Friday, February 26, 2016

First bite at Rock & Seoul

We were at SM The Block one morning and decided to drop by Rock & Seoul, a new Korean restaurant that offers "Make Your Own Bap;" customers are given the chance to choose the ingredients for their bibimbap if they don't like any of the fixed bibimbap variants of the restaurant.

For lunch, first on our table was the Classic Original Bibimbap (Php 210). It had minced beef, vegetables (carrots, bean sprouts, spinach, zucchini), and a sunny-side-up egg as topping. To flavor this dish, the restaurant used the staple gochujang (hot pepper paste) and some kimchi butter.

This dish was surprisingly bland. In fact, it was so bland, we had to get more gochujang for an additional Php 15! Doing this gave us the opportunity to taste the sauce itself. It had heat, but almost no flavor, none of the sharp, slightly acidic taste that gochujang should have. Also, the sauce was a tad too watery.

The beef tasted funny, not so fresh. But the vegetable were nice and delicious.

For our second dish, we chose to Make Our Own Bap (Php 290). For our "1 meat," we got the Korean Fried Chicken. For the "4 vegetables," we got carrots, Sautéed Button Mushrooms, Garlic Spinach, and corn kernels. Finally, for our "1 Sauce" we chose the restaurant's own mix, the House Bap Sauce.

Just like our first dish, this came with a sunny-side-up egg and kimchi butter. But, just like the first dish, our concoction was bland, disappointingly bland. And there was nothing "Korean" about our chicken. It was just lightly salted, and it had a funny, not-that-fresh undertone.

As for the vegetables, they were fresh and delicious. But we didn't sense anything garlicky about the spinach, and the mushrooms didn't taste sautéed.

Another thing we noticed: the serving size didn't fit the prices we paid. Ang konti!

All in all, our first experience was not rocking, disappointing. We figured that we don't mind not coming back, that if we want delicious bibimbap, we'll go to Oriental Seoul. Mura pa.

Rock & Seoul is on the upper ground floor of SM The Block.

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