Carnivore Craving: A “Yoree Korean Barbecue Dining” Review
Nov 2015 UPDATE: My friends and I went back to Yoree a few days ago and sadly, the experience wasn’t as desirable as the first time we visited 🙁 They had no lettuce in stock for the samgyeopsal, service wasn’t as good as we hoped, the food didn’t seem to be as enjoyable. Hopefully it was an isolated case.
I’m having one of those episodes when I’m craving for something and I can’t stop babbling about it until I have a bite. This time, it’s grilled meat so I was nagging my workmates about having a quick lunch at Sambokojin to satisfy my carnivore craving. Thing is, we’re just gonna steal some time from our lunch break, so it had to be somewhere close, and with a little bit of persuasion, I said yes to having samgyeopsal at Yoree Korean Barbecue.
Yoree was a short walk from where we work, and just a few meters from Sarsa. We went there on a lunchtime but surprisingly, there wasn’t a waiting line and there were still a few free tables, which was great coz’ my craving seemed to intensify by the time we got to the restaurant.
I was glad that it was going to be a smokeless cooking because we still had to get back to work and we didn’t want to come back smelling like we were the ones barbecued. I’ve heard that their specialized grills suck smoke downwards instead of upwards, which was pretty neat. The tables are also equipped with specialized heaters that remind me of induction cookers. I can already tell that this restaurant means business!
I was looking forward to the complimentary banchan, but when they arrived, they were a bit underwhelming. I can’t name all of them but my foodie buddies and I ended up getting a few bites from one to two bowls only. I can’t help but compare it to Masil’s appetizers, where we were served with heaps of everything, that I had to force myself to leave room for the main meal. What’s nice though is that they also served us a nice bowl of tasty congee which somehow reminded me of our own Arroz Caldo.
Haemul Sundubu Jjigae – Php 348.00
What Yoree lacked in charm with the appetizers, it made up for with the dishes in their menu! For our soup, we had the Haemul Sundubu Jjigae, which was seafood with silk tofu stew served with rice, and apparently, also with egg. The dish’ fiery red color gave us an impression that it’s going to be extremely hot, but it was actually just right, with just a hint of spicy kick in every spoonful. Kinda reminds me of Caution Hot’s 1st Degree Burn level of spiciness.
Before it was served to us, the Haemul Sundubu Jjigae was first simmered on the special induction heater on the table I was talking about earlier. It had a distinct seafood taste, and one serving was already enough for the five of us.
Gyeranjjim – Php 148.00
Next in line was the Gyeranjjim – steamed egg that was served to us on hot stone. It was one of our favorites during the meal – it was light and is definitely fluffier that the steamed eggs served by other restos I’ve been to. I don’t know how many eggs they used in this one but one serving was also enough for all of us.
Samgyeopsal – Php 398.00
The highlight of that day’s lunch was definitely the Samgyeopsal. One order is 150g of premium pork belly, which as unusually thicker than the usual samgyeopsal I know. Yoree had an awesome promo that day where they give you a free order of samgyeopsal if you purchase 2 orders with your VISA credit card! Since there was five of us, we knew this would be a great deal.
Each order comes with pan-fried fermented kimchi, which they grill together with the meat. I’m not used to kimchi being grilled but apparently, doing so makes the kimchi taste more distinct. You can have your pork belly wrapped in lettuce together with rice, kimchi, garlic, and sauces (my favorites were the ssammjang and the bamboo salt), or you can go Pinoy-style and have it with rice. The meat was tender and flavorful, not to mention that that gentleman assisting us with the grill did a great job at cooking our meat!
The Japchae wasn’t too sweet, and was less greasy than other versions I’ve tried – probably because it wasn’t cooked in oil but instead, it was steamed in the wax paper it was served in. I’m not sure if it’s also because of the wax paper but Yoree’s japchae seemed to have a more appetizing aroma.
Dwaeji Soot Bulgogi – Php 298.00
We also went for the more familiar charcoal-grilled, marinated Bulgogi. This ended up as a good alternative to the samgyeopsal when some of us preferred thinner slices of pork to go with our lettuce wrap. Personally though, I still liked the samgyeopsal better.
The best part was that with everything we ordered each of us paid for more or less 400 pesos each only! Of course, this comes with the fact that we availed of the Samgyeopsal promo and we didn’t order drinks and dessert (bummer). But still, with how full we were after ur lunch, I say it was money well spent!