First Namoo House PH: Where to get your next Korean barbecue fix

Vernise Tantuco
First Namoo House PH: Where to get your next Korean barbecue fix
At the first international branch of this premium barbecue house, they're serving aged USDA prime beef, Kurobota pork belly, and more

MANILA, Philippines – Craving some Korean barbecue? The Seoul-based restaurant Namoo House has set up their first international shop in Manila, and they’re serving up Korean cuisine the only way they know how.

Namoo House Premium Korean Barbecue, also known as Maple Tree House, opened to the public on Tuesday, August 2, and according to co-owner Jun Park, they stick to the same recipes that they serve in their other 4 branches in Seoul – even the spicy ones.

Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler

Inside, the restaurant at Uptown Parade looks Korean with a modern twist. A wall is lined with green soju bottles, while a screen of maple branches separate the entryway from the rest of the restaurant.

Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler

Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler  

Everything else – their tables, exhausts, and stoves – is stone and copper, with illustrations of their menu on the walls.

Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler

As is usual at Korean restaurants, Namoo House serves pickled appetizers before their customers get their mains. Among the appetizers at the press preview on their opening day was a salad tossed in their own homemade dressing.

Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler

There were two aged USDA prime steaks cooked and served at our table – a tender, flavorful prime striploin (150g, P795) and a rib-eye (150g, P950).

Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler

Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler

According Jun, their steaks are aged for a minimum of two weeks and they’re the best – Namoo House isn’t called a “premium” Korean barbecue because it’s a fancy restaurant, but because of their quality meat.

Also cooked at our table’s grill were sweet marinated boneless short ribs (P750), best eaten with a piece of pineapple.

Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler

Another pork dish was the Kurobota pork belly (P475), cooked with a black pork imported from Japan specially for Namoo House’s Philippine branch. In Korea, Namoo House’s pork is sourced locally.

Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler

No Korean restaurant would be complete without the classics. Namoo House serves a regular bibimbap (P350) and a stone bowl bibimbap (P395), which will keep hot and cook the rice to a nice crisp.

Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler

Namoo House’s rice is a mix of black rice and white rice – a healthier alternative to just plain white rice – whether it’s in the bibimbap or a separate bowl on its own.

Bean paste stew (small – P195, large – P350) is also a Korean staple, and this salty, spicy soup is perfect for warming up on a rainy day.

Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler

Last on the menu was the special jumbo beef rib soup (P475), which can be a meal on its own with its glass noodles and beef back ribs. The beef can be dipped in a special sweet wasabi sauce too, an interesting flavor that had everyone at our table guessing at what it was.

Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler

To wash everything down at the end of a meal, Namoo House serves a sweet, refreshing plum juice to all their customers.

Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler

Will you be trying out Namoo House soon? Let us know what you think of the restaurant in the comments! – Rappler.com

Namoo House Premium Korean Barbecue is located in Uptown parade, Bonifacio Global City, 38th cor 11th Avenue, Taguig. For reservations, call 9463733 or 09175273898. 

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Vernise Tantuco

Vernise Tantuco is on Rappler's Research Team, fact checking suspicious claims, wrangling data, and telling stories that need to be heard.