From that first dinner we moved on to move lunches and dinners together, some members of the club even took up boxing and circuit training together. We even have a junior edition consisting of the kids of the club members! Our friendship has transitioned from online to offline. We would run to each other for help and advice and to celebrate wonderful milestones in each other's lives. Soon, we'll look forward to our first summer getaway together!
Given that we're a huge group, always eating out together, small intimate bonding sessions are hardly done. Thus, Paul and I were excited when Richard and Irene invited us out to dinner last Saturday. I first met Richard during the Ya Kun Kaya Ortigas visit when he invited me and a couple of bloggers to try his best-selling items. Since then, Richard would constantly keep in touch with us, eventually becoming a budding food blogger himself and what happened after is what you can see now... we became really good friends! In fact, Paul and I look up to Richard and Irene as our "ahia" and "achi" in the club. I've never had an older sibling thus I really do enjoy their company a LOT!
Our double-date was set just a stone's throw away from my university. You see, ten years ago, Escriva Drive then known as Amber Drive had very little food and commercial establishments. Little by little though, we see it transform into a little K-Town filled with Korean convenience stores and restaurants. Richard and Irene discovered a gem called Minato within this little area and this was our dinner venue that evening.
We were a bit late for our date and Richard and Irene, being always prompt during meet ups, were already seated and ready to eat. Paul and I catched up by immediately ordering our meat and rice dishes -- Sol Kalbi (Php. 350), Pork Ribs (Php. 300) and Dolsot Bibimbap (Php. 250).
One thing that I LOVE with Korean restaurant is the wide array of appetizers! Minato served an appetizer feast with kimchi, beansprout, spicy spinach, macaroni salad, fried dilis and a lot more!
I particularly love the Kimchi Pancake that I couldn't stop getting. It's like Pajeon (Korean Scallion Pancake) only a bit spicy due to the kimchi but it was very delicious! The best part is the servers would gladly refill your appetizers and water for you.
Paul loves to cook and eat which is why we enjoy hotpot and Korean barbecue dinners which allows him to show off his cooking prowess. I was just too happy to be served without worrying of oil splatters and making a mess.
Our Sol Kalbi came with a huge piece of beef short ribs which we have to grill on the table-top griller. It's marinated well that's why it comes out very juicy and flavorful. Yum yum!!
The Pork Ribs was equally as tasty too! I just feel they have added in a tad too much fat, wish can they serve a leaner piece of meat. Nonetheless it was dee-li-cious!
Another way to enjoy your grilled meat is to wrap this in a fresh piece of lettuce, add a piece of garlic clove and scoop over some Korean barbecue sauce. Paul enjoyed this so much that he was obviously having a blast wrapping up his barbecue meat one at a time.
To go with our meat, we shared on a bowl of Dolsot Bibimbap, our favorite! I love it with just a little red spicy sauce to perk up the taste. Paul knows me so well that he gave me most of the tutong (burnt layer of rice). While it may be a bit pricey for a rice dish, the serving was pretty big and with all the ingredients that they have included inside, it really make it worth the price.
It's sad that Minato is closing for three weeks to renovate starting April 1. This means I will only be able to go back by May already. However, I look forward to a better Minato for me to be able to bring my family there for dinner as well. In between bites, we enjoyed sharing stories with Richard and Irene. It's fun to be able to have this intimate bonding session with them as this allows us to get to know one another better. For one thing, Richard and Irene sure saw how much Paul enjoyed cooking and eating his Korean meal. :)
Till our next dinner double-date!!!
Minato is located at the G/F 8137 Plaza, J. Escriva Drive, Brgy. San Antonio, Ortigas, Pasig City.