Named after the Japanese god of the kitchen, Sambokojin Yakiniku Smokeless Grill is a place where Japanese and Korean food come together. Sambokojin Restaurant is an example of the Yakiniku style of dining, where raw meats are provided and diners cook these over a grill and dip the meats in whatever sauce they like. That’s the Japanese part of the buffet. The Korean part comprise the cooked dishes served as part of the buffet: Chapchae, Korean beef stew (loved this one), tofu steak and six or seven selections of Korean appetizers including a variety of kimchis in all shapes and sizes. I happen to love kimchi (spicy pickled vegetables).
I love the service. The staff will fawn over you like you’re some kind of celebrity. At P495 per person, that’s an absolute steal! I can’t help but compare this to Yakimix in Greenbelt, which I love to go to but the terribly heavy lunch and dinner crowds can take your appetite away and make you settle for fast food. Good thing about Sambokojin is that they just opened last November 26. Yeah very new, thus less people go there. For now. I will enjoy this place for as often as I can while there are few customers. However, come Christmas time, it’s going to be a different story. Until then, I recommend you to come and enjoy Sambokojin.
See that? Those are real black tiger prawns, not the pretend prawns they serve at Yakimix. Dito pa lang, sulit na yung P495 mo! I love the way the food is arranged here. Unlike Yakimix, Sambokojin’s plates are located under every buffet table, so when you see something you like, you just reach underneath, grab a clean plate and fill it to your heart’s delight. Did I say they also have ox tongue? Well, I just did.
Top 5 tips on how make the most out of the Sambokojin buffet
I want to share some tips that my friends and I talked about during lunch. These are important tips to remember when dining at Sambokojin:
- Make sure there are no leftovers. Because if there are, you pay an additional P100 pesos! To save money and make the most out of it, just get what you can eat, because you can always come back for more. Putting too much food on your plate and not finishing it is wasteful.
- Don’t drink too much water/juice/soda. This is important in any buffet. If you want to enjoy your money to the fullest, just take sips while eating because the liquids can make you full faster. Take your time to chew and savor the food. Don’t just swallow after two bites.
- Avoid rice. Unless you really want to have some of the Kamameshi Rice which they will offer you, I suggest that you stick to the grilled items and ignore the starch.
- Keep the fire on the lowest setting because you will tend to overcook your meats during lunch conversations. Be mindful of what you’re cooking because most meats shrink and when they burn, they won’t taste good. Again, good food goes to waste.
- Don’t mix your desserts with your main course. Do not use the same plate because everything on it will taste weird. Just get a new one. The waiting staff will take away used plates .
When you arrive the staff will give you a small bowl of lumped fat. Use this as your oil on the grill. Do not eat it because it’s too oily and it doesn’t taste good. It’s just there to provide oil to the grill.
Their Chapchae tastes better than most Korean restaurants I know in the city. Really good. You should also try the Korean beef stew and beef curry.
Desserts are always grand at Sambokojin. A plethora of choices abound! There’s chocolate fondue, fruits, cakes, cheesecakes, shortcakes and ice cream with toppings. I love their Brazo de Mercedes. Seems like it was homemade or something.
Sambokojin has a salad bar that has been overshadowed by their delicious Ebi Tempura. Beside it is their appetizers, which as mostly Korean.
The sushi was wonderful.
Rolls, rolls and much more.
Sambokojin is located at Eastwood Citywalk, Quezon City, at the second floor of Something Fishy. For reservations call 421-0145 or 421-0146. Buffet rates depend on the time and day of your visit.
Monday to Friday P495 – Lunch only
Monday to Friday P595 – Dinner only
Saturday and Sunday P595 – Lunch & Dinner
Iced tea – P85
Soda – P81