Yoree Korean BBQ Dining is located in Forum South Global BGC. I was surprised to find out it was located in the same complex as Sarsa and Tipple and Slaw. Yoree is a barbeque restaurant at heart and is a match for the palates of many Koreans in the Philippines. I’ve been there 3 times and there are a lot of Koreans eating there, a sure sign of how authentic it is. Parking is a bit hard so I suggest parking in the Fort Strip and walking about 2 blocks to get to Yoree.
Once you enter Yoree, you’ll know this is not your usual neighborhood Korean restaurant. The place is decorated in hues of blacks and brown with a brick wall on one side and a black mirror finish on the other. Their tables like Sariwon are fixed so you can’t move them around to suit the number in your group. This is intentional because each table is equipped with a super strong exhaust system so you can hop in and have lunch and go out without smelling like you’ve been barbecued.
Each diner is given a small bowl of Juk or vegetable congee together with 3 other refillable banchans/appetizers. The banchans might be less than what you might be used but they more than make it up with that bowl of Juk. It’s a great palate cleanser to prepare your taste buds for the flavorful meal ahead.
Next was a sizzling and smoking pot of Geranjjim (P180). I’ve had this in other Korean restaurants but Yoree’s was the best by far, flavorful to the core with a nice smoky aroma.
Seafood Japchae (P250). They do this differently, instead of sauteing which adds a fair bit of oil, Yoree steams them in wax paper to give a stronger infusion of umami flavor into the noodles.
Dol Sot Bibimbap. A quick and easy meal in a stone pot with all sorts of julienned vegetables and seafood on top, add the amount of gochujang (Korean spicy bean paste) you want and mix away.
Haemul Pajun (P200). Seafood pancake with clams, squid, shrimps, slivers of green onion and chili. It’s my first time to have pajeon with clam and it definitely adds more sweet flavors to the batter. Better tell the waitstaff to go easy on the chilies if you have low tolerance else you might need to douse the flame.
I was so amused with the water glasses, with measurements for how much alcohol you’ll be consuming. I tried the Yujicha or Korean Citron Tea (P100), you can have this hot or cold.
We tried two of Yoree’s soup dishes, Chadol Duinjang Jjigae and Kimchi Jiggae. Both were on the spicy side but I was surprised I could handle them. Chadol Duinjang Jjigae had beef slices and tofu that went really well with the savory and spicy soup. The Kimchi Jiggae was a bit more daunting at first because of the fiery red color but the spiciness was actually tamer than the previous one.
Enough of the appetizers, soups and what nots, it’s time for the main event, the barbecued meats.
Yoree Korean BBQ uses charcoal briquettes in a table with a super efficient exhaust system specially imported from Korea. The table can even heat up the soups on the side.
Sam Gyup Sal (P320). Irene’s all time favorite at Korean bbq restaurants. Grilled pork belly that is usually sliced before hitting the grill, Yoree serves and grills it as one big slab of pork belly. This is to add juiciness and a chewy texture to the classic Korean dish. They also serve this with old kimchi (new kimchi is for banchan) which has stronger flavor and is grilled. The kimchi and pork belly are then placed on lettuce leaves where you can also add a sliver of grilled garlic before stuffing it in your mouth. Irene has ordered this everytime at Yoree and has taken to adding kimchi when she makes this at home.
Woo Sam Gyup (P320/150 grams). I was not expecting to like this marinated sliced beef belly but once I popped a piece into my mouth, I was a goner. This was my favorite dish of the day, tender and full of flavor that I hardly even tasted the fatty marbling. The piece seemed like it just melted into my mouth. There’s a wagyu version of this but way pricier but almost similar in taste, I ordered that one on my 2nd visit after this was not in stock….
Yangnyum Galbi (P720/280 grams). Marinated beef short ribs and shrimp in a Korean sweet and savory sauce. The quality of the beef is much better than the regular stuff you can order in Korean restaurants. Lauren loved this so much she had 2 orders. The shrimp tasted similar to the beef since it was marinated similarly, this I wish was not included anymore.
Jumulleok (P480/150 grams). Beef cubes marinated in salt and sugar and massaged for 2 hours. This was my brother’s favorite, I on the other hand found it a bit bland compared to the more punchy beef belly and short ribs.
We finished our Korean culinary adventure with Pat Bingsu (P150), a Korean shaved ice dessert topped with Adzuki red bean and mango cubes. A good dish to wipe away the flavors of the meal, I just found the container a bit too hard to eat from without making a mess.
Yoree Korean Barbecue Dining has flown under the radar, at least for me, compared to it’s packed neighbor Sarsa. Yoree Korean BBQ is now one of our favorite Korean restaurants. Prices are on the higher end of the scale but the quality and attention to detail of each dish is what elevates it over the other Korean restaurants. They also serve set menus for a minimum of 2 people from P500 to P1,200 depending on the amount and variety of food you desire.
Yoree has a sister restaurant next door called O’Rice that has a fastfood setup with lots of rice toppings and other quick and easy dishes.