Baguio city which is known for its cold weather, hence it is referred to as the summer capital of the Philippines, have gotten colder than the average. Though we used to experience the sudden drop of temperature in the past when it was all trees, small business establishments and a couple of schools/universities. As a pair of individuals who take advantage of the weather in order to enjoy certain kinds of food, me and my date wanted to eat something that was a bit spicy but overwhelmingly hot. I cannot persuade her to try out Indian cuisine since she cannot bare the too pungent spices, nor Southern/Tex-Mex Food since there were none that exists so we opted for Korean dishes. We were walking along session road and decided to try out a new Korean restaurant at Legarda Rd. However, every cab we hail and wave at seem to be occupied, leaving us no choice but to dine somewhere near that serves Korean food. Our feet took us to Cuore Buffet which looked really elegant from the outside.
We got in the restaurant and looked through the menu to try to find something that can fill our guts for dinner. We both agreed on the appetizer which was the "Bibimbap". Bulgogi was our all time favourite Korean meat dish so we ordered 2 different kinds. Mine was cooked on a stone pot with loads of runny sauce and cellophane noodles. Hers was boiled in sauce along with loads of cabbages. The food came with several side dishes. Here are some of what I can recall: Spiced "Kikiam/Orleans", Bitter gourd with minced meat and onions, Kimchi, Sauteed chicken gizzard, Breaded thin slices of courgette/zuchinni, bean sprouts. The Bibimbap was served with a local variety of soy sauce and more kimchi and bean sprouts.
The service was alright since we got along with the waitress who attended to us and got our orders. It could have been better if the menus were up to date and perhaps some product knowledge could help improve the service.
The food on the other hand needs improvement. I cannot complain about the temperature, presentation, nor the serving size (loads of side dishes as I mentioned earlier) as they are at par. Though the seasoning and other elements were somehow or totally against what I was expecting. There is a lot of room for improvement, start with the assessment of the skills of the kitchen team, whether they can be able to provide good quality (almost or near- authentic) Korean dishes or do they know the difference between over-seasoned and perfectly seasoned. Tasting before serving is common sense to all chefs that i have known of and actually worked with.
"Experience is the best teacher" It does not mean that every cooking staff should have experience working in an authentic Korean kitchen (though it would be most helpful) what I'm trying to point out at is "how would you react when you are served with food that is too sweet and salty at the same time after a long day of working your butt off and you simply want to enjoy dinner without going through the trouble of cooking?" Its a simple task that does not require critical thinking. Taste it before serving (do it with a spoon, not your fingers). Have passion for your work.
For the establishment: Two words, "reality check" look around and see, have you established a network of patrons? Were you able to attract your target market? Are you able to reach your daily/weekly profit margin? If not, then there must be really something wrong, so better get it sorted out soon.