No doubt about it, we have found a new place and new reason to queue. Yoogane (요가네 pronounced yoo-ga-nay), the popular chicken galbi restaurant from Busan Korea, opens its first at Bugis Junction. (Read: Dear Singapore, Why Are We Queuing For Donuts, Fried Chicken & BBQ Buns?)
There are two main reasons why people would queue here. The first: Yoogane established in 1981, is quite a famous ‘Dakgalbi’ restaurant back home – selling tender chicken meat in a spicy sauce marinate.
Popular with the younger customers, friends from Korea also confess that “You should tryyyyy Yoogane.” (For Korean food fans, read: 5 Best Korean Fried Chicken in Singapore)
The second: Fans who braved the opening day queues said that it tastes almost the same, just perhaps less in portions to the Korean counterpart.
I was quickly seated in at 6:30pm. No queue. (But I am kind of sure it will come, because at 7:15pm the queue was snaking to about 30 pax at least.)
We ordered the signature Chicken Galbi with Chukkumi Octopus ($19.90 for one pax, minimum order 2 pax). The other popular order is the Seafood with Chicken Galbi ($48.90 for 2 pax, $58.90 for 3-4).
After about 5 minutes, the service staff came over to help stir-fry the Galbi, by mixing the diced chicken with ‘gochujiang’ (Korean chilli pepper paste sauce), and other vegetables – primary sliced cabbage with some rice cake, onions and potatoes.
In the end you may want to cook it yourself because the service staff were all busy. And because the restaurant are new, the flow of processes did not seem all that smooth yet.
Nevertheless, the Galbi was super delicious! I could imagine some would say “too spicy” with slight burning in the tummy, but the sauce is a winner. The meats and seafood were fresh and tender, especially the octopus who wasn’t chewy or rubbery.
(Note: I was initially careful not to order beef fried rice because my friend doesn’t take the meat. The service staff then advised that the other dishes “may contain traces of beef powder”.)
If you need some carb, try the Galbi Fried Rice ($14.90) with choices of Bulgogi Chicen, Marinated Seafood, or All-in. The rice would be added the same heated pan, and topped with mozzarella cheese in the end.
Parts we did not like as much. The Korean Style Seafood Pancake ($16.90) while being flat literally, was flat in taste as well. There is free flow ‘salad’ bar where there is unlimited kimchi, but the variety and presentation seem sad and you may see a solo fly hovering around.
My friends and I said we would come back again, when the craze and queue fades off. Now, those who tried it in Korea, tell me how it compares. Happy queuing people!
200 Victoria Street, Bugis Junction #02-47/48 Singapore 188021 (Bugis MRT)
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 10:00pm