Yori is that place of extreme happiness I so dreamed of ever since taking M to the House of Ho-rrors (would you believe it, I’m not a comedian) a few weeks ago.
Having all the quintessential Korean classics under one roof is not enough to stand out in a territory conquered by all kinds of Asian cuisine imaginable. You need character, memorability and ultimately love for the people. Thankfully Yori does all of the aforementioned and then some when they opened about a year ago, and now this diner is a popular hit amongst the young and the lively right in the heart of London.
I was bought here during the rapture global warming floods of last week, truth be told nothing gets me out of a warm and fuzzy onsie quicker than the sound of a 50% discount. Booking your place is highly essential if any sort of deal is happening and ESPECIALLY if your patience for waiting sits somewhere between never and ever. Phew, we booked ahead of time and peering through the crowd we realised we didn’t stand a chance against the packed tables otherwise, and sure as hell wilted against the storm outside.
Speaking of love for the people, I take my hat off to the small team of staff who’ve managed to hold down the entire place while making it their mission statement to include every customer in the Yori family. From flipping your Bulgogis to taking cheesy candids for their Facebook page, they have customer service on lock. N.B. asking for this type of behaviour in Chinatown is strictly prohibited and offenders will be slapped with a laminated menu (Wongkei I’m looking at you).
For Korean BBQ aka Bulgogi first timers, fear not of the flame thrower as waiters are on hand to help out with everything and all you have to do is ask nicely. Ladies flicking your hair may also speed up the process at hand. So without further ado….
Let’s get some fire on these b******
– K. Hart
Lettuce, spring onions and grilled meat
This is a Bulgogi wrap. Super healthy and super moreish. I believe you can enjoy these endlessly without guilt no problem. Besides the lettuce adding textural contrast it literally has the calorie value of air, nil, so have these as starters/sides and you should have enough room to manoeuvre around the menu for other delicious things.
An array of different meats are available for the Bulgogi: duck, beef, chicken, seafood and a selection of pre-marinated meats in a gochujiang-base before hitting the grill. Personally I’m a fan of spicy and sweet food, so anything in gochujiang automatically gets 2 thumbs up from me.
The meats are naturally fresh and juicy so there’s no need to add extra fat when grilling, but try having other vegetables like onions etc on the grill also to help infuse the meat with more flavour and to keep it moist.
This gorgeous savoury pancake was our absolute favourite off the menu and is just about the right size to feed two people. The batter was a mixture of octopus, squid and spring onions fried to a squidgey yet fluffy consistency until lightly crisp on the outside.
Tteokbokki with Cheese
Tteokbokki with fried gluten, spring onions, cheese in a gochujiang sauce
Now instead of our usual tteokbokki (rice cake), we opted to behave like daredevils and ordered the tteokbokki with cheese. Things are about to get a whole lot extreme around here, hold on to your seats.
I tried hard not to make a screw face going in first with thy chopsticks… and yes I’m thoroughly surprised at how nice this steaming bowl of tteokbokki turned out to be. In the bowl was a stack of chewy tteokbokki fried with spring onion and soft gluten before being plunged into a sweet and spicy gochujiang sauce, but hold on where’s the cheese? After some digging I finally found it hiding in a clump underneath the tteokbokki and after swirling it around to mix it in with the rest of the dish, the gooey mess was ready to eat.
mmm cheesy goodness
Waste not want not.
I learnt a new trick today, apparently all Koreans do it. Rather than letting all the sauce go to waste, order some rice at the end and stir it in to make extreme awesome sauce rice.
To recap, Yori is a cozy spot with good food and great people. Sent home with a full belly and every fibre of my jumper swamped in the sweet sweet smoke, I think I’ll be back for a sequel soon.
Keep checking Yori’s Facebook page (CLICK) for details of flash 50% discounts on their bulgogi.
6 Panton St
020 7930 8881