Kublai’s Rock is Back!

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“Kublai’s Rock on Jupiter St. was the place to be in the late 80’s.” according to Christine of ramblings from a gypsy soul. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t know and the name does not ring any bell. I started hitting the bars in the 90’s already during my college years. As with anything that is 80’s, this legendary place is making a comeback and hopefully for good after 20 years. ( Can somebody share what makes this Kublai Rock a legend during its time?)

What interests me in this place is the all-you-can-eat Mongolian Buffet that my wife and I have been craving for the past years after our favorite mongolian restaurant along Mile Long closed down, no other restaurant here in manila have been able to fulfill this craving. I’m sure some of you would remember that simple Mongolian restaurant (they even have 2 stores at that same location), the favorite hangout of almost everybody before watching a Louie’s movie (the first THX movie house in the Philippines) in Milelong, Makati. So ever since Christine posted “The Return of a Legend: Kublai’s Rock“, we were looking for the first opportunity to eat in Kublai’s Rock and finally we satisfied our hunger for Mongolian last Sunday night.

The good thing about Mongolian is that the food is as good as how well you would mix and match the ingredients. So for me, I had the best Mongolian buffet that I have ever tasted in years 🙂 Although, I think we ate too much and we were so excited that we finished 3.5 bowls. I was not disappointed with the assortment of meat, seafood and vegetable ingredient, including my favorite fish ball, mushroom, and tofu. They also have a free potato soup that comes with the buffet that just tasted like too much arina. We were hoping instead of soup, that they would include a dessert — that sago coconut milk dessert which gives closure and a satisfying experience after eating a lot of mongolian bowls. For P365 / person (including VAT and service charge), I do hope they include a dessert because we just felt that it was expensive for a Mongolian buffet. If I can remember correctly, we would only pay P100+ then for the mongolian buffet with dessert and I can’t imagine that it would be 3x more. But I guess you go here to experience the Legend of Kublai’s Rock…

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This was part of the original Kublai’s Rock concept, black placemats telling the story of the famous Asian emperor:

” Kublai Khan, grandson of the great Genghis Khan, & first cousin of Rod Stewart, was the undisputed master of Mongolia, Lord of all the people dwelling in felt tents, and Chief of the Hells Angels of California.

Kublai completed the conquest of China after attacking the Sung Dynasty in South China around the late 1200’s. He then founded the Yuan Dynasty, and the Beach Boys Fan Club of Mongolia, and established the Mongol Capital at Canbaluc, the site of present day Peking, near the house of Bruce the Boss.

As a leader, Kublai Khan courted Madonna & Cindy Lauper and had a reputation of being tolerant to his people. He permitted the existence of various religions and enlisted the services of Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Taoists and the original Flower Power sect. He accepted Confusianism and Chinese political ideas, and was an avid fan of Mick Jagger. He avoided having too many Chinese in high government offices as well as records and posters of Dolly Parton.

The Mongols, under Kublai’s rule were ruthless warriors, especially when they watched exciting rock operas, but lacked experience in administration. So they relied upon foreign people to look after the affairs of their empire, as well as to teach them how to play synthesizers and electronic drums. This eased reliance on Chinese administration.

The Mongol officials even went to the extent of temporarily suspending the Chinese civil system, to have their version of the Woodstock rock festival and to allow foreigners to assume government positions. However, a corrupt and incompetent admnistration resulted in a cancellation of the Beatles’ tour and dissatisfaction toward the Mongols.

When Kublai died in his empire broke up into several parts which resulted in the Birth of the Disco epidemic. A revolution in China in the 1300’s became the fall of Kubali’s Yuan Dynasty & his Beach Boys Fan Club. This restored Chinese rule in the form of the Ming Dynasty.

For 200 years, the Khans ruled Asia. In 1986 Kubali’s came to Jupiter, now 20 years later returns to Earth, and Rock and Roll is here to stay at Kublai’s Rock.”

It was hilarious and it provided entertainment as I wait for my dish with tag #33 to be cooked and served to me. Sometimes, you would wonder what is going on in the mind of the writer (or what is he drinking) when he wrote this.


Ah, my mongolian dish. It was perfect as I fantasized it to be — hot, spicy, sweet, with lots of slices of fish balls and squid. If not for my high uric acid, I would have put a layer of chopped peanuts on top of it which would give that crunchy texture and nutty taste.

