The year 2016 has been amazing for Paisley Purpose, and I’m extremely honored to wrap it up with a blogger invite from up and coming Korean resto Yeongyang Hansik 😀 Located at Madison Commons Food Park on Brixton Street, Kapitolyo in Pasig, they’re currently on the first few weeks of their soft opening. Congratulations, guys!
A total spur of the moment decision led to my first visit to, and first taste of, Yeongyang Hansik (Yeongyang is “nourishing” in Hangul, while Hansik is “Korean manner of cooking”). After trying out a few of their staples, I say, get ready to say “annyeong” to your new go-to for fresh Korean food choices with a healthy Pinoy twist.
Prior to the visit, I’ve never been to Kapitolyo, so finding the place was quite an adventure: hours of traffic, walking, and two tricycle rides from Robinsons Forum (I came from Ayala). Because I wasn’t familiar with Madison Commons, and the store display wasn’t up yet, I had to call the resto to find out where they are.
Owner Richard Yu answered and showed up shortly after. He gave me a brief tour of the place, and I saw their kitchen, cooking process, and menu, which resembled scenes from Korean series.
The First Taste
The series-ish ambience was highlighted even more when the food came. Richard first served a bowl of hot beef stew, in a clay pot on a wooden tray. He explained that he wants the Korean feel to be present in the entire brand, and not just the food. From the stall, to the presentation, to the manner of serving and greeting (he’s aiming for a warm and welcoming “Annyeonghaseyo” to usher guests in) down to the taste, Hanguk influence can be felt.
Anyway, going back to the stew: it tasted like a combination of ma po tofu, kimchi, and sinigang, three of my faves. It’s mainly spicy, with generous servings of beef, cabbage, and tofu. Pretty heavy for a starter, but perfect for the fresh-from-Makati-traffic and hungry me.
Next, Richard brought out a cup of moringa juice and the main dish, Roasted Chicken Bibimbap. I’ve seen the photos on their Facebook page, and I thought the rice bowl was small. I was fooled!
Ang daming laman! Topped with loads of veggies, like carrots and cabbage, raw egg, chicken slices, and a special sweet-savory sauce, I was in for a huge meal. And a great-tasting one, too. What I like about their bibimbap, apart from the serving size, is that the veggies taste fresh, no hint of the plastic smell and aftertaste that often come with commercialized dishes. The roast chicken has a flavor of its own, and complements that of the sauce. Mixed together, it’s a great balance of spicy, sweet, and savory. Yum.
In between bites and sips of refreshing moringa (malunggay) juice topped with cucumber slices, which reminded me of cucumber lemonade, I took the chance to ask Richard about Yeongyang Hansik.
At 28, this is his second business and passion project. A fitness buff, he looked for healthy food options to go with his gym habit, but pointed out that most of them were pricey with very little servings. And, he wasn’t happy with the taste either. To combine value for money, nutrition, and flavor, he thought of serving Korean food, which does exactly that.
“After working out sa gym, I come here to eat. I know it’s healthy, masarap, and full meal na,” adding that at around Php 139-149 per order of bibimbap, customers can get freshly cooked rice, vegetables, and meat toppings.
Richard also mentioned that he thought Madison Commons is a good choice of location, as it is accessible to professionals around the area. “After work, they can come here to eat healthy food.”
He described the realization of the venture as “God’s grace”, explaining how he met a business partner that complemented his skills, and how he was able to complete a course at a Korean culinary school. Richard also said that he enjoys running the place, as it allows him to meet new people and build relationships.
A few more exchanges about life as Chinoy yuppies and faith and life in general, and I was ready to call it a night (because traffic huhu). I was served the last course, side dishes: cucumber, radish, and my favorite kimchi, which was a standout because it’s not very sour, unlike others I’ve tried before. And, of course, no Korean meal is complete without soju. Manong, who brought out the dishes, said so himself.
We each had a shot, and of course, a photo op. Check out our Korean pose!
God’s grace. I never expected to hear that during my visit, but I guess it perfectly described what Paisley Purpose and my trip to Yeongyang Hansik had been about. That’s why I think there’s no better way to cop the year off for my blog than this feature. 🙂
I thank Richard for being a gracious host and for sharing Yeongyang Hansik’s story. It’s not everyday that you meet someone who really believes in what they do, so I’m grateful for the opportunity 😀 Tune in to their Facebook page for more updates, and drop by while you’re at it! They’re open from 7pm onwards.
Looking forward to try the Lechon Bibimbap and Kimchi Fries next time. Annyeong for now, and chukahamnida, Yeongyang Hansik! 😉