I Am Kim in Estancia Mall Allows You to Make Your Own Bibimbap and MoreMarch 17, 2015
It is dangerous to enter places like this after an evening of drinks, laughter, and more drinks with friends. Perhaps, such was the case for us, as we entered Estancia mall in Capitol Commons, bellies empty and brains still somehow reeling for the evening that was—instantly regretting the forgotten number of beer bottles and cocktails we’ve downed the night before.
By Chef Him Uy de Baron of Nomama, I Am Kim revolves around the bibimbap concept, providing a few appetizers here, ‘composed’ bibimbap bowls there, bottles of Bundaberg are available, and if you’re feeling mighty creative, you can even customize your own ‘bap’ upon request. Stay away if you’re avoiding carbs because this restaurant will have you shoving down heaps of grains down your windpipe without you even noticing. It’s dangerous indeed, but very, very satisfying.
We start off our meal with some appetizers—Korean fried dumplings stuffed with chicken and some dry shitake mushrooms seasoned with some aromatic soy, deep-fried and coated with the slightly hot, lip-smacking Korean spicy sauce you’d expect in your favorite KFC (that’s Korean Fried Chicken) joint. It is served with some pickled radish and some fresh shiso leaves to wrap the dumpling in—I like this idea very much. Some homemade Korean sausage is also served. Juicy and dripping in all its glorious oil, it is a mixture of ground pork, beef, other spices, and served crepiente style, also with shiso and served with some kimchi slaw.
We chose three baps to try—two composed and a customized one—that all come with homemade kimchi and set banchan. Don’t forget to try the teriyaki sauce and homemade gochujang as well. A fresh-tasting Spring Onion & Ginger bap is clean tasting and light. A raw egg is surrounded with some grilled chicken, heaps of spring onion and grated ginger sauce, bok choy, and is seasoned with some light soy.
The B.E.C. Bap, we are told, is quite the crowd pleaser (and why wouldn’t it be?). Crisp bacon and grilled chicken thigh fillet come with a sous vide egg. And to add a bit of color and health factor, some bok choy and green peas are added before dousing it with some soy caramel and sprinkling it with some cheese.
Yes, we had a third bap just because. First step is to choose the rice (we chose Organic Brown Rice), and topped it with two sauces of choice: Umami Butter, which is an intensely savory butter compound mixed with a bit of parmesan to give it that flavorful kick and some Roasted Garlic Paste, which is essentially some garlic butter mixed with some miso paste and sake. Next is to choose the meat, and since we were already going overboard with the pork, chicken, and beef, we decide to place our bets on seafood—BBQ Squid Lemongrass and Raw Salmon. Lastly, we chose mushrooms and fried onions and capped it all off with a sous vide egg. Fun, ey? You also have the option to add more ala carte banchan or meats to go with your personalized bap. It was tempting—very tempting—but with the amount of food on our table, we decided to be wise on the calories and save them for dessert.
I Am Kim is definitely a bright, new, yet familiar concept to enter the Metro Manila dining scene. Certainly, Korean food has found a place in the hearts of Filipino diners, and with this modern spin to a classic Korean staple, it opens more possibilities to more flexible and progressive food ideas to pop up around the Metro. If you’ve got a hankering for a hefty and hearty meal, you know where to head.
Have you tried I Am Kim? Which bap did you order or make? Tell us with a comment below!
Full disclosure: Pepper.ph was invited to feature the above establishment. Therefore, the feature includes no rating whatsoever, which can be influenced or biased.
I Am Kim
Address: G/F Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Pasig City
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