“Just because I can’t sing, doesn’t mean I won’t sing.” – My mantra since I have friends who can really belt out high notes and can manage to cover new hits without so much a sweat. Now, double that singing gathering with good food and I will really give it my all. While the Philippines, Japan, and Korea among other Asian nations will have karaoke bars in literally every street possible, Vienna has very few. There are those you can rent for a price with food would served along, but I find that they aren’t easy on the pocket. And that is why Yori, a korean restaurant in the middle of the city is a favorite among foodies who also love to sing (read: me).
One gets a welcoming ambient and the deep red interior gives a serious ambiance that spells good food and well-prepared plating. Yori offers a variety of korean dishes and its traditional barbecue.
Located at the center of Vienna, the restaurant offers fine korean dining experience, complete with Gogigui (meat roast), albeit portable stoves are provided for ease of use ( I seem to not have a photo though). Attendants here are very friendly and accommodating, coming from different backgrounds mixed in an environment of good service, diverse languages, and sincere smiles. They would readily bring you a gogigui once requested and help you a bit with the barbecue-ing.
Appetizers include Gum Mandu, Gangjeong chicken, Kim Mari, and glass noodle among others. The seafood pajeon is a personal favorite, it’s a korean pancake of shrimps, mussels, squids, young onions, and courgettes filled with dough and eggs on both sides and fried until golden brown. It comes with a dip of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame (chili) oil, and honey. Pajeon also comes in kimchi form. If you’re not a big eater, this will make you full enough for an evening meal, the serving is big enough for two people to share.
Among the main dishes, the dolsot Bibimbap (hot stone-pot bibimbap) is a must. It is after all one of the more famous among korean cuisine, along with bulgogi and of course, kimchi. Bibimbap, literally mixed rice, is like the japanese donburi or rice-bowl dishes. The difference is the addition of namul (sautéed and seasoned vegetables), also gochujang (chili pepper paste), soy sauce, and/or doenjang (a fermented soybean paste) on rice and meat which is usually beef. There’s also a wide variety of bibimbaps…in Yori, for example, they have quinoa bibimbap, a combo of quinoa and beef, and vegetable bibimbap for those who doesn’t eat meat. The dolsot bibimbap is served from the pot it is cooked from. That’s why it comes in hot when served and continues to be cooked when you’re eating. The rice gets a bit toasted if you don’t mix well, so better make sure that you mix well. 🙂
When it comes to being indecisive, the salmon teriyaki meal, salmon fillets in a Japanese marinade of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar is my go to. One can never go wrong with salmon and this japanese goodness of a set would be an instant favorite even in a korean setting. Flaky fish flesh that’s easy on the palate, with the marinade subtly pinched through. The rice, always served steaming hot, and 4 banchan (side dishes) go really well with the vegetables that were cooked just right.
Jjigae, or stew, are also served in abundance, these are best for winter…korean stew surely warms up cold hands and tummy, probably the throat as well to prepare one for karaoke. 😛
Bulgogi, the more famous dish of thin beef and the other, galbi which is the ticker beef cut are your choices for barbecue-ing. There are also tagliatelle with interesting mixes to choose from…bulgogi tagliatelle, sounds good?
After a wonderful meal of awesome flavors, it should be time to burn off some calories by spending some time belting out at the cellar. There’s a wide range of songs: be it English, Korean, Tagalog, Japanese, Chinese…I think I even spotted Vietnamese although I’m not sure if there’s German and other European ones.
While you’re at it, have some of the yummy dessert offered.
Another Japanese favorite, matcha, termed nokcha in korean, are served as dessert preparations. There’s nokcha tiramisu and nokcha ice cream, both sprinkled with nokcha for a bittery-sweet ending.
Yori can be found in the heart of Vienna, a few minutes from the train station Schwedenplatz (U1 and U4 stops here) or the tramlines 1 and 2 at Wiesingerstraße 8 to be exact. It can’t be missed, the red and black exterior is easy to identify.