Gen Korean BBQ House recently opened to the sound of roaring applause and party music blasting through the sound system. This would be the first time that the owners, David Kim and David Ghim would take their brand outside of America, with the help of the Excello Restaurant Management Group (previously bringing in Wolfgang’s Steakhouse to the Philippines). But why here? David Kim explains that ever since they opened their first branch, the vast majority of their clientele has always been Filipino-Americans, and when he and his partner David Ghim were asked if they’d consider opening a location in the Philippines, they didn’t have to think hard about the decision.
Gen Korean BBQ House is a Korean-American buffet restaurant chain that, as the name implies, specializes in Korean BBQ, but what sets them apart from the ones we’ve grown accustomed to here, is the fact that all their meat is imported from America to maintain—what they believe—a high level of quality control. This control measure is further bolstered by the rigorous training that the Philippines staff underwent in one of Gen’s US locations.
The ribbon cutting ceremony started at roughly 6:15 p.m., with all the key players holding a pair of scissors, and slowly cutting into a banner after a few kind words for the press. We were then ushered into the restaurant, greeted by the mouth watering fumes of grilling meats, upbeat music in the background, and colourful lights that lit a pleasantly dim room. Those of us who’ve had the opportunity to visit any of the American locations of Gen Korean BBQ House will immediately recognize the decor that Gen is known for.
Once we were seated at our tables, the waiters brought in plates of various meats, ready for grilling. Laid before us were plates of beef top blade steak, beef spare ribs, pork belly, pork ribs, garlic chicken, and spicy chicken, all marinated and ready to be cooked on the table top grill provided on every table. Heineken, one of the sponsors, also supplied the event with free flowing Heineken beer. Additional meats and seafood, side order refills, and drinks were also available upon request throughout the night.
The Korean symbol for “Gen” means “The Beginning,” and like the partnership between David Kim, David Ghim, and Excello Restaurant Management Group, this marks the beginning of Gen’s expansion into Asia and other parts of the Philippines (in due time).
Gen Korean BBQ House is located at SM By the Bay, Seaside Blvd. Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, Metro Manila. Gen is open on weekdays from 10am to 3om for lunch, 3pm to 12mn, and from 3pm to 2:00am from Friday to Sunday. Prices range from P798+ for lunch, with 20 different menu items to choose from, and P1288+ for dinner, with 30 different menu items.