Korean Restaurant Woo Galbi to Open this April in Shangri-la Mall

If you asked me a week ago what I think about Korean food, I'd probably tell you that the only dish I know is kimchi and that it is a very spicy food item I have no intention of trying. I'm not a fan of very spicy foods and, based on a documentary I saw before, kimchi can make you crave for a glass of water at first chew.

Appetizers and Spinach Salad (the round one) 

When I got invited to a food-tasting event the other day for Woo Galbi, a new Korean restaurant that's slated to open this coming April in Shangri-la Mall, the first thing I asked was, "Would they serve non-spicy food?" I'm glad I went because sampling really delicious fare in the company of a bunch of good-natured people made the experience a very pleasant one indeed. Allow me to use the dishes' English names as I might make a lot of spelling mistakes if I use the Korean ones.

In good company
The appetizers were quite hot on the tongue but I enjoyed munching on the sweet-spicy dilis and pickled cucumber. The Spinach Salad with Hollandaise Sauce was beautifully presented and would surely please veggie-lovers' palates. 

I found the Kimchi and Seafood Pancakes very interesting. They are like versions of our tortang itlog varieties with Korean twists. It surprised me that the Kimchi-flavored one was not as spicy as I expected. This is a good dish to share with friends because everyone could get a slice.

I didn't know that maki is also considered a Korean food item so it was a very welcome and pleasant treat for me as I love these rolled dishes. The ones served to us were lip-smacking good! Everything, and I mean everything, tasted delicious! There were Prawn Rolls, Crab Meat Rolls, Spicy Soft Shell Crab Rolls, and Eel Cream Cheese Rolls that were bursting with great seafood flavors.

I took a peek at the chefs near the counter and saw them meticulously making the seafood rolls by hand using fresh ingredients displayed on top of their work station.

And then there were the Spicy Tiger Prawns which, although a bit hot on the tongue, had me eating a couple because I love shrimp and can't pass up on this one. The other dish called Beef Tartare reminded me of a Mr. Bean episode (fans would remember that, I'm sure) because it is made out of fresh and raw ground beef toped with fresh egg yolk. My friend Myke and I shared half a piece of one. I ate it for the sake of being adventurous and was able to finish my half in three small bites. I can't remember much of the taste though because I think I was trying to swallow it as fast as I could. Nevertheless, I'm sure there are Koreans who consider this one a delectable dish. To each his own then.

I welcomed the warm soups when they came and found the serving dishes very unique. They looked liked the oil burners I have at home where you place tea light candles under to keep the oil warm. All of them, except one, were quite spicy but they sure were mouth-watering. I love the Seafood Soup which has fish, squid, shrimp, and tofu. But the top one for me would have to be the Beef Stew because the wonderfully tender meat comes with a really rich sauce, vegetables, and my favorite kind of mushrooms. 

Last of the batch of food items were the Grilled Chicken, Pork, Beef, and Squid; three of which  come in cute pieces over bite-sized amounts of rice and veggie garnishing. Again, I love how the beef was so tender and easy to chew, while the pork is reminiscent of lechon kawali because of the crunchy, fatty side. I can't remember if I got to taste the chicken and the squid though. By then, I was already full from all that I sampled in the past hour. 

What I can assure you though is that there is something for everyone in Woo Galbi. I'm sure my kids would love the grilled dishes and soups while my hubby would definitely go for all the spicy ones, whatever they are. When Woo Galbi opens, I'll be sure to go back for the seafood rolls and, perhaps, a little bit of everything else again :)

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