I’ll just say it out loud now: I love Tong Yang. I love the yakiniku concept and Tong Yang was really one of the first to do this. So there might be the Sambokojins and the Yakimixes, but I’ve tried all of them and I’d still go to Tong Yang every single time.
To me, it’s all about the meat. Forget those fish balls and the veggies (unless you’re a rabbit), always go for crustatians and meat because that’s where you’re gonna get your money’s worth in buffets. Tong Yang, in fairness to rabbits and fish ball mongers, have a bunch of items to choose from. For P585.00 (or $13.00), you get a grill to make some magic, a pot for soup lovers, dessert carts, and even drinks1. Not a bad haul.
So why go to the Jupiter branch? There are more than a few Tong Yang joints out in the Metro. Why go to Makati? For the beef, people. For.The.Beef. You get to ask them for plates and plates of sliced beef. During my last visit, I ate nothing but beef belly. Fatty, fresh, thinly sliced, and absolutely perfect. I think I only got about 10 plates2. They have some good quality shit over at the Jupiter branch and that’s not something you can easily hide.
The argument for the Yakimixes are the sauces and marinades that they put into the beef. I’d argue otherwise. I’d rather taste the beef for the beef and cook it my own way. After all, beef tastes best with just salt, pepper, butter, and maybe some onions and garlic. None of that fancy marinade shit, just some good quality beef.
I like to dip the beef in their Egg Sate sauce (smothered with chili and spring onions, of course), but there’s still a place for vinegar, soy sauce, and teriyaki sauce lovers out there.
If you’re not into grilling your meat3, you can do a more traditional shabu-shabu with their soup stock — Chicken, Sate, or (the new) Sinigang. You can go half and half.
A visit to Tong Yang is always awesome. We had our annual Christmas Dinner here once and like every visit, it was quite embarrassing. Aside from the pile of plates we greedily ask for, we’ve always managed to stay up until they close the place down or until they politely hint us to leave4. Forget the bars and nightclubs, this is absolutely the perfect way to spend Saturday nights!