I am always game to try new food experiences. That is why when my family and I were invited to dine in Mattna Kamjatang, I was really looking forward to it. I had tried Korean food before but most of them were not really authentic Korean food so I knew that we would be in for a treat at Mattna Kamjatang.
Mattna Kamjatang is actually a famous restaurant in Korea. It has several branches in Korea but has already granted franchises in other countries as well. We were told that a lot of Filipinos have actually tried to acquire a franchise already but have never been approved. It was only now that they approved one and has granted the franchise to a Filipino couple, Reiner and Sheryl Matias.
Reiner, who’s also the chef, and his wife Sheryl, trained for several months in Korea, in order to bring back to the Philippines the authentic Korean food being served by Mattna Kamjatang. Their franchise, which had its soft opening in early September 2014, is located at 319 Aguirre St., Phase 3, BF Homes, Parañaque City.
Going in, I was really pleased to see what the interiors looked like. I love that they used mostly wood furniture that gave the place a really warm, inviting ambiance. At the same time, the simple, clean lines gave the place a minimalist and modern appeal. I love that the place doesn’t feel crowded at all and that there is plenty of room to walk.
As much as I love the place, I think the best thing about Mattna Kamjatang is the food. There aren’t an endless array of choices in the menu compared to some restaurants. However, what they do have is already more than enough to satisfy your Korean food cravings.
We were first presented with small dishes of various appetizers. Most of them are spicy while one of them, the baby potatoes, was sweet. I love the taste of their Kimchi. It is so unlike the bottled versions that hubby used to buy from the grocery stores.
You’d be happy to know that the servers replenish your appetizers as soon as they see that the plate is empty. I actually can’t remember how many times they replenished ours.
Obviously, as the restaurant name suggests, one of their main dishes is the Kam Ja Tang, which is a spicy pork bone stew that is considered as a traditional dish in Korea. This is a really hearty and flavorful dish, whose rich taste comes from boiled pork backbone. The pork neck is actually slowly stewed for 6 hours until the meat falls off from the bone.
The recipe makes use of authentic traditional Korean herbs and spices as well as the signature Mattna Kamjatang special sauce, which is used in more than 45 branches internationally. It is served in a hot pot with various vegetables, such as cabbage, mushrooms, parsley, green onions, bean sprouts, chili peppers and perilla seeds to compliment its flavor. This dish is served in a hot pot, which is placed on a built-in stove on your table, in order to keep it hot.
The Kam Ja Tang is traditionally eaten with Bukum Bap, which is a Korean style fried rice topped with vegetables and fried in Kam Ja Tang sauce. It is also served in a hot pot and placed on the stove where the server will help you cook it. We were informed that Koreans usually prefer their Bukum Bap to be really crispy and they even scour the pots to get crispy bits of rice off of it.
Here’s a quick guide on how to eat your Kam Ja Tang.
- Wait for the soup to boil.
- Get the meat from the soup.
- Dip the meat into the special sauce.
- Fry the Bukum Bap in the pan.
- Come back for more!
Going into this, I was a bit concerned that the food will be too spicy for my taste. I had only acquired an appreciation for spicy food (thanks to the hubby) in recent years. Honestly, you can expect the Kam Ja Tang to be really hot and spicy. But surprisingly, it wasn’t too spicy for me, or maybe it was because my taste buds have already gotten used to eating spicy food. What I really love though are the special sauce and the softness of the meat. Although the sauce was spicy, I couldn’t help but go back for more. The meat was also very easy to eat because it’s so soft that it really does fall off the bone. The Bukum Bap is also the perfect partner for the Kam Ja Tang, especially if you’re the type who prefers having rice with your viands.
I was also very excited to try the Hemul Pyo Jjim, which is a combination of pork neck (slowly stewed for 6 hours) and various seafood, such as baby octopus, shrimps, mussels and crabs, mixed with rice cakes and vegetables, simmered with Mattna Kamjatang’s delectable signature sauce.
I was excited to try this because 1) I love seafood and 2) this dish looks absolutely beautiful. Don’t you agree? But I warn you, if the Kam Ja Tang is spicy, this dish is even spicier but also flavorful and delicious too. You can eat this without rice. It actually goes well as a pica-pica dish paired with beer, such as this Max Korean beer, which was also served to us that day. Perfect partner, if you ask me!
For those of you who don’t really like seafood, you can have the Pyo Jjim. It’s similar to the Hemul Pyo Jjim but without the seafood.
Now those of you moms and dads who might think that there’s nothing in the menu that your kids will like, you’d be wrong! Mattna Kamjatang offers the Yong Young Bap, which is a Korean fried rice dish that kids will surely enjoy. It contains crab sticks, sea weed and egg and is not spicy at all.
They can also have the Bulgogi, one of Korea’s most popular dishes made of thinly sliced grilled marinated beef.
Our kids, ages 13, 11 and 3, had both the Yong Young Bap and the Bulgogi and they all loved the two dishes. I also found that even my niece and nephew (ages 7 and 1), who came to try the restaurant with their parents, love these dishes too. So, I can say that Mattna Kamjatang is a place that the whole family can enjoy.
After you’re done with the main course, it’s time for dessert! Mattna Kamjatang offers a selection of cakes to delight your sweet tooth. We were served this really creamy and super delectable dessert called the Marshmallow Yema Cake paired with Dutch Coffee.
Dutch coffee is a rich and aromatic drip coffee with a full bodied flavor and is considered as the wine of all coffees. It contains the lowest acidic content compared to other coffees. As a certified coffee addict, you have no idea how happy this made me. It’s very light at the same time sweet and aromatic enough that you no longer need to add in sugar. It’s definitely best taken black. They actually give you a choice whether you want it hot or cold.
You also might find it interesting that you will immediately see this amazing and colorful display of drip coffee from right when you enter the establishment.
The Kam Ja Tang, Pyo Jjim and Hemul Pyo Jjim are available in different sizes depending on your needs. Here’s the price list for your reference.
Overall, we truly had a great and authentic Korean dining experience in Mattna Kamjatang. I honestly never thought I’d say this about Korean food but I really love, love, love the food! We will definitely be back there soon.
Now, here’s the good news. Mattna Kamjatang wants more of you to come try their dishes too so they’re sponsoring a giveaway here at Roller Coaster Ride. Yay!
There will be two (2) winners, who will each win a GIFT CERTIFICATE for PHP 500 worth of Kam Ja Tang and Bukum Bap (valid for use until January 31, 2015). Participants must be a Philippine resident with a valid Metro Manila address, wherein which I can mail the prize. Giveaway will run from Dec. 8, 2014 to Dec. 14, 2014 only. To join, simply follow the Rafflecopter instructions below.
319 Aguirre St., Phase 3, BF Homes, Parañaque City
Tel. # (632) 697 9884