The mass infatuation with K-Drama, K-Pop and thereby Korean culture also resulted in more interest in Korean cuisine. And like other countries, many restaurateurs in Bangladesh are trying to satisfy this food fetish by serving us tempting Korean delicacies.
But have you ever thought you could find a good Korean restaurant in Old Dhaka? Well, first of all, pop that bubble of stereotypical thinking that Old Dhaka is all about Biryani and Bakarkhani.
Secondly, this part of Dhaka also has a nice Korean restaurant called Yuseong. Although most of the posh Korean restaurants are located in the so-called New Dhaka, Yuseong will provide you with a budget-friendly taste of popular Korean treats .
The Business Standard team had the opportunity to speak with one of its owners to learn more about the restaurant. We also tried a bunch of their delicious dishes to help you decide whether it was really worth your money and time.
Well, one thing you can be sure of is that having a scrumptious meal at Yuseong will not make a dent in your pocket when satisfying your foodie spirit.
Situated in Wari, the oldest aristocratic area in Dhaka, Yuseong garnered much appreciation from the food lovers of Old Dhaka in a very short period of six months. Two young entrepreneurs, Zaria Akhter and Raihan Rafiq founded this venture in October 2020.
"Yuseong started as a cloud kitchen in October, 2020. But as we observed the demand for our food gradually increasing, we started our dine-in service in December 2020. We believe that dining in gives our customers a better experience of our food," said Rafiq, co-owner of Yuseong.
When asked about how this sort of restaurant is doing in Puran Dhaka, they answered that as time has changed, the new generation demands variety and uniqueness in food. They added that it does not matter which part of Dhaka they are from, young people as a whole love to try new cuisines.
Coming to the ambiance of the restaurant - it was decent. The decor is minimalistic. They did not try to make it look too grand but rather gave it a more comfortable, welcoming look.
Now, let's come to the food we tried here.
Korean Spicy Ramen
Ramen is the most popular quick meal of Korea and of course, Yuseong has it.
Served with flavourful chicken broth, fresh scallions, perfectly cooked braised chicken and crunchy tofu, this ramen is a package of goodness poured in a piping hot bowl.
The texture of this ramen was perfect and the crispy skinned chicken accompanied with an exquisite sauce, will beguile any food lover.
Although it claims to be spicy, I thought it had the right amount of heat blended with interesting flavours. The thick wheat ramen mingled with the flavor of chicken makes it stand out from any basic dish with noodles.
You can get this wholesome dish for Tk290.
Among all the dishes we tried, this is the best one. This is a traditional Chinese-style Korean noodle dish topped with a spicy and thick bean sauce, thinly cut mushrooms and diced sausages.
The moment I stirred the noodles with the toppings and then slurped it, it felt like a party in my mouth. Although the traditional Jajangmyeon is supposed to have a sweet-ish flavour, this version focuses more on being spicy.
Nonetheless, this meaty delight was mouthwatering. Another plus point was the portion size of the dish. One bowl of Jajangmyeon can definitely satisfy two hungry people.
The price of this delicious feast is only Tk320.
It is a traditional wonton stuffed with perfectly steamed chicken, doused in their delicious house special fragrant chili oil and paste.
The six wontons were garnished with spring onions and visually, it looked polished. The taste was above average but one cannot claim for it to be the best in the town.
Overall, it can be a good appetizer to start your meal with. The price of this simple wonton dish is Tk220.
Bibimbap (Rice bowl)
This is the second-best dish I tried from their main course. The presentation and the taste of this rice bowl were equally commendable.
Although the traditional Korean Bibimbap is supposed to have boiled rice, poached egg, chicken and veggies, this Bibimbap is customised according to local preferences. They used naga rice instead of boiled rice which was actually appetizing.
The toppings were also different from the traditional dish. For instance, they used boiled eggs, instead of poached.
Even though they did not follow the traditional recipe, the local people love this dish for its variety of toppings, especially the crispy chicken fillet sprinkled with sesame seeds.
This picture-perfect rice bowl costs only Tk270.
Yuseong's lockdown phase
Like any other business, Yuseong faced difficulties during the lockdown. However, they have successfully created a fanbase with a unique approach and it is helping them grow despite their constraints.
Rafiq said, "It has only been six months and we have received an overwhelming response from the customer. I cannot say it is doing great but better than we expected. Probably when we will establish Yuseong as a brand which people can recognise easily, we can then be called successful."
The only thing that this restaurant lacks is effective customer service. We were served our meal after 20 to 30 minutes. Although the staff were pleasant and helpful, the serving time should be reduced.
This small restaurant serving Korean cuisine at an affordable price is worth giving a try. Other than the dishes mentioned, it also has various Korean meals such as Beef Bulgogi, Dan Dan noodles, etc. alongside a conventional assortment of drinks.
They claimed, however, that we had tried their best selling dishes.
Yuseong is located at Rose Valley Shopping Mall, 29, Rankin Street, Dhaka-1203. It opens at 11:30am and closes at 10:30pm.
You can order their food by directly calling them as well.