South Korean entertainment, including K-Pop music and K-Drama television shows, has gained immense popularity in the Philippines. As Filipinos became more exposed to South Korean culture through these mediums, their interest in all things Korean, including Korean food, grew.

Korean cuisine offers a wide range of flavors, from spicy and savory to sweet and tangy. Filipino palates appreciate the diverse taste profiles found in Korean dishes, which can cater to different preferences.

Good thing for locals; they are now more accessible with the Galaxy Star Cafe’ and Resto Bar in the city.

It opened its doors on August 7, initially featuring Italian cuisine on its menu. The management made the decision to incorporate an authentic Korean dining experience into their establishment after getting inspiration from a restaurant in Manila.

Eon Park, merchandising director, said they first started with the classic Korean fried chicken, wherein the level of spiciness can be upgraded upon request. It should be eaten using a tong, and the bones must be put inside the stainless steel bucket beside it.

“Our boss was inspired by some restaurants. What if [we] combine pasta and Korean food together? We started with Korean chicken; as long as we prepare a luxury and elegant place at a cheaper price, people can join and come here,” he said.

One of the Starbucks locations they visited inspired the interior’s dim lighting and paintings, which caught their attention. Its rustic industrial-themed walls and furniture give diners a vibe of elegance inside. But Park highly suggests checking their menu first to see how affordable their rates are despite the vibe of the place.

One of their must-tries is the Galaxy Basket, which contains all-finger food good for around four to five people. There is also a Gimmari, or fried seaweed roll, which can be dipped in the sauce of Tteokbokki, or simmered rice cake. Diners should not also miss the hot Sundubu Jiggae or spicy soft tofu stew.

“People love it too much; for us, it is common, but for others, it is not. I want to let people try it—step by step, we want them to see that Galaxy Star brought Korean culture here in Palawan,” he said.

Some of the main ingredients are ordered straight from Korea, like spices. For starters, it is encouraged to not cut the ramen noodles while transferring them from the bowl to avoid cutting your fortune, as per Korean culture.

Aside from food, there are also various choices of cocktails offered at its bar while on jam with your favorite K-pop playlist. The store also offers 50 percent off cocktail drinks until November 30.

A bucket of beer is also offered with a plate of sizzling chicken for just P400 from Thursday to Saturday.

The improved set of dishes and drinks aims to attract the age bracket of students to young professionals.

There is a door that separates the cafe and the resto-bar, which gives diners a different experience. The signature drinks at the cafe’ that must be tried are mid-berry tea and cream mango black tea. Their love for Palawan also shows in the ‘Isla Paraiso’ coffee, which represents the layers of sea and land in a glass.

Anna Marie Tenasas, the manager, said that its area along the north national highway is perfect for bypassers going to the northern barangays of the city or even to the northern towns of Palawan.

“They are curious; they stop here. At first, they didn’t appreciate the bucket for the bones (for fried chicken). What they really want is mabigay [sa locals] ‘yong feeling na in Korea, this is how we eat. The people inside are Koreans, but with the heart of Filipinos,” she said.

The Galaxy Star Cafe’ and Resto Bar is located in front of Francisco Ubay Memorial Elementary School and is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. It operates from Monday to Sunday.

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