Bibimbap, japchae, samgyeopsal, Korean beef stew and Korean BBQ are just some of my favorite Korean dishes. I think Filipinos love not only Koreanovelas, K Pop and Korean beauty products, but also their cuisine because it’s as flavourful as Filipino dishes are. Ironically, for a country that loves all things Korean and is inhabited by a good number of Koreans, there’s only a handful of really good restaurants that offer close to authentic Korean dishes.
Lucky for us Kiwa Koren Grill, the first ever fine dining Korean barbecue restaurant in South East Asia opened its doors here in Manila last December 2015 and is conveniently located in Solaire Resort & Casino in Parañaque City.
Kiwa means traditional Korean roof tile, the ones used for Korean homes. As the name means, Kiwa wants to be a shelter, a place that provides its clients a comfortable environment for relaxation and leisure.
Meet Ki and Wa. The cutest receptionists that’s ever welcomed me in a Korean restaurant. Heehee.
The moment I entered Kiwa, it felt as if I was transported to Korea! Although I’ve never been there, (I am hoping to visit The Land of the Morning Calm next year!) everything feels like it. The air, ambiance, and mood all feel like I’m in Seoul soul-searching. Heehee.
They have 8 private dining rooms which they can expand into one big private room that can accommodate up to 48 persons (perfect to hold an intimate gathering with family and friends). In total, Kiwa’s seating capacity is 184.
The lovely interiors were designed by a Korean firm. They wanted something traditional yet modern and chic. They want the overall look to be sophisticated but still cozy, something that would make their guests feel welcome. They also tried bringing the outdoors in. There’s a mini fountain that sits right in the middle of the bridge that connects the private rooms and the open dining area of the restaurant. Despite the sophisticated interiors, we felt cozy and welcomed.
Our table has a lovely view of the bay. Thanks Cai of Apples & Dumplings for capturing this beauty!
We sampled a full course meal which thankfully some were in sample sizes (still I would’ve eaten the full size dishes) else I would’ve devoured all that they served without reservations (never mind feeling full and bloated afterwards, I promise it’s worth it!).
Only fresh ingredients are used in Kiwa. They only use best grade A+ available Wagyu beef which are USDA and imported from Japan (they cannot export Korean beef kasi). Their service standard is a lot higher than other restaurants and they follow strict 5-star hotel sanitation regulations, so there’s no doubt that everything is prepared the way they should be, which gives great comfort to everyone dining at Kiwa since they also serve some raw dishes. Their kitchen is also top-notch, all imported from Korea.
Now for some food porn. You’re welcome!
Platter of scallop sashimi, steamed shrimp, salmon sashimi, steamed octopus, mango cheese, and marinated tomato.
Seasoned seafood in a whole tomato salad.
Rolled white kimchi placed inside a whole pear.
Porridge and soup are served in between appetisers.
My Korean meal wouldn’t be complete without some good spices and sauces. Yum! I always have to ask for more.
Pancake mixed with seafood, spring onion and assorted vegetable with spicy soy sauce & sesame oil on the side.
Mashed pumpkin mixed with assorted nuts and assorted seasonal vegetable with sesame seed dressing.
This got raves from our table. It was so refreshingly unique and good that I would certainly order this again on my next visit. It’s a MUST TRY!
Seasoned soy sauce based pan fried glass noodles with beef and fried assorted vegetables.
Seasoned pork belly.
NEED I SAY MORE?
What sets Kiwa among other Korean Grill restaurants aside from it being fine dining is their state-of-the-art exhaust system under the restaurant. This means that all the smoke goes under. When you dine at Kiwa, you WILL NOT smell like smoke or barbecue. Yaaaaas! That’s the thing I dislike about grill restaurants but with Kiwa, I went home without a faint of barbecue or smoke smell. It’s the perfect place to enjoy Korean food without the oily tables and floors and powerful smell of barbecue. Pwedeng-pwede pang date night, guys! 😉
Yang Neyom Gal Bi
Grilled marinated beef with Kiwa’s special sauce. MY ULTIMATE FAVORITE. Yes, all caps for emphasis! Probably the best grilled beef I’ve had. The beef was marinated to perfection. It was so tender, it almost melts in the mouth!
Like in Korea, they usually serve rice last. Here in Manila, we’re used to eating rice as part of our main course. So shempre, I was waiting for my bowl to come. Good thing I reserved some room in my tummy for rice!
We ended our hearty lunch with a cup of plum tea which is said to help aid in digestion. I actually want to have two more servings of this because I was THAT full and I think my stomach needs help in digesting all that I ate. Heehee.
Tomorrow is Kiwa Korean Grill restaurant’s grand opening. They’re planning to offer special items such as lobster tail and Japanese Wagyu. At the same time, they will also add lunch sets that are in the P500- P700 range. They’ll also have dishes that are perfect for soju and other rice wines. Yum!
They’ll also be releasing their breakfast sets with six options to choose from. Each set will have a soup, rice and three to four side dishes, which is what Koreans typically eat in the morning. They will also have a birthday breakfast tray with seaweed soup, which is what Koreans drink on their birthday (well, now you know why they have amazing skin! No to cake, yes to seaweed soup! 😉 ) It is believed to help improve blood circulation. In Korean tradition, seaweed soup is the first thing given to a woman who has just given birth. If you go to Kiwa on your birthday, instead of a birthday cake, they’ll give you complimentary seaweed soup upon presentation of valid ID.
I, together with Kaye, Cai, Neva, Tin, Tiff, Mish. All smiles because our bellies our happy!
고맙습니다 Kiwa Korean Grill for having us! I can’t wait to go back and take Mr. JG for a date! Perhaps on Valentine’s Day? 🙂 If you’re looking to have authentic Korean dishes without the smell of smoke and barbecue, I highly recommend you dine at Kiwa Korean Grill.
KIWA KOREAN GRILL
Opens 9 am to 12 midnight – Sunday to Thursday, 9 am to 2 am – Friday and Saturday
Solaire Ressort & Casino
1 Aseana Avenue, Parañaque City
Phone number: +632 888-8888