Korean restaurants can be spotted almost everywhere here in Philippines. Not only in Manila but also in some parts of our provinces. Thanks to K-Drama and K-Pop influence, a lot of Filipinos are now even into K-food, from kids to kids at heart.
Back in college years, I met Korean classmates, businessmen and women who introduced me to their culture, firstly to their food. I learned to appreciate spicy food, spicy Korean noodles to be specific. And as time goes by, Korean food has become my second favorite cravings after Filipino food.
Kiwa Express opened its doors at Ayala Malls Manila Bay, introducing to mall patrons exceptional Korean dining options at an affordable price point. The quick-service casual Korean restaurant is an offshoot of Kiwa Korean Grill at Solaire Resort, promising to bring premium Korean menu offerings not yet offered by other Korean restaurants.
Dr. David Shim, CEO and owner of Kiwa Express, explains his reasons for this new direction. “I’ve been operating Kiwa Restaurant in Solaire since 2015 and there has been this growing demand from Filipino regulars wanting easier access to my authentic Korean food.”
“Authentic” is an important aspect of the Kiwa Express experience for Dr. Shim. “It is true-to-heart Korean food. Not fusion. Not localized. And we offer high-caliber and quality Korean cuisine at a very affordable price...the quality is identical to the food that they would sample from Kiwa in Solaire.” The unapologetic authenticity of his food is the key to his success.
Kiwa Express menu features items hand-picked by Dr. Shim and classified as Kiwa signature dishes or chef’s special recommendations. He explains his personal recommendation for first-time diners, ”Kiwa Galbitang, the Korean version of bulalo. I will guarantee you that it will make you very happy.” The hearty, nourishing beef stew is a great gateway to the world of Korean food. Beef short ribs are stewed slowly in aromatics resulting in a clean, delicate broth that is a feast to the senses. Dr. Shim also highly recommends the must-try Kimchi Jjigae -- a warming, spicy stew highlighting their signature kimchi, Doenjang Jjigae, Jap Chae, and Shrimp Tempura.
Portion sizes in Kiwa Express are priced according to individual servings. There are also family-sized options for diners who come in big groups. Packaged meal sets are offered to make ordering easier for customers.
And if you want some desserts....
Dr. Shim believes Korean food will continue to be popular among Filipinos. “I observe food being served to the general public is too much of fast food and instant food. It is too salty, sweet, deep fried and harmful to your health. Korean food offers a healthy alternative as it uses generous portions of vegetables. Kiwa Korean food, in particular, is not instant nor ready-made food, and always delivered via on-site preparation and cooking. I hope to provide healthier alternative for Filipino people for better well-being."
Kiwa Express in Ayala Malls Manila Bay is the first of many branches already in the works. “This restaurant is our launch pad, the model on which new branches will be based. When this clicks, we already have other upcoming outlets.”
Kiwa Express is located at the 3rd floor, Building B, Ayala Malls Manila Bay, Macapagal Boulevard corner Aseana Avenue, Paranaque City. For inquiries, guests can call (02) 7004 7472 or send a message via Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/kiwaexpress/) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100089962269105).