Bariles first tasted Mongolian Barbecue a few years back at a food stall inside the Greenbelt 1 Mall in Makati City. Back then, he found out that it was neither Mongolian nor a barbecue.
It was actually, various ingredients from a buffet of thinly sliced raw meats and veggies and noodles which customers choose and mixed together in a large bowl which is handed over to a cook who then adds the diner’s choice of sauce. These are then stir-fried in one section of a hot, open, solid griddle in about 5 minutes, after which they are scooped back into the bowl and served to the customer, usually with a cup of rice.
Although it was new to Bariles, he liked it instantly, bringing him back to the time when he used to work in Malaysia and Thailand. Since then, a trip to that food stall became a regular thing each time he sets foot in Makati.
Now, the good news is: he doesn’t have to go that far, because a local GenSan restaurant just opened serving his favorite Mongolian Barbecue.
The name of the place is still simply: MONGOLIAN B-B-Q until they find a suitable monicker for it. Owned by my “kinakapatid” Alan Sanidad, the same guy behind Abi’s Oriental Restaurant and Abi’s Goto House (both along Osmena South), the restaurant is located at the famous Tiongson Arcade, Tiongson Street in Barangay Lagao. It’s right beside Gusteau’s Shrimps and Crabs and Euro Kitchen, which we also featured here months back.
What’s good about Mongolian BBQ is that the cook and his large griddle are positioned outside the diner where passersby can smell what he is cooking and maybe entice them to drop by. The buffet of assorted meat and veggies, sauces and herbs plus noodles are also displayed outside. When I was there earlier tonight, two other groups were also choosing their “sahug” and so, we had to wait in line before we had our pick which we then gave to the cook. By the way, the meat had to be weighed by a kitchen staff for pricing. If I can remember right, it’s P75 per 100 grams of assorted meat.
Choose your own mix of meats (pork, beef, chicken, shrimps, fish, fish balls, squid) and veggies plus sauces at Mongolian BBQ
Alan’s cook who have been with him for 8 or so years, finished preparing our Mongolian Barbecue in less than 15 minutes and so it was immediately served to us, piping hot. This is how it deliciously looked, same as how it tasted.
Mongolian Barbecue ala Tiongson Arcade
Next, we were served another house special, Beef Teppanyaki, thin slices of beef ordered from Lisa’s Meat…. thus making it so tender to the bite and with Alan’s secret sauces, aromatic too.
Then, it was the turn to taste Alan’s Fish Teppanyaki with Lemon Sauce. It was super tender and eaten best when hot while dipped in its Ponzu sauce. Except for its skin, this one easily melted in my mouth. Without its smelly fishy taste, it is a good Lenten alternative for the usual grilled tuna panga we generals usually have.
Then, finally we had to try Korean Chicken which Alan was so proud of since there is no one quite like it in GenSan. A bit spicy and a little on the sweet side, it is best eaten straight from the grill too, to best appreciate its juicy portions.
The dishes we sampled can only be described in three words – sumptuous, healthy and affordable. But what about the place’s ambience?
While Alan was explaining to us his future plans for his new venture, I took these pictures of the dining area which were tastefully decorated by RRMC’s Bing Carino.
Bing covered the entire floor with baby rocks and hanged white tarps on the restaurant’s walls giving character to an otherwise simple and rustic setting. Galing mo Bing!
Mongolian Barbecue’s dining area.
With Mongolian BBQ‘s entry into the group of specialized mini-restaurants at the Tiongson Arcade, run by young entrepreneurs like Karl Macaraeg, Alan Lopez and Alan Sanidad (all of them not yet in their 40’s), it gives us “generals” enough reason to salute them for introducing us to new and varied culinary fare while coaxing us to go out of our houses more often and experience what the city has to offer at night, aside from the usual.
Bravo Karl and to the two Alans!