I first heard of Yoogane from my blogger friend Richard, the man behind the food blog, Tales From The Tummy. During a trip to Korea earlier this year, Yoogane was one of the places that he had visited, and mentioned that they would be bringing their famous signature dish, "Dak Galbi" to the Philippines.
A few days after they opened their doors to the Philippine public, my blogger buddy Glenn Ong asked if I wanted to join him and other bloggers for a taste of what Yoogane had to offer.
I hadn't had Korean Cuisine since my delicious trip to Bulgogi Brothers , so I was more than happy to go! Not to mention I had never been to Il Terrazzo, and I was hoping to add more entries to my "Quezon City" Label..
And I wanted to make my mom, a Koreanovela fanatic that made her obsessed with anything to do with the country, jealous hehe..
Yoogane's interiors have a cool industrial feel to it. Brick walls with graffiti, wooden fixtures, and exhaust pipes clearly visible in the ceiling, snaking around the restaurant (more on that later), giving the restaurant even more character. More importantly, the dining area looks like a fun place to eat at.
At first look, the dining table reminded me sort of like those alien examination room tables that you see in the movies, with what one would assume is a giant probing device on top that can extend down on to the table where the poor abductee lays, semi-conscious.
The device is actually a retractable exhaust fan (your backside is safe, dont worry) that lowers down to the sizzling plate placed in the center of the table. The fan sucks up the smoke and smell of the food on the hotplate. Pretty cool.
Your Meal kicks off with three kinds of appetizers.. Kimchi, Pickled Raddish and Shredded Cabbage with Thousand island dressing.
And that's all I have to say about that (Fine, I admit, I didn't taste it).
With it being one of her favorite noodle dishes, Rina was eager to try Yoogane's version of Chap Chae (P200). The noodles had a nice spring to it, and the flavor had a nice mix of sweet and soy.
When Richard warned me about the spiciness of the upcoming dishes, I decided to be true to myself and order the Grilled Pork Belly Strips (P180). Due to my hyper acidity, spicy food does a number on my stomach, so I was thinking there was a chance i'd be sticking to that for lunch.
This was thinly sliced cuts of pork belly, with gorgeous char marks lined evenly on it. As a picky eater, I thought it could have used a bit more fat to it (depending on your preference), yet it didn't have the dryness of leaner cuts of meat. Other than that, taste-wise, it was darn good.
I'm approaching how I share my experience with Yoogane's main dishes a little bit differently. I can't go in-depth on how each of the Chef's Specialities is different from the other, because truthfully, after scorching my tastebuds with one spicy dish after another, I couldn't differentiate which one was which.
The dishes are prepared for you in your table by the Server, and it's pretty fun to watch. There is no way to ask for them to ease on the level of spiciness because the chicken itself had been marinaded in a spicy bath. The most you can do is tell them not to add the extra chili pepper when they cook it.
We tasted the Marinated Chicken Galbi & Assorted Seafood (P240 per person) with Rice (P40). Richard recommended adding Mozzarella Cheese on top as a way to temper the heat. Even with Cheese, it was spicy, so I shudder to think about how much more my tastebuds
The final dish we had Marinated Chicken Galbi & Marinated Pork belly (P220 per person) with Ramen Noodles (P70) and Golden Mushroom (P80). I found myself digging into this over and over again, despite my tongue feeling numb.
Thank goodness for the complimentary Yakult at the end of the meal!
The Best way for me to describe my experience in Yoogane was this..
You know those Cheesy Romance movies where these two lovers get into a heated argument, then then guy says something hurtful (But true) to the woman, and she gets so mad that she slaps the guy across the face? As soon as she slaps him, the guy instantly reacts by kissing her on the lips. The stunned woman breaks off the kiss then slaps him yet again. A split second later, she grabs the guy and locks lips with him in an even more passionate kiss? (Is it obvious that ever since I met Rina my movie selection has become more Nora Ephron than Jerry Bruckheimer?)
Well that's it. You want to eat more of it, but the spiciness knocks your tastebuds out for a loop. But yet you find yourself coming back again for more, until them scorched tongue of yours will slowly relent until it just says "screw it!", then after awhile you find yourself getting more and more used to it.
Much to my pleasant surprise, my stomach didn't have a violent reaction to all the spiciness I had just consumed, as I thought it would, making me enjoy my Yoogane experience even more! (Maybe it was the Yakult?) In my opinion, coming up with a "milder" spiciness" option would widen their market.
We just got photobombed by Richard Guttierez. Bastard.
I was happy to see the newlyweds behind one of my favorite blogs, www.lynne-enroute.com dining on some Dak Kalbi! The funny thing was, I was red faced and drenched in sweat cuz of the spiciness, while Ray seemed totally unfazed.
Thanks for the invite bro!
I told Richard i'm not comfortable with him looking at me that way,
especially when his wife is beside him.
With Blogger friends, Glenn Ong,