The ingredients were placed in sosy white dishes with a play on different shapes and height on top of a back lit counter top. It was actually a great display concept and they were able to creatively put all the ingredients in a table with limited space.


And then the confusing choices of seasonings that overwhelms you at first. I was looking for a kodigo, which would help me with the sweet, spicy combination that I like. I tried to access my long term memory of how many spoonfuls should I add to create the right spicy sweet taste. I would just go for the tried and tested combination of Oyster Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, Sweet Chili, with lots of Garlic 🙂 At some point, my wife and I would have a contest of the best tasting Mongolian and every time that I would mix my own ingredient, somehow, I would like my wife’s concoction better than mine. (Any favorite combination that you would recommend?)


Of course, rice is an important part of the mix and you should be careful not to put too much rice because for some reason, it multiplies when it is cooked. Here is a photo of the entire mongolian display. Only thing here is that during peak hours, expect a somehow long queue. By the way, they are still in the soft launch phase so as always patience would be very appreciated.


The place felt like a bar with the chunky furniture, heavy leather square seats, and the black interiors and walls. I hesitated to go in with my kid expecting that it might be smoking area inside with the bar crowd. Surprisingly, I saw families with their toddlers eating there, after all, it was a sunday night and it means it is still a family day. I heard that the place really turns into a bar hangout place late at night specially last night during the world cup champhionship. We went there past 7pm so it was still a wholesome place to eat with your family and friends.

My overall assessment… Can we please have that cool mini sago with coconut milk dessert back to complete the mongolian buffet?

Kublai’s Rock in Magallanes.
Telephone Number: +632 851 6086

Anton

Restos Within Makati Area:

Som’s Noodle House – cheap authentic version of SukhoThai

Amici de Don Bosco — Home-Cooked Italian Food that you’ll love!

Sango — The Japanese Burger Master!

Sunday Brunch Bday Celebration @ Lumiere

9 thoughts on “Kublai’s Rock is Back!

  1. Yep kublai’s was the place to be before…it was the cono hanguout during the 80’s…people who werel listening to 99.5RT rhythm of the city frequented the place…
    btw no such word as “peanutty”—of course you can always use “nutty”.
    tnx

  2. Hi Anton, So nice to hear that you finally got the Mongolian you were craving for and enjoyed it!
    Yes, they are on soft launch which is why I haven’t written about the dining experience yet. Wala pa the main courses, but it should be available soon so come back for that ok.
    Btw, did you try any of the appetizers, like the tequila mussels? They’re excellent!

  3. Kublai’s was the best hangout in the 80’s and now it’s making a come back. Their pica picas are really good! I’ve got a few favorites like the vegetable croquettas, onion rings and tenderloin tips.
    Kublai’s in the 80’s was the place to be because we enjoyed rock music, dancing on the tables and drinking the famous double side of Khans. hopefully the young ones of today know how to have as much fun as we did.

  4. @christine, Cheech — thanks for the tip on the appetizers, will try them next time… tequila mussels and vege croquettas sounds good…
    @george — oh it was a cono hangout, interesting….
    anybody who has a picture of this place during its time in Jupiter?

  5. anton, check out mongolian stop. they have outlets in festival mall, robinson place manila, and i think galleria. mas sulit sya kaysa sa milelong mongolian bbq. try it out and feature it in this blog.

  6. if you want great mongolian, you have to try sweet inspirations at katipunan. good selections and you won’t go wrong with the seasonings bec they have a “kodigo” posted. i prefer my mongolian sweet & spicy and i always get the taste i want when i rely on their kodigo. im not sure of their price bec its been ages since i’ve been there.

  7. if you want great mongolian, you have to try sweet inspirations at katipunan. good selections and you won’t go wrong with the seasonings bec they have a “kodigo” posted. i prefer my mongolian sweet & spicy and i always get the taste i want when i rely on their kodigo. im not sure of their price bec its been ages since i’ve been there.

  8. If it’s good mongolian BBQ you crave, check out this place called City Grill at the 1st floor of Jupiter Place Bldg. (it’s the same bldg as IO karaoke) on Jupiter St. in Makati. They also have an eat-all-you-can Mongolian BBQ for only P225(!) and a kodigo on how to mix their special house sauce. It’s very good with just enough types of ingredients and sauces that preparing your own special bowl doesn’t become too difficult. Check it out.

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