Filipino Favorites at Jovy’s Grill
It’s been more than a year since I first visited Jovy’s Grill. It’s a Filipino restaurant in Seoul that is owned and operated by Koreans ~ and surprisingly their food tastes so much like the ones I’ve had back home.
I first learned about Jovy’s Grill from MJ sometime in March 2015. I wasn’t able to visit until September 2015 and I have returned several times over a year and every time feels like I was eating at the old barbecue places in my hometown ~ Angeles City.
Jovy’s Grill became “famous” when it was featured on the TV show “Tasty Road” ~ where one of the hosts is Bae Yong Joon’s wife. Afterwards, netizens started blogging about it as customers flocked to the place. A friend noticed that their Korean customers are mostly young and neat looking ~ probably Koreans who have been to the Philippines and miss Filipino food.
As you enter the restaurant, you’ll be greeted by a shelf on the right side with Philippine products and then there is a “sari-sari store” style counter with rows of sachets of powdered juice hanging on a string. Two banana “trees” stand guard to the open doors with beaded bamboo curtain at the back of the restaurant.
On one wall hangs a hammock, beach balls, decorative mat and photos of street life in the Philippines.
The first time I was in Jovy’s Grill was right after the 2015 Asia Basketball Club Championship. It was a Saturday night and the restaurant was hectic with customers coming in. I remember how we had to wait about 20 minutes for a table and almost an hour for our order. WE were famished!
Our first taste of their specialties like “MANOK” (Chicken Inasal), “LIEMPO” (Marinated pork belly), “PUSIT” (grilled squid) and GARLIC RICE made us smile. We were so hungry and close to exploding for waiting so long but the food tasted so good ~
Our orders arrived in wooden dishes on top of large leaves of some plant. Some with dipping sauce and one with beans 🙂
That long wait has never happened again. And we always truly enjoy our visits at Jovy’s Grill.
I haven’t tried everything on their menu although I’ve been to the place a number of times. Here are our staple order:
MANOK – chicken pieces are marinated and grilled just like “chicken inasal”. One of my BFFs from Bacolod said it is inasal. Price: 13,000 won
LIEMPO – grilled marinated pork belly strips served with beans in tomato sauce (pork and beans?). Price: 13,000 won
CRISPY PATA – not so crispy but tasty nonetheless. Price: 18,000 won
PUSIT – grilled whole squid served with a dipping sauce. Cooked just right ~ tender and not chewy. Price: 13,000
ADOBONG KANGKONG – not sure if they always use “kangkong” or a substitute but it does taste like “adobo” and I like that the vegetable has never been soggy. Price: 12,000 won
SISIG – I would have to say that this is by far the best sisig I’ve had in Korea. Grilled, chopped finely and tangy! I’ve had sisig in other places but they are always missing that hint of “calamansi” used to flavor sisig. Price: 15,000 won
GARLIC RICE – Don’t order the plain rice and always go for their garlic rice. Their “sinangag” as we know it is prepared a little differently from how we traditionally make it. Perhaps they roast the garlic first and mix it with cooked rice and some oil. Price: 2,000 won
TURON – Best turon I’ve ever had ~ as it is not overly coated in sugar. I like that the banana tastes so natural ~ so the wrapper must have been coated with sugar but not too much of it. Just the right sweetness ~ and crispness. Price: 6,000 won for 4 pieces
They have other items on their menu but we haven’t tried them. Whenever we visit Jovy’s Grill, we just order the above items all the time!
GOOD TIMES, FUN TIMES
Jovy’s Grill has no karaoke machine nor do they have a live band. It is just a restaurant where you and your friends could enjoy Filipino food, ice cold San Mig or Red Horse and have fun talking about stuff that reminds you of home. Yes, we’ve always had good times whenever we come here ~
How to get there
Address: 432 Cheonggyecheonro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
Open: Mondays to Saturdays 5pm ~ 3am
By subway: Sinseoldong station exit 6, 9 or 10