In the Philippines, it is not surprising that the majority of young people love Korean food, especially students and millennials. In Cebu city, there are almost Korean restaurants everywhere in the street, but not all of them are affordable.
Luckily, there is a Korean restaurant that is considered student-friendly, and affordable. This restaurant is called a Barangay Seoul. It is a Korean buffet restaurant that offers great side dishes, unlimited instant noodles, and grilling the pork meat.
Location and the Price
This restaurant is located in Maria Christina Extension Street in Cebu City, which is found in the same hotel building called Executive Royal Inn. If you are not familiar with that place, it is on the same road where a new Robinson supermarket is found.
A price is a reason why many customers are coming to this restaurant. In my experience, the place is always full, especially at night time. During the evening, every time I passed through this road, I see people waiting outside just to go in.
At lunchtime between 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, the price is 299 per head. While at dinner between 5:00 pm to 12:00 am and holidays/weekends, the price is 349 per head. Please take note that the price does not include drinks. Meaning if you will like to order soft drinks or ice tea, you will have to pay an additional price.
My Experience in Barangay Seoul
First of all, I went to Barangay Seoul twice, and the place is very crowded. There is no way you will be lucky enough to find a few customers. The locals love Korean food, and the affordability of the price is what causes the congestion inside the restaurant. I never go there at night time. That is because it is so crowded and you have to wait in line. At least at noontime, it's still crowded but not as bad as dinner time.
When I went inside, we were lucky there was only one table good for two persons, which is me and my brother. There were many to choose:
First of all, they have the main dishes, which are the kimchi fried rice, a noodle and chicken dish. They also have two meat dishes which one of them is pork and beef. They all look like a red sauce, which probably added a red pepper sauce or gochujang on it.
In addition to that, they also have side dishes, which include corn, kimchi, coleslaw, and other side dishes such as boiled egg, french fries, cabbage and some other sauces I am not familiar with.
Lastly, they have several instant noodles or ramen where you can choose and boiled them. You can even customize them by adding the boiled egg, or other side dishes found in the Barangay Seoul. I noticed many are adding a boiled egg, spring onion, and other side dishes to make their Korean version of ramen noodle.
We did not do grilling here because we don't eat pork, so instead, we choose the foods that were provided in the tables. I am a bit disappointed that they dont have beef or chicken meat to grill. However, it is understandable since the rate of the buffet is pretty cheap. I brought kimchi fried rice, a chicken dish, noodles, and other side dishes that look appetizing. I also made my instant noodle which I added egg and spring onion. But, I did not take a picture since it looks messy.
My Review in Barangay Seoul
The price is very affordable which satisfied me since we can choose varieties of Korean food we like. For the price of 349 Philippine pesos, this is worth it.
The Kimchi Fried Rice and the noodle tasted delicious and it is well seasoned. The side dishes also taste good, but not the best side dishes I tried. Also, the chicken dish is a bit too sweet, which I don't like sweet food. I haven't tried grilling there, but my friend told me it tastes really good.
My only concern that Barangay Seoul does not taste like an authentic Korean restaurant. I tried an authentic Korean restaurant, and the taste is very different from Barangay Seoul. I don't taste red chili pepper in their dishes, and it is mostly sweet. In my opinion, it looks like a Filipino version of a Korean restaurant which is considered delicious among locals. I am satisfied with the food in barangay Seoul, but I prefer eating authentic Korean food, and not fusion food.
Also, although there are many tables, the place is too crowded, which I don't find it comfortable sitting there. It is hard to walk around since there are only a few foods to choose from, and many people waiting for their turn. The worst part is the food runs out fast, and you have to wait for the staff to refill them. If you take privacy or personal space seriously, then Barangay Seoul is not a suitable place to eat. In addition to that, there are only a few car parking in this restaurant. I am using a car, and I am having difficulty to find parking.
My rating of Barangay Seoul will be 7/10
- The Food: 7/10 (The food does not taste authentic, and some of them tasted sweet which is not common in korean restaurants)
- The Price: 9/10 (The price is very affordable, however, the drinks is not included)
- The Customer Service: N/A (We are basically picking the food ourselves. The staff only refill them, and get our bills).
- The Environment and Sanitation: 5/10 (The place is too small and crowded. Difficult to walk around because of limited food choices. And very limited car parking area).
Barangay Seoul is one of the most popular Korean buffet restaurants in Cebu City. Although their main dishes are limited and it is not authentic Korean food, I am still satisfied eating there since it is delicious and affordable. I will be happy to go back there again, but not at dinner since at that time it will be too congested.