May 31, 2019

Unli Samgyupsal for 499 at Fantastic Chef - Taft

2018 saw the rise of the KBBQ and milk tea food trends in the Philippines and they are still spilling over to 2019. I’m already getting confused with all the Korean barbecue places sprouting around the metro. But could you believe that I’ve never eaten in a mainstream eat-all-you-can KBBQ restaurant until only a few weeks ago? Personally, I prefer KBBQ restaurants that offer premium meats. But of course, “unlimited” is word that lures anyone and so I have to give in.

So, when I did a staycation at Hotel Benilde and my friends wanted to meet up for lunch after. We all agreed to try this fairly new KBBQ brand Fantastic Chef. They happened to open another branch at Taft which is just a couple of blocks away from Hotel Benilde. From what I can remember this is their second branch aside from the one in Malate.

What separates Fantastic Chef from other unlimited KBBQ places is that the people overlooking their kitchens and cutting their meats are experts in their field like Chef Jang Jungyun who is one of Korea’s A-list chef and a Michelin Awardee and so is Mr. Joel who’s a part owner of the chain and an experienced butcher/meat cutter and the one who makes sure that the meats for all branches are prepped and cut the proper way. Their Leon Guinto St., Branch in Taft is said to bigger and hipper than their other branches. The store is spacious, with industrial design complemented with striking colors of furniture and hip wall writings.

Their unlimited samgyupsal is priced at PHP 499 per person which includes 10 kinds of meats: Skirt Meat, Rack, Jowls Meat, Seasoned Pork Neck, Pork Belly, Thin Pork Bely, Cheek, Spicy Pork Bulgogi, Seasoned Chicken BBQ and Spicy Chicken BBQ. If you want to add beef to your meats just add PHP 50 to get plain and seasoned beef plates.

As for the side dishes aside from the meats, your 499 pesos will let you enjoy an array of ban chan or side dishes namely: Korean Soup, Steamed Egg, Rice, Lettuce, Macaroni Salad, Coleslaw, Fish Cake, Korean Pickled Raddish, Jap-Chae and Cheese Sauce!

The meats are good but I liked the plain and thinly sliced ones, especially the beef. Some of the other meats were too thick for my liking. Nonetheless, I enjoyed everything. As for the side dishes, I ate mostly the steamed egg as this is a personal biased favorite; and the soup was good too which kind of tasted like a Japanese miso soup.

What I love about Fantastic Chef is their unlimited cheese sauce dip. I like how creamy and a little sweet it was. I am the type of KBBQ eater who prefer plain meats than the marinated ones and that oftentimes eat them as is and straight up. No dips, no sauces or no lettuce wrap. The sodas and juices are not included with the PHP 499 though and all are single servings only.

The service was ok and since we were there on a Sunday lunchtime, it was expected that the place would be jam-packed. Sometimes it took a while for the staff to bring to our table the things we were requesting. I don’t know if they are lacking staff headcount but I suggest that they designate specific areas/tables of the restaurant to each staff so that things will be more organized. Other than that, it was a fairly great lunch. Worth the PHP 499? I think so, yeah.

Fantastic Chef Taft’s ongoing promo is 3 + 1. Just take note of the rules below:
> If it’s your birthday, eat for free on your birthday month if you bring 3 paying customers with you. Just bring a valid ID.
> Minimum of 4 people per table (6-7 pax still 1 is free; 8-12 pax 2-3 are free).
> No late-comers. The 4 customers should be present before the staff will give you a table.

2472 Leon Guinto Street,
Taft Avenue, Manila
Contact Nos: 0926 079 3425

For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: 
Fantastic Chef Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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