South Korean culture has heavily influenced our lives in the recent years. It’s ubiquitous, their music, movies, fashion and even food such as the famous Korean BBQ is being offered in almost every corner nowadays. They also have influenced me as I personally love watching their movies, may it be horror, suspense, comedy or romance. Ask me for recommendation of Korean movies to watch and I can give you my list of favorites. 🙂
Now, when it comes to food, there’s a reason why it’s called the most famous cuisine in the country. They offer unlimited pork belly, beef, banchan etc. “Let’s go!” in Korean, Gaja is a direct translation of how they would want their customers to go visit their restaurant.
You can say this to your family or close friends and this what the concept is all about, spending time with family and friends and to bring people together over good food. Gaja Korean Kitchen offers reinvention of the traditional Korean dishes.
This restaurant just opened up few months ago so it looks really neat. I love the painting hanging on its walls as it gave a very Asian vibe. Plus the Soju glasses are very Korean, too.
Chef Justin Tee, the head Chef of Gaja pave the way on changing the perspective of Korean Restaurants in Manila. He’s no stranger to creating wonders in the kitchen and sampling Korean dishes. He won lots of awards such as 2nd Place in Global Taste of Korea Competition in 2014, Grand Prize winner for Cusina Idol in 2013, and Grand Prize winner (team) for Jubilee 2011 International Korean Restaurant Entrepreneurship Contest, Woosong University Global Korean Culinary Arts Department. We’re very fortunate to try the food created by Chef Justin during their opening.
Spicy Salmon and Tuna Kimbap (Php360) – deep fried spicy salmon and tuna kimbap packed with unique flavors from traditional Korean ingredients
Samgyeopsal Kimbap (Php360) – samjiang rice, pickled radish, lettuce, garlic confit, and kimchi wrapped in thin slices of samgyeopsal
Kimbap Aburi (Php360) – Beef bulgogi kimbap wrapped with roasted seaweed topped with cheesy lava aburi sauce
All the Kimbap’s tasted really good. Just make sure to consume it experience the best of it. For me, what stood out the most was the Kimbap Aburi because of its cheese.
Deep Sea Pajeon (Php450) – Crisp Korean Pancake with mixed seafood to be dipped in spicy Hwarang sauce
When dining in a restaurant, I make it a point and check if they have this on the menu. I just love this Korean Pancake. Their version was probably the best there is. It’s full of seafood, too. I enjoyed dipping it on the sauce but not to worry as it wasn’t that spicy.
K-Taco (Php320) – 6 pieces of house-made kimchi tortilla with Korean pulled pork and pickled vegetables
The Tortilla was a bit sloppy similar to pancakes. I was just not used to eating a Tortilla with this texture. I liked it crispy. But nevertheless, this is still one good Tortilla. Toppings were flavorful.
Ribimbap – rib eye cubes, mushrooms, mixed vegetables, egg, and gochujang butter
It’s lovely as it looks. All the flavors in here was just overwhelmingly good.
Honey Butter Chicken (Php375) – twice fried beer battered chicken thigh fillets, honey butter sauce, almond, pickled radish, rice puff
This is definitely something that you will love as this is the most familiar to our taste. The batter was light and the coating gave it a sweet-savory taste to it.
Yangnyeom Fried Chicken (Php375) – twice fried beer battered chicken thigh fillets, Yangnyeom sauce, pickled radish, rice puff
Now, this is what I prefer. I love how tangy it was. It stays for awhile but then, you will keep on munching some more. Totally addicting pieces of chicken here.
Galbi-jjim (Php850) – 48-hour sous vide Kitayama Wagyu short ribs served with mushroom duxelle, potato and carrot puree
If there’s one dish that I highly recommend, it would be Galbi-jjim. Because of the cooking process, the result was satisfying. The fall of the bone ribs and its sauce were really mouthwatering. Add the puree potato and carrot on the side, it truly is the perfect dish.
Osam (Php450) – whole squid stuffed with stir-fried rice, slow braised pressed pork belly with crispy crackling and Spicy Korean sauce
The squid was cooked perfectly. It was tender and the flavors of the fried rice seeped through. The pork had an interesting consistency of portions. The skin was crispy, the fat was so soft, it literally melts in your mouth, while the meat was tender.
Bibimyeon – traditional cold-spicy buckwheat noodles
I am not a fan of cold noodles but this one made me eat a lot.
Seafood Sundubu Jjiggae – a popular choice among Koreans. Spicy soft tofu soup mixed with seafood
Korean Chili Lava Cake – chocolate lava cake infused with Korean chili powder, served with Vanilla ice cream
This is really interesting. It might taste sweet on your first bite but will have the heat after another. It’s good to have a some vanilla ice cream when you feel the spiciness starts to kick in.
It was really an amazing dining experience here at Gaja Korean Kitchen. All the food seemed to be familiar yet new to me. The twist that they did in each and every dishes sure made it more appetizing, fun and intriguing at the same time. So, bring your family and friends to Gaja Korean Kitchen today to experience traditional yet modern twist to your favorite Korean dishes.
Address: 8445 Kalayaan Avenue Brgy. Poblacion, Makati City