Fantastic Chef, the New Samgyupsal Craze in Town

Other than milk tea shops, Korean BBQ joints that offer unlimited samgyupsal (grilled pork belly) are also growing in the metro. In fact, if you search ‘samgyupsal near me’ in Google, you’d be surprised how close some of them are to you. If you haven’t tried it yet and are considering to, the price will always come first on your mind. Other than that, you’ll also rely on the word-of-mouth reviews/referrals of someone you know. Know no one? Blog and/or vlog review can be an option. I'm glad you are reading this review. Trusting this helps!
Are you looking for the best samgyupsal? Try Fantastic Chef Malate—the new samgyupsal craze in town. Grilling since January 16 of this year, Fantastic Chef Malate is one of the newer players in the market. It is the sister company of Fantastic Baka, a known Korean Barbecue restaurant catering to the mid-market.

But who’s the Fantastic Chef, you ask? The company is helmed by a Korean A-list chef, Chef Jang Jungyun, who previously worked at Gao Seoul Korea, a Michelin 3-starred restaurant.

What to expect at this newly-opened “Famous Korean BBQ” restaurant then?

Great Ambience

Fantastic Chef’s modern and younger look is the first thing you’ll notice once you set foot inside the 150-seater capacity joint. The colors and interior will make you feel comfortable dining in and enjoy your experience. It is also well-lit and -ventilated.

Take note that the place may become too cramped during peak hours. The tables are not large enough for all of the food as well.

The Offerings and Taste

Fantastic Chef offers two unlimited packages. Its P499 package lets you savor up to 10 different cuts of pork and chicken. The P549, meanwhile, lets you taste 12 different cuts of pork, chicken, and beef. You’ll love how these are presented to you. Meats are piled in four set of meat towers. These packages come with unlimited melted cheese, steamed egg, soup, lettuce, kimchi, japchae noodles (stir-fried glass noodles and vegetables), fishcake, coleslaw, and of course, rice. Plus, you’ll get three sauces in your own plate.

Their meats are perfectly cut into thin pieces and absolutely taste great. I personally loved the marinated cuts. And the skirt meat is definitely delicious, too. It's worth noting that you will be grilling these using charcoal, making your experience more fun compared to using butane (other Korean restaurants use butane). Plus, your table has its own adjustable exhaust pipe—I heard other joints' exhaust pipes are stationary.

What’s even more fantastic is there’s no time limit in finishing these—unlike other places where you are only allowed to stay for up to 2 hours. Make sure to empty your tummy before savoring all of these as there is a P200 charge for leftovers. Be reminded that a minimum number of two guests is required to avail the packages. Eating alone and want to have a “Me Time”? You can always dine in ala carte.

If it’s your first time eating samgyupsal, try the grilled barbecue meats by wrapping it with crunchy lettuce leaves complete with spicy paste, garlic and scallion, sauces and seasoning of your choice, and kimchi. Eat it by hand for a real samgyupsal experience. Not sure how to do it? Their friendly staff are always ready to give you a guide.
After savoring these, treat yourself with some of its Korean ice cream for dessert. They also serve Korean alcoholic beverages from P250 to P500.

Fantastic Chef has an ongoing promotion until July 30. If your group is consist of four people, one is FREE of charge. Your group should arrive together to avail the said promotion from 11AM to 4PM; the last call is at 3:30PM. Visiting with kids? Children that are no taller than 3 feet eat for FREE!

Take note that Fantastic Chef is open from 11AM to 6AM. So if you ever find yourself craving for samgyupsal in the wee hours, you know where to grab some.

Others Loved it, too

Since this was my first time feasting on samgyupsal, I asked some samgyupsal lovers on Instagram for their reviews to give you some more convincing. Here are their takes:

“Fantastic Chef is so good! Our family was able to cook together and we love the chapchae noodles. Price is reasonable. The perfect combination of Korean BBQ is the Korean ice cream that we love which is available too! All we can say is that our experience was fantastic!” - The Lizardo Family (@jace_lizardo, @japoy_lizardo, and @jan_lizardo)

“Fantastic Chef uses charcoal to cook their meat which is more organic than using gas. Its ambience is awesome and they only serve the best cuts of meat using prime sauces. The place is truly a topnotch and one of the best Korean BBQ house in the metro. Fantastic Chef sets its standards high because of its unique taste, the meats are tender, well-marinated and fresh. The sidings are also well thought that truly fit their main dishes. Fantastic Chef is a must try and definitely worth every penny.” - @annesheyday

“The price is affordable and the good thing is they are open also from 12AM to 6AM. The taste is okay also.” - @arahco

“We visited Fantastic Chef at around lunch time so we were expecting to wait in line for a few hours. But thankfully, we were seated right away. Although our table took longer to be set up; perhaps because of the number of guests dining in that time. Food-wise, it’s okay. There were a lot of choices meat and side dishes. Loved the cheese!” - @jihheennnnyy

“Fantastic Chef is one of our favorite unlimited BBQ places here in Manila. They have really nice staff and very good food. I especially love their cheese — not your basic cheese dip, they season it and it tastes like heaven! Their steamed egg and soup are also really good! I guess the only room for improvement that I can see is that they need to widen up their tables just to make room for the banchan selection and they’re good! :) " - @dennisemay

Convinced now? Then put your footwear on and follow the directions below. 

How to Get There If you are going to commute, the fastest way is to take the LRT 2 (Light Rail Transit) and get off at the Quirino Station. From there, take a tricycle for P20 each (special ride is at P50) to Remedios Circle. Got some energy? Walk for about 10 minutes from that station. Remember, you need to starve yourself.

Another option is to board a Divisoria-bound jeepney if you are coming from EDSA Taft or an EDSA Taft-bound one if you are coming from Divisoria. Tell the driver to drop you off on Remedios Street. From there, take a 5-minute walk to the Remedios Circle. And if you are visiting by car, simply search for Fantastic Chef - Famous Unlimited Korean BBQ on Waze or Google Maps, and let either of the apps take you there.

Take note that there are only three parking slots in front of Fantastic Chef. Though parking spaces are available stones away from the restaurant — rates start from P40. Hurry! Share this to your samgyupsal lover friends and visit Fantastic Chef now!

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