We have eaten at Yokiyo 5 times and have mostly enjoyed the experience despite a few minor service misses. Although we have never been to Korea we were introduced to Korean BBQ a decade ago in the US by Korean friends and "love" it!
Yokiyo is as close to a authentic Korean BBQ experience one gets in Amsterdam. It is not perfect but provide a Korean BBQ fix when we need it. If you are a Korean BBQ aficionado you may be left wanting, if you are a beginner, chances are you will enjoy the experience.
The location is central. Yokiyo is in the heart of the slowly gentrifying red light district. The dining room is spread over two floors with entrance and "a la carte" dining on the ground floor and only 5 BBQ tables on the second floor. If you want to eat BBQ , it is best to reserve.
In spirit, the food is very good is faithful to Korean palates although toned down to please Northern European tastes. Ideally spiciness would be notched up across tall dishes. Ingredients are fresh and of good quality. Portions are small for a Korean restaurant especially at Yokiyo's prices.
Traditionally, Korean restaurants serve an assortment of tiny side dishes and replenish them constantly over the course of the meal. These "Banchan" are central to a Korean culinary experience. Although Yokiyo serve good house prepared banchan, their variety is limited, size tiny and service staff seem reluctant or are slow to replenish them.
Service is uneven, we have mostly had good service but twice we have had average to poor service. We last visited on a Friday evening and some of the staff seemed more focused on ensuring we ate quickly and left than on providing a good experience. We hope this was an exception.
Yokiyo offers a decent experience, meets our expectations and satisfies our Korean BBQ cravings. We will return to Yokiyo. It would exceed our expectations and be of better value if portions were larger, banchans were plentiful and quickly replenished and if all service people learned to smile.
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