5.030 TERRP 10.1.10 Maru: Ggot Deung Sim (I Doubt It)

 -Cycle 5, Item 30-
4 (Tue) February 2014

Ggot Deung Sim (I Doubt It)


at Maru (Robinsons Place)

-Ermita, Manila-

with Endaluz M, K Khow, T Lee, C&J Rarick

Try Every Restaurant in Robinsons Place (TERRP). In Manila through mid-April, living above Robinsons Place, I'm going to attempt eating my way through the mall.  As far as I know, nobody has ever done anything like this, so this could be my unique contribution to the food/blog scene of Manila. Given time constraints, I'll begin with the 30 (or so) establishments on the first floor, working my way up.  

This is the 10th restaurant in the series.

Previously covered restaurants:

01.1.01 Jan 13 / C2 Classic Cuisine (Filipino) (see generally 5.008 Chicken Pork Adobo...) / 2.5 / $$
02.1.02 Jan 15 / Banana Leaf (Asian) (see 5.010 Stir-Fried Noble Leaves with Garlic) (Malaysian) / 3.5 / $$
03.1.03 Jan 16 / Holy Cow! (American) (see 5.011 Lonestar Grilled Pork Chop) / 2.0 / $$$
04.1.04 Jan 21 / Super Bowl of China (Chinese) (see 5.016 Pork Strips with Kangkong...) / 3.5 / $$
05.1.05 Jan 23 / TGI Friday's (American) (see 5.018 Filipino Platter) (Filipino) / 2.5 / $$$
06.1.06 Jan 24 / Tempura (Japanese) (see 5.019 Ramen Burger) / 0.0 / $$
07.1.07 Jan 28 / Hainanese Delights (Singaporean) (see 5.023 Hainanese Delights) / 2.5 / $
08.1.08 Jan 29 / Mr. Choi Kitchen (Chinese) (see 5.024 Egg Fuyong with Scallops) / 3.0 /  $$
09.1.09 Feb 3 / Shawarma Snack Corner (Mid-East) (see 5.029 Chicken + Beef Shawarma Sandwiches) / 1.5 / $

The gang.

Inadvertently, my iPhone camera was on "square" mode.

At least the hardware looked kinda right.

Maru is a Korean restaurant chain.  3 locations around Metro Manila, including one in Robinsons Place, which is situated in the mall structure but on the outside facing the street, the corner of Adriatico and Pedro Gil.  Typical little-bit-of-everything menu.

Chatting with colleagues in my division, the conversation inevitably turned to food, and then to Korean food, and then to Maru, which is their go-to place for Korean food--and then to this project of mine (though none of them yet know about the blog).  So, we set a date for Maru.

Prices are comparable to those in Korea, maybe slightly higher: 350 pesos = 8,500 won.

The "appetizers" are the most expensive items on the menu.


In terms of authenticity, the food looked and tasted as if a foreigner, without any first-hand experience in the cuisine, without much cooking experience at all, had made the dishes from a cheap cookbook, unable to adjust/adapt the recipes as necessary, too sweet here, too salty there, odd flavors that I couldn't identify and didn't belong--like, while making the bulgogi, he ran out of sesame oil, so he substituted with truffle oil.  

side dishes (1.0)

The meat was outright shameful.  

For pork, we ordered samgyeopsal.  But what we got wasn't samgyeopsal (see for comparison 3.148 Grilled Samgyeopsal); it was some cut that I didn't recognize, with two sections of differently colored/textured flesh and a thick slab of fat running down the middle, reminding me a bit of beef ribeye.  Even worse, it was frozen, and sliced too thin, and then overcooked--on the side, by someone else, and served all at once on a plate--so that the final texture was all dry and brittle.  

As for the beef, I'd recommended ggot deungsim, declaring that the cut is among the most favored and prized among beef eaters in Korea.  However, the server didn't show us the meat in its uncooked form, as per local protocol, but brought it out cooked, so I can't say whether it was in fact ribeye or had the appropriate marbling to merit the "ggot" appellation.  What we got, like the pork belly, was dry and brittle, totally flavorless.

"samgyeopsal" (1.0)

Everyone didn't seem to mind the food, but I can't just sit by and let them think that this is what Korean  cuisine is really like.  I must find a better place to take them, perhaps as far as Makati if necessary, or just cook for them at home.  

sundubu jjigye (1.25)--the not-worst dish of the evening

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