Seoul Train Korean Barbecue in Sgt. Esguerra Avenue is an easy and excellent place to try something new. It was on soft opening when we had our dinner. This restaurant serves delicious Korean food and makes you feel like you’re in a train. The background sound effect goes “choo-choo” repeatedly over KPop music, and we thought it’s cool. Craving for Korean food? You need this in your arsenal. Seoul Train Korean BBQ is the place to come if you like the idea of grilling meat on the table and eating inside a “train.” So go forth with confidence. Your long day at work deserves it.
Review of Seoul Train Korean BBQ (Sgt. Esguerra Avenue, Quezon City)
Korean bands’ logos, pictures of Korean idols, graffiti on the walls, and KPop artists performing on TV. No, these do not depict the actual trains in Korea, but Seoul Train Korean BBQ has a unique ambiance that’s hard not to love. It’s like dining in a train, as you’ll see signages of Korean train stations, directions to exit (way out), car number, stickers for senior citizens’ seats, and more creative visuals.
Outside, the facade of this train-themed restaurant is complete with rails, wipers on windows, and lights. I just didn’t manage to take a picture because it was raining, I didn’t bring an umbrella, and I couldn’t step back. Anyway, entrance to the dining area requires just a push of a button. The door opened automatically as how a real train carriage’s door opens.
In the waiting area, there are different forms of entertainment available for the waiting customers. You can buy a capsule toy (for PhP 60 each), play the claw machine (2 PhP 10 coins) and read some magazine. Seoul Train Korean Barbecue also has a VIP room which can accommodate up to 15 people. If you’re coming with a group this big, a reservation is a must. A consumable price of PhP 3000 on weekdays and PhP 5000 on weekends will be charged.
We booked a reservation ahead of time to make sure we could secure a spot under an hour. The staff strictly told us that we could only stay for 1.5 hours (7:30PM to 9:00PM), but since there wasn’t a heavy flow of new customers coming in that night, we were allowed to stay longer. Servers were courteous and nice, and you can get their attention by raising your hand (per usual) or by pressing the red button (similar to the stop button in a real bus which you press to signal you want to get off).
Most things on the menu looked good, but we chose ones that are more familiar so our taste buds could relate better. 🙂 For starter, we had Haemul Pajeon (PhP 400), the “legendary Korean seafood pancake” that’s crispy on the outside, toasty on the edges, and soft and chewy on the inside. There’s also a vegetarian option available, so if you or your friends are vegetarians, you may request for one.
There is something yummy and heart-warming about a sizzling bowl of bibimbap. A meal unto its own, Dolsot Bibimbap (PhP 350) was a heavenly combination of beef and flavorful vegetables cooked just right.
Tteobokki with Cheese and Noodles (PhP 380) turned out as a heartier version of simple tteokbokki. Tteokbokki is a Korean street food snack made primarily of chewy rice cakes and fiery, funky gochujang chili paste. The final assemblage was unabashedly spicy but impossible to put down. This is the go-to hungry stomach answer for K-Poppers. Eat between sips of cold water if you can’t handle the heat.
The star of the night? Saeng Galbi (PhP 980), of course. For pure meat taste, many Koreans prefer cuts of meat that have no marinade, especially when it’s the primmest beef short ribs you can have. A little salt and perhaps a dash of pepper will do wonders for the house special ssamjang. Banchan and lettuce can be refilled once along as requested. To eat the Korean way, place a leaf of lettuce on your palm, place meat, and a dab of dipping sauce. Then, close the lettuce and enjoy the eruption of heavenly flavors in your mouth.
Kimbap (PhP 210) was made from steamed white rice and various other ingredients, rolled in gim and served in bite-size slices. It’s “Korean sushi” assembled with fillings of different tastes and textures. Yum!
Price for Value:
Sumptuous food, fun atmosphere, and great train-dining experience. Seoul Train Korean Barbecue in Sgt. Esguerra Avenue ticks all of those boxes. Prices don’t come cheap (expect to pay PhP 600-PhP 900 per head) but has fair value. This Korean restaurant offers an intangible thing beyond just the food and service that makes you want to come back.