A Korean Saturday at Baek Yuen

Disclaimer: This is a trial food blog entry

I’ve been living at Bacoor, Cavite for the past 27 years and I’m proud to say that I belong to a friendly loyal neighborhood with whom I’ve spent entirely all my life. One of the families I grew up closely with are the Balmeses. Tito Ave is my godfather at kumpil and Avel (one of the Balmes sibs) is my father’s godchild. So, they are literally my second family. When I am nowhere to be found at the comfort of my home, you’d find me at their place eating or simply taking advantage of their wifi. I may be of age already but my father is a very strict parent, but once he knew I’m with them, he doesn’t mind at all kahit pa siguro huwag ako umuwi for a couple of days. Haha!

One of the Balmes siblings—Marilyn aka Tootzie celebrated her birthday last April with a simple family lunch out. And as a super addict Kpop fan like she is, she opted for none other than (of course) Korean food. She found a restaurant, BAEK YUEN through internet which is located at Silang, Cavite and off we went. We’re not familiar with the exact location since we’re all first timers so we used the Waze app. It took us over an hour to get there with slight traffic.


But beware: WAG SUNDIN SI WAZE! The directions were right, but when we reached Silang, mali yung exact location na pinipin-point ni Waze. Ang ituturo niya ay bakanteng lote na puro halaman. I repeat: MALI YUNG TINUTURO NI WAZE! (well I hope the Waze team will change and fix it eventually). We “sort of” got lost, haha not really, pero nalagpasan namen yung location. Good thing it’s along Emilio Aguinaldo highway lang naman and we made a U-turn bago pa kami makarating ng Tagaytay proper. And tadah, we found it!

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facade photo grabbed from OneRice ph

The restaurant itself is located on the left side of the road (if you’re heading towards Tagaytay), and it stands together with other Korean stores. There’s Good Morning Mart, which only sells Korean food and products. There’s also a fruit/shake merienda store which I forgot the name haha. There’s a massage spa, and I was surprised that there’s a Korean pool resort at the back. It’s actually pretty cool. Dati ko pa napapansin yung kahabaan ng Korean establishments na yun whenever I go to Tagaytay but I never really tried to stop there. I didn’t even know there’s a Korean convenience store in Cavite. Haha!

Back to Baek Yuen—when we got inside we were welcomed by the staff and since it’s lunch time pa lang, walang masyadong tao. I honestly am not familiar regarding Korean food (magaling lang ako kumaen haha). The birthday girl ordered and all I did was to wait, look around and think how would I be able to eat properly using stainless chopsticks. Ang dulas kaya. (I asked for wooden chopsticks after few minutes of eating because I got frustrated) Haha! I was glad that the waitress herself knows her game. She can answer any question clearly about their menu, okay na okay yun for non-Korean customers like me na walang alam.

So here are some of the food(s) that we ordered:

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Hotpot with their 6 free side dishes. The soup composed of noodles, crab sticks, tofu and meatloaf-like slices, hotdogs, and veggies. This dish is so aromatic and delectable. And the components went well with one another. This whole hotpot can satisfy around 8 tummies.

Below the hotpot you can see a black bowl dish thing, it’s actually a Bibimbap. And it tasted good too. Be sure to mix it very well before eating.
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The six free side dishes up close: (from left to right) spiced togue, pickled eggplant, fish balls, another eggplant side dish (that I don’t know what it’s called haha sorry), potatoes, and the famous kimchi.

What I really love about Korean restaurants is that they serve a lot of side dishes on cute little plates and it’s refillable for free. I find these appetizing and I couldn’t stop myself from munching all of it. Natuwa ako sa togue because it’s bigger than the average that I usually see in the market. I think it’s a different bean variety. Ang laki eh, parang giant munggo. Haha! Anyway, the kimchi’s not too overwhelming. I think this one’s the best and freshest kimchi I have tasted by far.

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Yes this is the kind of dish where you’re supposed to put the meat in a leaf veggie, roll it like a lumpia then eat it with just one bite. I loved this! The lettuce is fresh and crisp, and the pork meat is soooo flavorful! I could eat this all day.

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Kimbap. Hmm.. I’m not quite pretty sure how to describe this. I am a big fan of sushi and maki, and for me this is just okay. I guess I couldn’t rate this enough because either I was too full already to enjoy this or I only had one. Haha! Frankly, it tasted nice as it looks, but it’s forgettable. Or maybe I should have eaten at least 3 pieces to fully savor it.

We also ordered their Korean-style chicken (No photo though). The meat is so tender, one bite from it I asked myself if it’s real chicken. Haha. It tasted yummy and it has a nice balance of flavor—not too spicy and not too sweet. It reminded me of buffalo wings but on a lighter Asian side.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture photographs of everything including the entire restaurant and I’m so sorry if I didn’t get the proper names of all the dishes because I got excited with food at gutom na rin kami because it was already passed 1pm. (Pero ang totoo niyan, wala pa talaga sa isip ko ang mag-blog nung panahon na ‘to, so kulang-kulang ang post ko at hindi ako ready haha) But if you were to ask me what the whole place looks like, it is simple and homey, with basic wood Korean-like interior. They also have a separate area for those who wanted to eat real Asian style—where you’d literally sit on the floormat only wearing slippers or socks. I find it cute but you will never see me eating that way hehe. The restaurant itself might not look high-end, but I tell you it’s legit. I mean, the food they serve tasted AUTHENTIC KOREAN! Hindi siya puchu-puchu. The owners are real Korean people at may mga Korean customers din silang dumadayo at kumakain. For a non-spicy and non-kimchi lover like me, I enjoyed the food so much! But the birthday girl mentioned that she’d rather much enjoy it if they made the food spicier. Well I guess the owners wanted their dishes on “default” level because not all customers can tolerate much heat. The food(s) in the menu and servings were reasonably priced and we’re all satisfied. Overall it was a nice dining experience.

I can say that Baek Yuen is one of those low-key underrated authentic Korean restaurants in Cavite that is surely worth the try. It’s been around for years now but it was only this April that we got the chance to dine. I think their hotpot soup is a good alternative for bulalo after a beer drinking spree in case hindi ka na makaabot ng Tagaytay. Haha! Will I come back? Of course! Kahit medyo malayo, this would probably be our barkada’s go-to restaurant to satisfy our Korean food craving.

outside

After lunch we decided to look around the vicinity. Here are the Balmes sibs outside Baek Yuen

goodies

And here are some Korean goodies inside Good Morning Mart. By the way, if you’re craving for Korean ice cream (which we all totally love; hello Melona and Samanco!) I suggest that you buy from a real Korean convenience store such as this one. The prices are much cheaper here compared to our local supermarkets. (Someday I’ll hoard Korean goodies and film a first-time-to-eat-what-snacks video)

group complete

Thank you Balmeses for always feeding me! Of course, hindi mawawala ang trademark Korean heart finger pose. Hehe 😀

Here’s their location map (na I think hindi naman makakatulong haha). It’s easy to find actually. It’s located along the road bago yung mga various stalls na nagtitinda ng mga halaman, bulaklak at fruits. Or just look at your left, pag may nakita kang puro Korean ang nakasulat na magkakasunud-sunod, dun na yun. Or use Waze sige but when you reached Silang stop using it. Haha!
map
________________________________________________________________________________________
BAEK YUEN KOREAN RESTAURANT
Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo Highway,
Silang, Cavite
Open DAILY: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
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