Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Korean Food Galore at Don Day Fresh, Timog (Review)

Me and my mom usually love to look for restaurants that offer good food at a cheap price however,  these two don't usually go together. So one time, my mom has heard from a friend about a place that offers Korean food buffet near Caloocan and I got curious when she told me about it. I researched about it and found about the restaurant called Don Day in Quezon City. I invited my family and friends to go there and try, which were soon followed by more and more visits.

don day timog
source from: Don Day Timo's Facebook

Don Day is a Korean restaurant that offers buffet at different prices. If you just want to eat food offered at the buffet table, which is just like your average dishes similar to what you could see at Tramway, the price is 199. If you'd like to have Samgyupsal added, then you have to add 100 pesos more for the pork and 200 for the beef. They also offer unlimited iced tea for an additional fee of 50 pesos. Super swak sa budget!

This branch in Timog has air conditioning and well ventilated with the electric fans too so you don't smell like barbeque afterwards. The area was medium-sized, probably more or less than ten long tables, during holidays, better to reserve to make sure you'll have available seats. I always see the owners of the place everytime I visit, and they are very very very friendly! Their Filipino staff were really nice as well. They (including the Korean owner) would usually assist us with our Samgyupsal. The husband would also check up on their customers, asking if we needed anything, if we liked the food, etc. Their Pinoy staff are always prompt on refilling the drinks and meat on our table, and even providing water and ice when needed. Korean and Filipino hospitality at its best!

inside Don Day Fresh, Timog

One thing that makes me want to go to these places is the experience of cooking the meat on your own grill. There's a thrill while waiting until the meat gets cooked. The staff are very attentive in case you have your hands full on cooking the meat or you need the meat to be refilled, there's always someone to assist. I couldn't really remember how many slabs of meat I finished. haha Samgyupsal is indeed the best!

korean buffet
waiting for the meat to be cooked

If you're not familiar on how it's eaten, you can eat it together with a Ssamjang(chili paste, soybean paste, and sesame oil) or Gireumjang (salt, pepper, and sesame oil), enclosing it up with a leaf of lettuce and you're good to go. I usually have mine with the soybean paste which makes the taste of the meat more flavorful. My friends eat it with Gireumjang, which for them makes the samgyupsal more tastier and juicier. You could also add shiso leaves that leaves a mint aftertaste which is also available in the buffet if you want to add that extra twist in your meat.

Some of the Korean favorites in the buffet were worth noting too. They don't really have a very extensive selection so don't get your hopes up, but I guess the basics are there such as kimchi, fried rice, and jeons. I especially loved their Capchae and Tangsuyuk. The Chapchae was not that oily and was perfect! And you know my adoration for sweet and sour pork, so I liked the Tangsuyuk, which was the Korean version of the dish.

The buffet display
korean buffet manila
kimchi, salad, and more veggies
cucumber tempura and veggie fritters
Kyeran mal and Kimbap, kyeran mal is egg rolls and kimbap is the korean version of sushi
Chapchae and Tangsuyuk! <3333

Aside from the ones mentioned, I thought the other dishes available were not bad. Their kimchi was pretty good. Their other appetizers such as nuts, Kangnamul or bean sprouts and mini potato balls were sure fun to munch on. I guess the fried selections such as spring rolls, cucumber Tempura, pajeons, kyeranmal, are not to be missed especially if you're a newbie of the Korean cuisine. I thought that you could pass on the kimbap though, unless you really want to eat rice.

bean sprouts and some veggies
fried food such as spring rolls and croquettes
nuts, mini potato balls, and other appetizers

The tteokbokki was so-so and not comparable to the ones I had in Korea, maybe their sauce was a bit bland. The other dishes they had that I wasn't too familiar with were pretty nice too. They had this viand that looked like Afritada which I liked. Maybe next time they could also add names to identify the foods being served, it's a nice addition to cater those who are eating Korean food for the first time at Don Day.

