Yoogane @ Westgate is a large Korean restaurant on level 3 of the Westgate Mall in Jurong East. It is one of those restaurants which has a stove on each table and the food is prepared for you at the table. It looks attractive from the outside seeing the plumes of smoke rising up from each table. But first, there are some rules.
The first rule is that the main course has to be ordered for at least two people. So no single dining and also the two of us could not order dish A and dish B. We both had to have the same thing. The reason was not explained to us but we figured later on that it was probably too troublesome to be preparing individual dishes for each guest. Or maybe the cooking pan is too big for a small portion.
The other unusual rule is that you have to decide what you want and order at the entrance. Indecisive people will be standing for a while at the entrance. The reason for this rule is not so obvious. Perhaps to reduce unproductive time at the tables? We decided quite quickly to have a classic Korean dish – beef bulgogi ($14.90 per person). Yoogane claims to be “one of the most popular and best chicken galbi (a type of grilled chicken) restaurants in Korea”.
There is currently a discount of 20% for students during weekday lunches. I was told that it applies to the table bill as long as there is a student present – but I suggest you verify this beforehand.
There is a tiny salad bar where you can help yourself to the salads. The kimchi was good. The other items looked colourful but were unexciting in terms of taste.
The staff soon arrived with the cooking ingredients and apparatus. The huge pan was fired up and the beef bulgogi was prepared at the table.
The final result of the beef bulgogi at Yoogane @ Westgate looked a bit like our usual local fried rice. But there were some differences. There was no egg. There was also no garlic taste. That explained the feeling that something was missing when we tasted this dish. The biggest difference between the local fried rice and this Korean bulgogi is the addition of cheese. Yes – cheese in fried rice. Sensing our apprehension, the helpful waitress offered to cook the rice in two ways. As the cheese was only added at the last phase of cooking, the rice was parted into two and half was cooked with cheese and the other without.
The verdict? It was strange to eat fried rice with strands of sticky cheese. They use the same type of cheese used in pizzas (mozzarella), so the result was similar. The no-cheese half tasted more like local fried rice but seemed quite hollow without the egg. My suggestion is to do in Korean restaurant as the Koreans do and go for the cheese. The taste was a bit unfamiliar but was fine overall. Some portions of the minced beef were however sinewy.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Yoogane @ WESTGATE
3 Gateway Drive #03-08
Tel: 6710 7821