I’d like to start my review with a little confession: I’m not a fan of Korean food. If you asked me right now what I wanted for dinner, Korean wouldn’t even come to mind. In fact, I’ve been to exactly one other Korean place (the big, flashy one in BGC) and that was for a work thing, so far be it for me to act as an expert on the subject. On the other hand, I think my position allows me to give a fair assessment of this restaurant as a service to people who, like me, have little to no experience with the cuisine, so here goes.
Day Don Don Don Korean Buffet (more commonly known as Don Day) is a small joint along Quezon Avenue. Located far from common night haunts like Makati and BGC, it’s still a popular spot for lovers of both the cuisine and the lifestyle. The place very much spells mom-and-pop (and not just because it’s run by a husband-and-wife team): it’s pretty cozy, not at all flashy, and with a bit of K-Pop piping in the background. According to the friends I went there with (who have eaten there numerous times), we were lucky to be there when the place wasn’t so packed; on particularly busy days, they said, it’s damn near impossible to nab a table.
The restaurant’s main offering is the unlimited samgyupsal, or grilled pork belly which you get to grill right on the table yourself. If you’re willing to shell out a bit more, you can get the unlimited beef experience too. At the buffet table, you’ve got your soups, your appetizers and your mains. I wasn’t really blown away by the spread (everything had a touch of sweetness to it, which I didn’t particularly like), but I did like the deep-fried pork that looks and tastes like lechon kawali (which is not a bad thing at all).
The buffet also contains everything you need to eat with your samgyupsal: kimchi, radish, raw onion, and bean paste, which you cram into a single lettuce leaf along with a bit of pork belly. The fact that you’re piling on so much in every bite is pretty satisfying, I have to say. After a few mouthfuls of lettuce wraps, I was getting so full I decided to stick with popping just slices of pork in my mouth, which was a bit like snacking on bacon. I did find myself missing a bit of heat, though, which I didn’t get enough of from the kimchi.
They don’t really have anything on the menu by way of dessert, but they do have a freezer full of Korean ice cream for you to choose from.
At the end of the day, Don Day wasn’t really a life-changing experience for me. But while it didn’t convert me into a devoted fan of Korean food, but I will give it a thumbs-up for the reasonable price, good service, and clean surroundings.
Overall rating: ★★★✭☆
Don Day – Day Don Don Don Korean Buffet
Sunshine Boulevard, Tomas Morato, Quezon City
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