It's almost the end of October, and as expected, reunions and gatherings are becoming more of a staple. I'm enjoying every bit of it though, especially since I get to bond with relatives and friends whom I haven't seen in a while. And the latest among my pre-holiday food trip session is with my lovely high school friends, just three of them this time, that is.
Since we already got so used to visiting SM North and Trinoma, we decided to head to IL Terrazzo in Tomas Morato. There are a lot of restaurants in this side of Quezon City, but surprisingly, we all agreed to try out the bright and happy-looking Yoogane which is actually a famous dak galbi haven in Seoul, South Korea. I've already seen several blog posts about this newly-opened Korean restaurant, yet I can't help but feel excited to finally try Yoogane's dak galbi (diced chicken marinated in a gochujang-based sauce).
After getting seated in a table perfect for four, we can't help but admire how they were able to pull off a cute and trendy, yet an industrial-influenced look at Yoogane. Actually, even the bronzy golden pipes made the place feel hipper. Oh, and since this is a Korean chain, they play K-Pop as you eat. We had some SNSD, 2NE1, Big Bang, IU, and of course, PSY's famous Gangnam Style throughout our stay.
Even before ordering, we were already served with free banchan -- appetizers or side dishes of sort, which consisted of Kongnamul (boiled bean sprouts in sesame oil), Baek Kimchi (spicy pickled cabbage), and pickled white radish. I wasn't able to ask if these were refillable, but I think they are, as with most Korean restaurants.
Since Yoogane specializes in dak galbi, their menu carries only a few choices with four chef specialties all containing chicken galbi. Our server for the night told us that each order is only good for 1 to 2 persons, so we decided to order three among the special items -- Yoogane's Marinated Chicken Galbi (P210), Marinated Chicken Galbi & Sliced Pork Belly (P220), and Marinated Chicken Galbi & Assorted Seafood (P240).
Our server cooked the orders for us, and we just sit in anticipation as we smell the really enticing aroma of the chicken galbi, pork belly, cabbage slices, scallions, sweet potatoes, onions, gochujang sauce and rice cakes. We also found out that the barbecue exhaust nozzle has flexible duct making it perfect to slightly cover the pan as the food cooks.
Here, almost everything's already cooked so the server lifted the barbecue exhaust nozzle. I was also salivating to finally get a taste of the dish at this point. I know, I know, it does look really spicy, but it looks delicious too!
When the chicken galbi, pork belly and veggies were already cooked through, our server added in some shrimps and squid pieces in the middle and cooked it in butter. While this is honestly unhealthy, I'd have to admit that we love almost anything with butter.
All three orders, Yoogane's Marinated Chicken Galbi, Marinated Chicken Galbi & Sliced Pork Belly, and Marinated Chicken Galbi & Assorted Seafood, were placed in this dish. And while this doesn't look appealing both on the photo and in real life, it was nice having the chicken galbi, pork belly slices and seafood pieces all mixed in together. As for the taste, we loved it! This whole dish was so savory and spicy, but nothing too extreme. The chicken and pork slices were also very moist, tender and succulent, while the shrimps and squid pieces were cooked to a perfect softness and chewiness.
For some carbs to go with our viands, we got two orders of the Marinated Bulgogi Fried Rice (P190) with a Dokboki (P70) add-on. Our server first cooked the toppings as well as the dokboki or rice cake before adding in the actual white rice.
It didn't take long before the fried rice was done. And while this didn't smell as good as the chicken galbi orders, this was definitely more visually appealing as our server even shaped our Marinated Bulgogi Fried Rice with Dokboki into a heart.
This fried rice order had the same gochujang-based sauce as the chicken galbi, so it was as flavorful yet not as spicy. It also contained beef bulgogi pieces which makes it an already-nice and filling meal even on its own. Personally, I loved adding in some of the bean sprout banchan with my serving of fried rice as it adds a nice crispiness to it.
While we thought the two orders of Marinated Bulgogi Fried Rice would already be enough for us, we were proven wrong. It was so funny how we really dig in and fight even for the last few grains of fried rice! So in the end, we decided to just order an additional serving of Marinated Bulgogi Fried Rice. This time, without a Dokboki add-on. (Not that we didn't like the rice cakes, but we still had some of it left n the chicken galbi.) Unlike the first two orders of fried rice though, this single serving wasn't shaped into a heart. If you're wondering, this is my friend Diana's work of heart. *wink*
Aside from the spicy dishes, we also got the Korean-Style Seafood Pancake (P165) which was soft and a little omelet-like savory pancake, filled with generous portions of seafood and leeks, and served with an accompanying sweet and salty dipping sauce. While I still think the best haemul pajeon I had was from Sariwon Korean Barbecue, this was also good since we even ended up ordering an additional serving.
When our meal came to an end, we were given four complimentary Yakult drinks. Although we usually have Yakult at home, I appreciated the gesture since this is indeed a good drink after a spicy and filling meal. For dessert lovers, Yoogane might not have some sweet treats on their menu, but they have a freezer full of Korean ice creams!
I don't always post photos of my day or night outs with family and friends, but this is worth posting. Not only did we enjoy our feisty dinner in Yoogane, but I also had my hair permed. If you're interested to read about my digital perming experience at Azta Urban Salon, then check out my new post over at my personal-cum-beauty-cum-fashion blog.
This might be our first trip to Yoogane, but it sure won't be the last. After trying out their chicken galbi, we can really say that it's good and definitely worth coming back for. Ambiance is also very hip and trendy, and despite having a table-top griddle, we left the restaurant smelling as clean and as fresh as when we came in. And on top of the great food quality and cheery atmosphere, our dining experience won't be as memorable if not for the impeccable service we received. There were a lot of diners when we visited, yet the servers didn't fail to assist us and make sure we have our water bottle refilled. I think my only qualm would be the limited choices of dishes on the menu. While it's nice that Yoogane capitalizes on their best-selling dak galbi, it wouldn't hurt to add more variety.
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Yoogane, IL Terrazzo Mall
G/F IL Terrazzo, 305 Tomas Morato Ave. cor. Sct. Madriñan St.,
South Triangle, Quezon City,
Metro Manila Philippines