During my first trip to Korea back in 2004, some of my choirmates tried Galbi (cook-it-yourself smokeless grill) maybe twice or thrice in the entire trip. It cost a lot, but filled our tummies so well.

Here in my neighborhood, there’s a small Korean community and a number of Korean restaurants have sprouted. I always see this small Korean resto and I knew it had Galbi.

I tried it out one night. Here’s a look at what I had devoured.

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My order included the meat (I got the smallest plate which had five thin slices of life-threatening pork belly. Along with the side dishes, plus hot kimchi soup and rice, it was more than enough for hungry me!

The waiter forgot to give me the greens though. I realized this after he gave a basketful to the mother-daughter customers across me. I was halfway through my meal by then, and I didn’t mind anymore because I was getting full!

Price is P250 for the smallest serving good for one. Add P50 for rice. Fair enough, I said, as I was sipping the soup while waiting for my meat to cook. Just like as I was in the Galbi restaurants in Korea.

From Korea, let’s go to Japan! No, I haven’t been here, sadly, but I discovered another cook-it-yourself grill, and probably a lot of people know it: Pepper Lunch.

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That was my then uncooked plate of Beef Pepper Rice, their most basic plate and the cheapest there was. For about the same price of the Korean Galbi, you could experience cooking your own pepper rice, in less than two minutes! Just mix, mix, mix!

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And I devoured the plateful by my lonesome. I tried this before 2012 ended, when my husband and I scheduled our separate me-times. Must go back with the fam soon!

So take your pick: Korea one day, then Japan the next. Let me know what you’ve tried.

~ Touringkitty

The Korean Restaurant is located at Leveriza Street that borders Manila and Pasay City. There’s no signage but the gate is orange and near Wesleyan College of Manila.

Pepper Lunch has lots of branches already. I went to MOA on a weekday so the service was quick.

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