It's safe to say that these days, it's not anymore difficult to find a Korean barbecue restaurant. Every city has one, even among nearby provinces in the North and South of Manila. The Korean invasion has taken over the Japanese food joints in the country. I'm not just sure if this will be a trend or fad. Same thoughts I have with all the milk tea places sprouting everywhere. 

On top of usual food hubs like Maginhawa and Marikina (the nearest in my residence), shopping malls are always, the reliable source of food discoveries. A few months ago, I chanced Sumo Niku in SM Manila. It has always been crowded. In my mind, maybe an indicator of great food. I thought of letting the "interest" subside. A few weeks ago, I discovered a branch near home. The crowd is still present, but I have some time to spare. So off I tried the place with my friend A.

We tried the Php 499 all in rate and I have to say, I have no regrets. I will not make this post long, yest it's 5 out of 5 stars for me.

B5 - Always a favorite, Enoki mushroom wrapped in thin slices of pork belly - Almost perfect except that I hope they serve in more quantities. 

B1 - US Premium Beef in thin cut slices - Don't ever skip this in your list. It doesn't look like it has been marinated yet the meat is so flavorful. 

P2 - Unmarinated Pork Belly : We added some pepper to taste. A little bland for my taste buds. 

P1 - Black Pepper Pork Belly - Takes a while to grill and better if cut into pieces 

P3 - Spicy Pork Belly is another favorite. Meat is likewise flavorful 

B2 - US Premium Beef in Teriyaki Sauce, another must try!

Surprisingly, I also love their kimchi.

Other things I love about Sumo Niku

1. The grilling machine is perfect. It has enough heat to easily cook the meat. I also appreciate the wax paper as it prevents all the meat and oil residue.

2. The meat are fresh and frozen. Though quite disadvantageous because it needs more  time for grilling. 

3. Place is clean and organized - I've been to a number of korean grill restaurants and I've been meaning to complain of their cleanliness. In Sumo Niku, floors, tables and even utensils are cleaned well. 

4. They use the thicker lettuce, which is fine. I'm actually more concerned with the quality of the lettuce. I've been to other Korean grill places where the leaves are no longer crunchy. Worst, some looked as if it was infested by worms.

5. Minor concern, but the scissors and other utensils are still in great condition. I've been to other Korean grill restaurants where the scissors aren't sharp enough to cut chunk slices of meat. Same goes with the kitchen tongs, which are almost hard to use. Maybe because Sumo Niku is still new? I hope nothing changes on the succeeding months or years. 

Sumo Niku looks like it's aggressively expanding. I've seen a number of branches, especially inside SM Malls. I just hope that the meat and service quality will never change.


PS I feel worried for Metro Manila. The number of COVID-19 cases is escalating. Government has declared lockdown for the city. I'm quite lucky because I work for a school. We are allowed to work from home for one month. I feel worried for my senior citizen parents. The aged members of the populace are often the casualties. :( I have friends and relatives, who still report for work everyday. The kids are deprived of experiencing the normal activities in school. Some businesses suffer. Our health workers are working in extended hours and exposed to higher risk.