There’s something about dalk galbi
Dalk galbi — the spicy sauce, the cabbage and kimchi, the stir-fried chicken; it’s cheap enough for students and tasty enough for anyone. The stuff is just good. And no one does dalk galbi better than Yoogane.
A testament to this is the 31-year history of the chain. Started in 1981, Yoogane is now a booming franchise, from the myriad eateries in Seoul to branches in Busan, Jeju and recently, the Philippines. The Myeong-dong branch is highly popular with Koreans, as the waiter assured me, and is bursting at the seams on weekends – so much so that a second restaurant opened up three minutes down the road.
The menu is limited, with dishes including marinated chicken, squid, rice, kimchi, vegetables and a healthy dose of gochujang (hot pepper paste). But the little that they do, they do well. The most variation you can hope for is to change your rice to ramyeon, and throw in a couple of extras, which include cheese-stuffed tteok (rice cakes), sweet potato and mozzarella for those of us who have a tendency to choke on all things spicy. As with most Korean restaurants, there is an all-you-can-eat, self-service “sides” table where you can top up on more kimchi, pickled radish, or cabbage salad with kiwi dressing.
The crowd favorites are marked on the menu — marinated dalk galbi served in a skillet with onions, cabbage, potatoes and ddeok, and their marinated dalk galbi fried rice. Prices average between 6,000 won and 10,000 won per person, which makes this chain a good, informal place for couples, friends and families alike.
So it back, don an apron and enjoy the orange, red and yellow hues of hippie-tinted walls while your waiter does all the hard work for you.
Directions: From Myeongdong Station, line 4, exit 6, turn right after Uniqlo. Yoogane is on your left.
Address: Seoul, Jung-gu, Chungmu-ro 2-ga 66-6
Phone: (02) 775-3392
For more info, visit www.yoogane.co.kr