Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Super Cheap Korean BBQ at Chang Teo

When the case of the nibbles comes along, this year had got me craving for Korean BBQ every single time. Partly because I have come to accept that fact that no restaurant in the south can do decent Indian or Arabic food, Korean food has become my next go to cuisine when craving for spicy, nostril-flaring fare.

I had pleasantly discovered Chang Teo a few years back, but for some odd reason, have never gotten about to blogging about them until now. I think it's because I keep telling myself I'll order something new to try the next time I go pay them a visit, but for the past two years I've just been ordering the same damn thing over and over again. And I still haven't gotten tired of those dishes!

The small Korean restaurant sandwiched between Pan de Manila and Tea Talk along Aguirre road has become my favorite hang out, as far as straightforward Korean food is concerned. And this is also by far the cheapest in BF Homes Parañaque.

Read more on restaurants in BF Homes Parañaque:
Ritchie's Diner: Classic American Favorites at BF Homes Parañaque
Mediterranean Made Simple: Sophia's Cusina at BF Homes Parañaque
Sexy Comfort Food at Borgo Café in BF Homes Parañaque
Dim Sum Delights at BF Homes Parañaque's Mandarin Palace
Don Limone at BF Homes Parañaque

The place is quite small, with around 6 tables on the first floor, and one long table on the second floor, if you want to enjoy your meal the painful traditional Korean way - with your legs tucked underneath you. I came in with Jericho and his sister Justice that night and we preferred to do our grilling seated in comfortable chairs, so it was the ground floor for us.

After ordering we were given an assortment of banchan - small dishes of food served with whatever Korean food you fancy on having. Chang Teo has slowly grown out their banchan from just kimchi to include two kinds of pickled radishes and a vegetable dish dressed in sesame seed oil.

For the Korean barbecue, we had Jang Teo Samgyeopsal (P150 per order, 2 order minimum) - thick, fatty slices of pork belly meat. Each order comes with a basket of lettuce, garlic slivers, and chili. I initially thought this wouldn't be enough for the three of us, but they actually cut the pork up some more so it doubles in size. Needless to say, we still had some pork left on the grill by the time we had all given up on chewing.

You can opt to have your server cook your meat for you, or you can just go about it on your own. We had ours cooked for us, and watched as our waitress started coating the grill with a cube of pork fat that came with the dish, giving the plate a shiny glisten before laying out the meat evenly onto the barbie. She also tossed in the slivers of garlic and chilies to soften and release the oil and the flavor.

Every serving of Korean BBQ at Chang Teo also comes with this spicy spring onion banchan you can use to layer your lettuce with. This can also be pretty addicting when on its own, as Justice soon discovered. We had to make a bubble tea run afterwards to get the smell of onion off our breaths. Haha! #BobaLife

Usually, I go for the Dae Pae Samgyeopsal (P120 per order, 2 order minimum) which is leaner and looks more like pork belly shavings. Because they're thinner, they cook faster, but because it cooks faster we also somehow manage to get through twice the amount of this than the thicker cut.

After exuding a lot of patience, the thick pieces of porcine was finally cooked through and just a bit charred, just the way I like it. The garlic and chilies have the same char, and are put to one side for everyone to get a piece when they assemble their little portions of lettuce.

Now comes the fun part - mixing and matching your toppings and figuring out how you want to enjoy your samgyeopsal! I like rolling my meat around in the salt and sesame oil before slathering a good amount of red bean paste on top. Then I prepare my lettuce leaf with a bed of kimchi, a piece of grilled garlic or two, some chilies, and the spring onion banchan, before placing the grilled pork on top and then wrapping it up in a little parcel before fitting the whole thing into my gob. And yes, no rice for me. But feel free to order a cup if you can't live without it.

Another dish that I usually order to accompany my samgyeopsal is the Dok Bok-Gi (P200) or spicy rice cake. This is actually a ramyeon dish (Korean version of ramen) made with gochujang, a fermented, spicy paste made from chili peppers, along with fish cakes, and the cylindrical, boiled rice cakes. Chang Teo's version used to be nice and spicy, but lately they've added pineapple tidbits to the mix, so more people can appreciate the traditional Korean dish with having to drink a pail of water after every bite.

So if you happen to be mucking around BF Homes Parañaque with a fancy for Korean barbecue, check out one of the cheapest Korean restaurant along the strip and enjoy the good food! How expensive does Korean food have to be, anyway?

Just mucking around Manila,
Follow @_muckingaround on Twitter and Instagram.
Like the Mucking Around Manila fan page.

Chang Teo
+63 2 794 2669
218 Aguirre Avenue,
BF Homes, Parañaque
Open Daily: 11am - 2am