso soup and I prefer the latter.

Ratings:

  • Quality  : ★★☆
  • Ambiance : ★★★
  • Convenience : ★☆☆

Address: Phoenix Commercial Complex, Km. 7 Lanang

6. Sa Gae (사계)

They give LOTS of side dish, too. But some are unfamiliar to us. The location is far if you are living in the south. We’ve been there twice but the waiters were still not so familiar with their food. Very nice interior and plates, though.

반찬 (Banchan / Side dish)
보쌈 (Bossam / Boiled Pork Wraps)

Ratings:

  • Quality : ★★☆
  • Ambiance : ★★★
  • Convenience : ★☆☆

Address: Lanang Business Park, Km. 7 Lanang

7. Itaewon (이태원)

Far for people living in the north. Simple interior. Not crowded during lunch or dinner time. The food is A-okay.

제육덮밥 (Jeyuk Deopbap / Spicy BBQ Pork on Rice)

Ratings:

  • Quality : ★☆☆ -based on the order above
  • Ambiance : ★★☆
  • Convenience : ★☆☆
heart.gif

Address: fronting Matina Town Square (MTS), Mac Arthur Highway, Matina

8. Bibiseyo K Express (비비세요)

Far from the city proper. The serving was so little the first time I’ve been here and the place is too small.

cute placemat
Unlimited Grill (Beef, Pork and Chicken) for only Php265

Ratings:

  • Quality : ★☆☆
  • Ambiance : ★★☆
  • Convenience : ★☆☆
Image taken from Foursquare (click to enlarge)

Address: Palmetto Place Condominium Door 3 along Gem Village Road corner Maa and Iñigo Street, Obrero

9. Gui Gui Grill

The interior makes you feel like you are in Korea. A bit pricey. They now offer unlimited samgyeopsal with other Korean food for Php400/head only at their newest branch in Torres and so far,  it’s the best unlimited Korean bbq grill in town.

image
guigui
Torres branch

Ratings:

  • Quality : ★★★
  • Ambiance : ★★★
  • Convenience : ★★★

heart.gif

Addresses: in front of Gomone / Torres street

10. Gangnam in Davao | Café & Restaurant

A very neat, modern and luxurious looking restaurant. The only 24hr Kresto we know. Pricey. According to my friends, they weren’t happy with the food. But I’ve heard recently that they have been improving. Maybe we’ll give it another try if we visit Davao.

tumblr_inline_nkznk0r3Mv1tn08g1

While waiting for our order, they gave us service water.

image

Twenty-ounce Coffeecoke topped with Vanilla Ice Cream and I strongly do not recommend it. Try at your own risk.

Ratings:

  • Quality : ☆☆☆ -based on coffeecoke only
  • Ambiance : ★★★
  • Convenience : ★☆☆

heart.gif

gangnam
Image taken from Foursquare 

Address: fronting S&R Membership Shopping, Mac Arthur Highway, Matina

11. Bulgogi Brothers

Pricey and lesser serving but the taste is good. It’s famous in Korea too.

Bulgogi Brothers’ Special
Beef Bulgogi Platter
잔치국수 (Janchi Guksu / Banquet Noodle) and 불고기 비빔밥 (Bulgogi Bibimbap)

Ratings:

  • Quality : ★★★
  • Ambiance : ★★★
  • Convenience : ★★☆

Address:  2nd level of SM Lanang Premier

12. Bbq Chicken

Nice interior, big dining space. But no parking area. We’ve tried their honey chicken and it was good. Price ranges from Php100 to Php250 with rice and drinks.

image
Honey Chicken

Ratings:

  • Quality : ★★★ -based on the order above
  • Ambiance : ★★★
  • Convenience : ★☆☆

Address: San Pedro Street fronting One Network Bank

13. Bonchon Chicken

I’ve got nothing much more to say about it, except it’s comparable to international fast food chain.

IMG_8241

Ratings:

  • Quality : ★★☆
  • Ambiance : ★★☆
  • Convenience : ★★★

Address: SM Davao – Annex, Ecoland / Abreeza Ayala Mall, J.P. Laurel Avenue

14. Cafe Maru

It was the first Korean cafe, before there was even Gangnam in Davao and Cafe 52. They use Ethiopian beans to make their coffee. They also serve civet coffee / kopi luwak – civet cat’s dung which pretty much tastes like an ordinary brewed coffee to me. Sorry, I’m not a coffee connoisseur. They serve the coffee in red fragile cups. However, recently they are closed for renovation.

IMG_5488 IMG_6775Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset  Processed with VSCOcam with t2 preset

Ratings:

  • Quality : ★★☆
  • Ambiance : ★★★
  • Convenience : ★★★

Address: Victoria Plaza compound beside Korea Town, J.P. Laurel Avenue

Operating Hours: Mon – Sat 9:00am-10:00pm

15. Cafe 52

Don’t know what to eat? Cafe 52, the newest Kresto on the list as of this writing, offers a wide selection of Korean, Filipino and Italian dishes.

IMG_8639
View from the mezzanine

Price range (pasta only) : Php140-200

IMG_8643
Salmone
IMG_8645
Al Pesto
IMG_8649
Carbonara
제육볶음덮밥 (Jeyuk Bokkeum Deopbap / Marinated Pork with Rice)
IMG_8657
Matcha Latte, Salted Caramel and Mango Smootie

Ratings:

  • Quality : ★★☆
  • Ambiance : ★★★
  • Convenience : ★★★

Address: Plaza de Bole, F. Torres St. fronting Davao Wisdom Academy

Operating Hours: Daily 10:00am-2:00am

Note: These are based on our own personal experiences only. If you want to know more about the restaurants I’ve mentioned, please feel free to leave a comment. 🙂

Korean Dining Tips & Etiquette:

  1. If you’re scared of trying out Korean food all because you think it’s spicy, you can always ask the waiter to make them less spicy for you.
  2. Kimbap, bulgogi, bibimbap, tangsooyuk, and samgyeopsal are few of the Korean dishes that are not spicy at all.
  3. Never place your chopsticks vertically to your rice bowl.
  4. The younger person should not eat ahead until the older person does.
  5. It’s always nice and polite to say 잘 먹겠습니다 (jal meok-ke-seum-ni-da) which means “I will eat well” before digging in your food and 잘 먹었습니다 (jal meo-geo-sseum-ni-da) which means “I ate well” most specially if you’re going out with your Korean friend or boss for a treat.

3 thoughts on “A Short Guide to Korean Restaurants in Davao City

  1. Thanks for this list! I’ve been wanting to try Korean food but didn’t have any idea which resto to try first. Love your blog!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s