Yoogane (Myeongdong Branch) is a restaurant that serves a tasty and spicy stir fried chicken dish with gochujang, vegetables, and rice known as dak galbi. There are actually two Yoogane locations in Myeongdong just down the street from one another, so this review is technically for both locations since they serve up the same food.
Yoogane is a popular restaurant in a busy shopping area. At any given time, the restaurant is usually filled with the younger crowd on a date or those looking to have a few drinks along with a cheap and filling meal.
It can often get busy at night and on weekends but with great service that serves up food quite quick, there is often never a wait for a table.
The most popular dish served here is dak galbi, which is a stir fried dish with chicken and vegetables. There are multiple variations and sizes of the dish that one can order. They also offer variations of the dish which switch out chicken for beef or seafood.
When you sit down at the table, the first thing you will notice is the grill in front of you. After you order a dish, the server will bring over a large pan where the food will be cooked right in front of you by the server. It’s great to order a beer, sit back, relax, while you wait patiently for your food to be cooked for you to eat.
If you are eating alone or not that hungry, you can try the marinated chicken galbi fried rice (6,000 won). This dish consists of chicken marinated in a spicy red pepper paste known as gochujang. Added to the chicken are scallions (green onions), onions, and a little bit of butter to add flavor and help with the cooking and browning of the meat and rice (added later).
As the chicken cooks, the servers will come over multiples times to check up and mix the food around in the pan to prevent burning. It usually takes about five to ten minutes for it to cook.
While you are waiting for your food to cook, don’t forget to visit the self serve counter in the middle of the restaurant where you can load up on unlimited amounts of pickled vegetables including kimchi, shredded cabbage with an interesting green sauce, and a cold, spicy soup with small pieces of vegetables.
Once the chicken is mostly cooked and the vegetables have become tender, the rice is then added. As the rice cooks, it becomes crispy as it fries on the grill. It also soaks up the flavor of the chicken and spicy gochujang quite well. If you were disappointed in the amount of chicken in the dish, you will love the amount of rice added. It will definitely make you full.
When the cooking is done, grab a spoon or chop sticks from the side of the table, and dig in. The mixture of the fresh chicken, the perfect amount of spice from the sauce, tender vegetables, and crispy rice makes this meal great.
If you want a dish with more chicken and vegetables, such as sliced cabbage, then you can order the larger Yoogane’s marinated chicken dak galbi (8,500 won).
There are countless restaurant choices in the area but both locations of Yoogane (Myeongdong Branch) manage to be a solid choice in the Myeongdong area. This is especially true for those looking for a quick yet delicious, filling, and cheap meal.