I think it’s pretty obvious with these last two posts how much I’m missing South Korea at the moment. The only thing I can do to help myself get through is by eating my favorite Korean dishes, so I decided to put my cravings to good use by finally checking out Sibyullee at Ayala Malls The 30th. My first introduction to Sibyullee was through a photo of their Kimchi Volcano Fried Rice. Gradually, I started seeing more photos of their food online, and my impression was that this restaurant was serving modernized versions of the Korean food I love from the streets of Seoul.
Sibyullee is billed as a step-up from its younger and more casual sibling, Soban K-Town Grill. I’ve tried that place and it was okay, so I was expecting my experience here to be above average.
The inspiration behind the interior design of the restaurant is actually a “hanok” or traditional Korean house, although to be honest I can’t really see it through all this modern touches. Not to say that’s a bad thing. I actually quite like this bright and clean vibe the restaurant gives.
The plants add a very inviting touch. It almost feels like you’re about to have a meal in a very classy garden cafe, if only garden cafes had customized copper BBQ hoods that is. This place is different and I quite like it!
Even though I’ve been to Korea a couple of times, I haven’t been able to try their popular Korean Cheese BBQ yet. I did promise to rectify that on my next trip, but getting the chance to somehow satiate that hunger without booking a plane ticket was also appealing. Upon seeing that Sibyullee’s Korean Cheese BBQ experience was getting a lot of good reviews, I was prepared to make the drive all the way to Ayala Malls The 30th just to try it out.
Their menu is a thing of a beauty. It’s impossible not to flip through it and not want to try everything. It’s a good thing they give you the chance to try a lot of their dishes through their combo sets. You get to save a bit of cash too compared to ordering each dish separately.
I don’t know what started this obsession with cheese the Koreans have, but I am so onboard I even make sure we always have sliced cheese in the fridge haha! Here at home, we’ve adapted their love for adding cheese to spicy stuff– from nuclear instant ramen to tteokbokki to barbecued spicy chicken on a stick… It just works! There’s no reason why mixing it in with Korean BBQ shouldn’t, am I right?
No proper Korean restaurant would skip serving banchan or Korean side dishes, and here at Sibyullee, banchan is unlimited. Yay! Their kimchi is actually pretty good, but it’s the pickled radish and the sweet-salty peanut-anchovy brittle I couldn’t stop munching on as well. I had to stop myself or risk spoiling my appetite for the combo set we ordered!
Signature BBQ Combo Set 2 (Php 2,000)
After debating for what seemed like eternity, my brothers and I decided to go for this particular combo set. It’s a four person set, which was perfect since there were four of us too. The set consists of 200 grams Samgyupsal (Pork Belly) and 200 grams Fresh USDA Choice Woo Samgyup (Beef Belly).
For the samgyupsal, you can actually choose between marinated or fresh, but we went for the plain one since we wanted to enjoy the natural flavors of the meat.
Meanwhile, the Woo Samgyup or beef belly just comes in its fresh un-marinated state. I always think that this is the best way to see if the meat is of good quality. I really think the meat here is not bad at all.
You can cook the meats on your own, or you can ask your server to help you out to make things go faster. This way, you get to enjoy the meat hot off the grill. (I know for a fact that if you’re the one cooking you always get to eat last. I’m usually that person haha!) I loved wrapping these tasty and juicy meats in lettuce (which is also refillable), topped with garlic, a small piece of kimchi, and ssamjang. I love eating my ssam in one bite like the Koreans do!
Also a part of this combo set is a full hot plate of Dakgogi Cheese BBQ, which is basically marinated chicken cooked with vegetables, rice cakes, and potatoes. On two sides are the cheeses that melt and turn into your dips, and on the other two slots you get some buttered corn and omelet.
This was one of the highlights of this set obviously. We were all very excited as we watched that cheese melt and start to bubble away.
Your server will help you cook the meat with the veggies and the rice cake in the middle of the pan, and it’ll be ready right about the same time your cheese melts.
Now all you have to do is dip your chicken, roll it around in that oozing cheese, and devour.
To fill you up is a giant serving of Haemul Pajeon, which is their signature seafood pancake with squid, shrimp, mussels, and green onion. It’s one of the better ones I’ve had locally, I must say.
Finally for the rice, you can choose to get either a big bowl of Volcano Kimchi Fried Rice with 2 plain rice, OR 2 servings of Dolsot Bibimbap. Of course, we went for the Kimchi Fried Rice option since that’s what drew us here in the first place.
They bring out this wok where the kimchi fried rice sits in the middle of a pool of cheese sauce. But that’s not all, they actually have a small pitcher of more cheese sauce, which they pour into an indentation on top of the rice.
Once the sauce starts to bubble, the server cuts through the rice to let the “lava” flow down. The cheese is then mixed with the rice until it turns into this glistening cheesy mass. So rich, spicy, and delicious, but ultimately it is so indulgent you have to share it with others.
This set also comes with 4 bowls of soup that taste like a clean soellongtang broth.
This was a lot of food for four people! Even though I had three hungry boys with me, it wasn’t easy to finish everything. The pajeon in particular was extra filling.
Soondubu Chigae (Php 300)
And as if the Combo Set wasn’t enough already, we decided to order a stew as well, just because Korean meals feel incomplete without one chigae dish on the table. (This is just us of course.) The one we ordered is a tofu stew that is hot and spicy, mixed with pork and clams. Just a classic stew which Sibyullee thankfully didn’t fuss around with too much.
I love Korean stews for their soul-warming nature. Most of them are hot and spicy, but they are also comfortingly flavorful. They are particularly delicious to eat during the very cold winters in Korea. Regardless of the season however, they are always a perfect accompaniment to Korean rice, whether plain or multi-grain. Yum!
Pink Lemonade (Php 115 for Bottomless) & Mango Banana Shake (Php 105)
If you’re looking for something sweet to cleanse your palate between all the flavorful dishes served here at Sibyullee, they’ve got some tall glasses of sweet juices and shakes. I actually wanted to order dessert, but we were too full by the time we finished the meal. Maybe next time!
The Signature BBQ Combo Set is definitely great value for money at Php 2,000. If you compute everything that’s part of the set in terms of ala carte pricing it goes way over that amount. Portion-wise, I think it would be more appropriate to say that this set is for 6 people, but I’m not sure if they allow that sort of arrangement. Considering the amount of food you do get, as well as the quality, I think this price is a very fair one. Not to mention, everything we ate was delicious!
Sibyullee really met my expectations in terms of their food, but I also want to commend their service. The staff were fast, efficient, and very attentive. Our server made sure we got all the banchan we would ever need, and we never had to ask twice for anything. As a matter of fact, when I ate in Soban, I remember that the service was pretty good too. (The food here is much better though!) I’m going to start expecting this kind of great service from all Happyfoods Group restaurants.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5