New Restaurant Alert: Gen Korean BBQ at SM Mall of Asia, Pasay

Voracious meat eaters will have a field day at this restaurant.

Gen Korean BBQ
Building J, Unit 1-16, SM By the Bay, Seaside Boulevard, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City
Open from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. (Monday to Thursday) and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Friday to Sunday)




( There are all-you-can-eat barbecue places and then there’s Gen Korean BBQ. This chain from Los Angeles is, to cop a term from millennials, “extra AF”. Their first Philippine branch (their first, too, outside the United States) can seat up to 500 people, in a vast space that’ll remind you of a hip bar with neon lights and upbeat pop music. Their prime spot beside the bay also gives them a fantastic view of the sea and the famous Manila Bay sunset. “It’s a great environment for all occasions,” says David Ghim, senior corporate manager of Gen Korean BBQ. “With the music, the view, and things like that. We also serve good alcohol here, good beer. So you could throw a birthday party here, but you could enjoy a date, too.”



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The menu will blow your mind, with over 30 different kinds of cuts to choose from, plus soup and classic Korean dishes. The banchan, beef, pork, and chicken are shipped from the U.S. The only exception is the seafood, which they get locally. “One thing that’s important to us is that the experience is consistent,” says David. “So if you eat here, and then you fly to California and then you eat in Gen there, it’ll be the exact same food.”


Premium Chadol




Grilling Premium Chadol



Woo Beasal


For P798/per person during lunch time (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and P1,288/per person during dinner (3 p.m. to 12 a.m.), you get two hours of feasting, where you can order a steady stream of whatever you want from the menu. It can get incredibly overwhelming especially if you’re new to the experience. You can start with simple, no-fail cuts like the fresh Premium Chadol or thinly-sliced beef brisket, which comes to your table resembling a blossoming flower. The brisket strips are incredibly tender especially when eaten fresh off the grill. The beef is mildly seasoned to let the smoky char shine through, but you can control the flavor with three different kinds of dipping sauce: sesame oil with salt, matcha salt, or a bulgogi sauce. If you want something a little richer, have the Woo Beasal, or beef belly with generous slivers of fat.



Gen Premium Steak


You could also go all out, and treat yourself to steak. At Gen Korean BBQ, you can get a top blade cut when you order Gen Premium Steak. Your server will grill and salt the steak to your liking, and each bite has bits of melt-in-your-mouth fat that make it indulgent.



Red Wine Samgyubsal on the Grill


If you’re a K-barbecue regular, you’ve most likely had samgyupsal or pork belly. But you’ve probably never had it like Gen’s Red Wine Samgyubsal, which, as the name suggests, is pork belly marinated in red wine. The result is pork that’s incredibly fruity, giving a fresh twist to your usual grilled pork belly.



Honey Chicken on the Grill


If you're not in the mood for beef or pork, you can opt to have chicken. The Honey Chicken is sweet with hints of garlic, and it’s so tender and juicy it’ll melt in your mouth.


The incredible variety on Gen's menu already makes them a cut above the rest but David shares that the Gen Korean BBQ experience isn’t just about the food; it’s also about the service. “I encourage our servers to talk to the guests,” he says. “Yes we want to be professional, and yes we want to a certain extent maybe not be so casual, but at the same time I prefer when there's a personal relationship.” He shares that at some of their branches in the U.S., there are diners who would wait longer in line just so they could stay in the area of their favorite server. “It’s like getting served by a friend,” says David. It isn’t an experience you’d typically get at restaurants as big as Gen, but if there’s one thing this restaurant is, it’s over-the-top and beyond the usual, from the food to the service, in the best way possible.



Photos by Jilson Tiu


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