Seoul’s Yoogane Dak Galbi & Myeongdong

Yoogane serves a very specialized dish in Myeongdong.  It happens to be one of my favorite Korean dishes. 

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It’s the epitome of comfort food with it’s robust flavors.  Also, it meshes perfectly with beers and soju, which is a common theme with Korean food.  There are many Yoogane restaurants around Seoul and South Korea.  What makes Yoogane so special?  It serves Dak Galbi.

I’m from the Los Angeles area.  There are an excessive amount of Korean restaurants.  There’s practically a Korean BBQ spot on every corner of K-Town with a Korean pub right next to it.   However, there’s only one Korean restaurant that serves Dak Galbi out of all those fucking restaurants — Mapo Galbi.  Why?  It’s a dish that’s very hard to perfect like coming up with the perfect weed strand.

Yoogane Store sign in Myeongdong
Yoogane Store sign in Myeongdong

This Yoogane is in the popular shopping district of Myeongdong.  When I arrived for dinner, it was fully packed and almost every seat was taken.  The key thing was it wasn’t packed with tourists; it was packed with locals.  A restaurant filled with locals is a great sign of quality like crackheads hanging out at a particular block in Los Angeles.

The service is good.  In addition, they had English menus.  The decor is similar to your typical Korean restaurants, which is wood tables and seats.  The ambiance was loud and lively as any Korean pub.  Yoogane has a DIY salad bar; in addition, they had the annoying service bell.  I have to give it to the Koreans.  They’re pretty patient people.  I would have gone ape shit after a few hours of hearing the bell go off.

Yoogane's Dak Galbi
Yoogane’s Dak Galbi Beginnings

Now, the dish of the hour.  The Dak Galbi.  The ganjang marinated chicken is cook in a hot pan.  It’s all done in front of you like the government royally screwing you when it comes to certain domestic policies.  There was an outer brim for cheese fondue and it was intended to be used as a dip for the Dak Galbi.  The abundant onions and veggies are mixed in with the chicken as it cooks; furthermore, there’s a sweet chili paste added to the chicken for a little spice to the dish.  The spice isn’t overbearing like a clingy new lover.  It’s like come on… Why are you trying to move in when we just got married yesterday?

Anyway, the chicken is extremely tasty and comforting.  There a lot of different textures and flavors within the dish; the cheese adds a whole another level to the game like adding bacon to your cheeseburger.  The sweetness and flavors of the chili paste combined with the ganjang then there’s a mild cheese flavor with the elastic cheese texture.  Furthermore, the onions still retained its sharpness while being caramelize.  It was flavor on top flavor like bacon on top of ice cream.  Just wild.

Yoogane's Dak Galbi
Yoogane’s Dak Galbi finish product

Lastly, Yoogane needs to expand around the world so I don’t have to fly to South Korea to get Dak Galbi.   Los Angeles’ Mapo Galbi satisfies my cravings but it’s inconsistent.  Plus, it has a line now and we can all thank Chef David Chang for that.  Thanks for letting the world know my secret spot, David.  Jerk.

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  • 7.5/10
    Service - 7.5/10
  • 7/10
    Presentation - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Flavors - 8/10
  • 6/10
    Decor - 6/10
  • 6.5/10
    Ambiance - 6.5/10
7/10

Summary

Yoogane serves a very specialized dish in Myeongdong.  It happens to be one of my favorite Korean dishes — Dak Galbi.  The Korean comfort food is chicken KBBQ, but it’s served with cheese and a spicy sauce.  It’s the best Dak Galbi I’ve ever had.  I would seriously marry a Korean woman if she knew how to make this right.

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