Yoogane 요가네 @ Bugis Junction

The Yoogane 요가네 hype has hardly died down, seeing how we had to queue for half an hour to enter even five months after its opening. My encounters with the local Korean culinary scene have mostly been exotic and not entirely impressive. Speaking of which, I have made a mental note to try the highly raved Kim's Family Restaurant... so how would the popular Yoogane fare in the ranks of these other restaurants? Read on to find out:

After queuing for half an hour, we were finally shuffled into a booth with prompt service, informing us about the free-flow appetizers that we can enjoy at an appetizer bar nearby. The mini spread include Yoogane salad, kimchi, pickles and cabbage which you can drizzle strawberry sauce with. We were also issued aprons each to prevent our clothes from being dirtied in case we get overexcited with the cooking!

Ramyeon noodles ($3.90) to add to the foray of Seafood & Chicken Galbi ($48.90 for 2-3pax, $58.90 for 3-4pax). Galbi refers to a variety of grilled dishes with marinated meat tossed in ganjang-based (Korean soy-sauce) sauce.

I think this was the baby octopus and squid that was about to be thrown into the mix as part of the seafood & chicken galbi.

Omelette as a side dish in case whatever we ordered wasn't enough! This was decently yummy, nothing less than what an omelette should be.

The cooking process was overseen by the different service crew members, coming in to encircle the cooking pan with a metal wall to protect us from the oil splatters. They proceeded to do the cooking for us, and it felt like we are watching a performance as they turned everything from raw to cooked right in front of our eyes.

When everything sizzled into a more calm state, the ramyeon noodles were thrown in as well.

Curiously, diners do not really get involved in the process as the service crew members will take care of everything about the cooking. Diners only have one responsibility: EAT! The overall spicy sauce was piquant, savoury and tasty. For me, it was a little over-spicy but it's something that can be gotten used to. The free-flow iced water helped a little! The mussels and prawns were really fresh and juicy, slipping from the shells easily. The portion is definitely too small for five of us (we ordered the two-three pax one) even though it looks quite huge.

So is the Yoogane experience worth going for? I would say that most of the allure of Yoogane comes from the excitement and experience of enjoying the Korean galbi and watching the preparation. Flavours and taste-wise, it didn't impress too much - decent but definitely not proportionate to the hype gathered around it. Therefore, I wouldn't say it's value-for-money... but if you are curious, go ahead and satisfy that curiosity, just don't raise your expectations too high.

Bugis Junction
200 Victoria Street #02-47/48
Singapore 188021

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