CHECK IT OUT: Sambo Kojin at West Avenue, Quezon City

Indulge your grill-it-yourself and eat-all-you-can fantasies.

Sambo Kojin
No. 15 West Avenue, Quezon City
Tel. no. 372-8846 or 921-2873
Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily

From Monday to Friday, Lunch Buffet (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) is at ?499/person and Dinner Buffet (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.) is at ?599/person
On Saturday and Sunday, both Lunch Buffet (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and Dinner Buffet (5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.) are at ?649/person
Children under 4 feet tall are charged ?299/child
*There is an additional ?200 charge if you have leftovers.


Yummy Yakiniku offerings and fun with smokeless grills at Sambo Kojin. Click for more.


( As the youngest member of the "buffet family" that’s made up of Dad’s, Kamayan, and Saisaki, Sambo Kojin’s recently-refurbished West Avenue branch sets itself apart with its hip and you’ve-got-all-the-elbow-room-in-the-world interiors. It features Yakiniku dishes. Think of it this way: "If Korean and Japanese cuisine got married, Yakiniku would be their delicious offspring."



Sambo Kojin boasts of 600 square meters of space. With 54 tables, each seating six, the place is the biggest among Metro Manila’s Sambo Kojin spots. And, oh, its tables also have smokeless grills built into them.


If you’re wary of buffets because of the long lines and the "We ran out of this" moments, a trip to Sambo Kojin will change your mind. For starters, you don’t have to fall in line. Sambo Kojin’s offerings-including the skewered and sliced raw items that are meant to be grilled at the tables-are all displayed in huge chillers which are strategically positioned in the buffet area. The sight also functions as the location’s eye candies. The sushi, sashimi, kimchi, and dessert stations add delightful pops of color that may have you thinking you’re hungrier than you actually are. Takaw-tingin longings are most welcome in buffet settings, but you must pace yourself so you don’t end up with leftovers (the ultimate no-no in Sambo Kojin).


Asked about their decision to display the food in chillers, Sambo Kojin managing director Bokie Vilavicencio explains, "We decided to bring out the kitchen, so to speak. All the food is now displyed in chillers. It’s made our kitchen more efficient and, at the same time, our customers get to see their food options spread out in a more organized fashion. They can see the food up close before they make their pick."


Among the Sambo Kojin crowd favorites are its variety of tempuras, Kamameshi rice, and, of course, the grill-it-yourself line-up of beef, pork, chicken, seafood, and, yes, even vegetables. Villacencio says, "Initially, our focus was really on the beef. Korean-style barbecue is in demand. However, we added more salads and tofu-based dishes for those who aren’t hardcore carnivores."

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The more adventuruous foodie posse can indulge in Ssam-a Korean cuisine staple where leafy greens are used to wrap meat, along with raw or cooked vegetables or spices and kimchi. Sambo Kojin’s resident Korean chef Kevin Huh or any of the staff can show you how it’s done. As for the smokeless grill action, customers can grill their chosen raw item themselves or ask any of the staff to do it for them right at their table. And, no, you won’t smell like grilled food at all.


Amping up the Korean side of the spot, Sambo Kojin will serve Bibimbap-which is rice mixed with meat and vegetables, and then flavored with chili-sometime soon. staff members got to taste the "coming soon" dish and were bowled over by the sumptuous dish. There’s always room for more, right?


All photos by Warren Espejo

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