Tteokbokki, spicy rice street food
Tangsuyuk and a dish I couldn't distinguish
Chapchae and Kimchi stew/Kimchi jjigae
sorry I didn't really get the names - but the one in the right tasted like Afritada but a bit spicier

To wash off the umay, we always get the bottomless iced tea since eating too many samgyupsal would feel boring afterwards, so some sweet drink might help. If you're not into juices, then the fruits available at the buffet such as pineapple and papaya are available too.

red iced tea
fruits in the buffet

Don Day Fresh Timog Branch's Grade: (5 as highest, 1 as the lowest)

Accessibility/Location: 4.5 - There are trikes and jeeps are available, and if you're feeling to energetic, you could also take a walk from MRT that could take approximately 10-20 minutes.

Ambiance/Staff: 4 - I wanted to give a 6! I really feel at home at Don Day Fresh Timog branch. I couldn't say anything bad about the service. The owners know what they are doing with their business because it reflects also on how their staff behaves and serve the customers.

Food: 3.5 - You couldn't really complain for the price. You also can't choose much with the dishes as they only have limited selection available compared to famous buffets in Manila such as Dad's, Yakimix, etc. I have been to their branch at Timog numerous times already and I notice different variations in taste of the food. On our latest visit, the Chapchae was still delicious, though the hint of sweetness was nowhere to be found. I also remember the Tangsuyuk I had on two visits were very bland while on my first and last visit, was sweet though the meat seemed to be over-cooked. (I recall this because these two dishes were my favorites :)) Anyhow, the yummy samgyupsal that is always present in our tables is enough to make me satisfied!

Price: 5 - This one is a no brainer. This probably is one of the most affordable buffets in Manila that will also offer you an awesome dining experience. Just think about this, one order of samgyupsal at a Korean restaurant would be priced at more or less 200-300 pesos, which is almost the same price of a buffet at  Don Day's, and hey, you can get your meats for unlimited servings! *wink wink*

If this post is not enough to make you try Don Day, then I do not know what will. I have not tried their branch in Maginhawa but I really really really love this their branch at Timog not just because of the food, but with the overall service of this branch. I have recommended this buffet restaurant to all my friends and Korean fans that I am acquainted with. The buffet may not offer the best Korean food out there, but I believe that the overall dining experience is what counts the most.

Don Day Fresh Restaurant - Timog Branch
2G-5 Sunshine Boulevard Plaza
Quezon Ave. corner Scout Santiago
Barangay South Triangle Q.C. , Quezon City
Contact Number: +63 906 331 0201

1. Alight at MRT Quezon Avenue, from there you have two options.
2a. Take a tricycle near McDo and tell the driver to take you to 'Sunshine Boulevard'. Fare should be about 10-15 per person.
2b. Take a jeepney heading to Quiapo. Landmark is BIR.
3.Don Day is located at the ground floor of the building.


  1. hi, have you been to yoogane? try their marinated chicken galbi it's a chef recomended dish. here is their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/YooganePhilippines

    1. the picture looks appealing, might try when i have time :)

    2. personally, i think yoogane is overhyped and overpriced. just my thoughts. tonichiwa

  2. Wow. I'm fairly new to your blog, but seem to have visited at the right time. Wonderful post. Really this site is very helpful for all. I got few important helps from here and highly recommended it.Thank you for a job well done. Everything was so exquisite!caterers in chennai

  3. ako I personally enjoyed my dinning experience in yoogane, sarap ng dak galbi nila and they have a very friendly servers

  4. have you tried kulpy? Those chicken pops in that sweet spicy sauce with the sweet potatoes? jeez, best hundred I ever spent on food. Sarap and super dami.

  5. Have you tried Daeyang Korean Restaurant in Kalayaan? Same with Don-Day, it's unlimited pork for 300php + Unlimited rice/soup/side dishes. And I love the ambiance too. There are a lot of koreans visiting the place so I feel like I'm in korea na rin hehe

    1. I prefer Don Day it's relatively cheap compare to Daeyang. Don-Day is a Korean food buffet + Samgyeopsal (unli meat either pork or beef) which is not limited to rice/soup/side dishes unlike with Daeyang. You can create your own bibimbap and eat other Korean food for just 399 or 499 (if you like beef)

  6. How much? Is it 300php+ only?

  7. hhmmmp weve tried to eat here just a couple days ago..but the samgupsal is cost 399! we just thought 299 only but i guess they got increase the price...

    1. so sorry to hear that! I haven't been to Don Day for a while now and I wasn't aware that they increased the price, is that 399 including tax?

  8. it increase the price its now 499 and if you'll have beef it would be 599


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