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MANILA, Philippines – There’s no denying that Korean culture has taken the Philippines by storm. More than the invasion of K-pop, K-beauty, and K-dramas, K-food has also been making its way into the Metro Manila scene.
Here are some of the popular South Korea-based restaurant chains that Filipinos have warmly said annyeonghaseyo to!
French-style South Korean bakery Paris Baguette announced in August that it was set to open in the Philippines during the fourth quarter of 2023. Its exact Metro Manila location has yet to be announced.
Paris Baguette Philippines will continue expanding via multiple stores in “key cities nationwide” and sell its European-inspired baked goods like croissants, baguettes, donuts, cheese tarts, cheesecakes, danishes, tiered cakes, and hopefully, its Guinness award-winning best-seller: the Silky Roll Cake!
The leading bakery chain was founded in 1988 and has since expanded globally with over 3,500 stores in South Korea alone. It has over 480 locations abroad.
The popular brand has also been spotted in different corners of Korean popular culture, such as in K-dramas The King: Eternal Monarch and The Best Hit. K-pop’s 2PM and Lee Mu-jin have also partnered with the brand in the past, among other Korean celebrities.
Popular Korean barbecue chain Saemaeul BBQ Restaurant opened its first Metro Manila branch in K-Park, Level 4 of Glorietta 1 Mall, Makati City last July. Saemauel is owned by South Korean celebrity chef and CEO of The Born Jong Won-paik.
Saemaeul BBQ Restaurant’s Philippine menu includes its signature barbecue offerings, like the best-selling Spicy Yeoltan Bulgogi, Soy Sauce Yeoltan Bulgogi, Ogyeopsal, Yangnyeom Pork Gui, and Samgeyopsal, plus kimchi and pork stew and other authentic Korean dishes.
“The Original Korean BBQ Restaurant” originated in Seoul and has since expanded to several branches in major cities, as well as abroad like in the United States.
Also owned by South Korean celebrity chef and entrepreneur Jong Won-paik, the self-named Paik’s Coffee opened its first Metro Manila café at the fourth floor of Glorietta 1, Makati City last February (it’s right next to Saemaeul, too). Paik’s Coffee opened two other branches in Bonifacio Global City and Robinsons Place Manila, with plans to open in Robinsons Magnolia, Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Metro East, and Robinsons Antipolo soon.
The Korean coffee budget chain sells hot and iced coffee, tea, ice cream, yogurt smoothies, milk tea, fruit refreshers, and freshly-baked pastries.
Paik’s Coffee, one of Korea’s largest coffee chains with over 1,000 branches so far, was founded by Paik Jong-won in 2006. It is also popular in Singapore.
Paik is the host for SBS cooking TV series Baek Jong-won’s Top 3 Chef King, Baek Jong-won’s Food Truck, and Baek Jong-won’s Alley Restaurant. He also released Baek Spirit on Netflix in 2021.
O’ Mango Six
Popular K-drama café O’ Mango Six opened its first Philippine outpost in May at Aseana 3 Building, East Tower, Aseana Avenue, Parañaque City.
O’ Mango Six may be familiar to many K-drama enthusiasts – the iconic location has been used for several top-rated K-drama series like 2013’s The Heirs, 2012’s Gentleman’s Dignity, and 2015’s Kill Me Heal Me, where the mango cream smoothie, mango coconut, and mango strawberry smoothie were featured.
The café is known for its savory pastries and signature beverage menu like the Honey Americano, Coconut Coffee, and Oriental Latte. Most of its drinks – the coffee-based “mangocinno” drinks and non-caffeinated “mangocinno” drinks in mint mocha, java chip, Oreo, and green tea flavors – are made with fresh mango and Hawaiian Kona coffee.
In November 2022, Korea’s famous fried chicken joint bb.q Chicken opened at the second level of Bonifacio High Street Central, Taguig City. Last July, it opened a second branch at the third floor of Robinsons Magnolia.
bb.q Chicken, which stands for “Best of the Best Quality,” is the same franchise featured in popular K-dramas like Goblin, The King: Eternal Monarch, and Crash Landing on You. Here you can get the chain’s Crispy Golden Fried Chicken with pickled radish, Hot Crispy Chicken, Secret Chicken, tteokbokki, sundubu jigae, kimchi fried rice, and more Korean dishes.
bb.q Chicken is set to open another branch in Okada Manila in the near future.
bb.q Chicken was founded in Korea in 1995 and is now a worldwide name with over 3,500 branches in 57 countries. The brand prides itself on its popular use of pure olive oil for deep-frying, which makes the chicken delicately crunchy but not overly greasy, heavy, or fatty, either. – Rappler.com