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“Good Korean BBQ in Amsterdam. Uneven experiences.”
Review of Yokiyo - MOVED

Yokiyo
Price range: $4 - $40
Cuisines: Asian, Barbecue, Korean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Red Light District (De Wallen)
Description: Yokiyo started in 2012 as a Modern Korean Restaurant in the red light district. After 3,5 years Yokiyo moved to a new bigger location in Amsterdam East (Insulindeweg 1) and added next to the Korean Yokiyo flavours more delicous Asian flavours. Asian Modern Freestyle!
Reviewed October 20, 2013

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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Thank ericdumont
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (114)
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60 - 64 of 114 reviews

Reviewed October 10, 2013

I can't comment on the rest of the restaurant but the barbecue is pretty good. It's not often that I have found a Korean place with barbecue tables so five of us tried it out. The food was good and a lot of fun. One of our group travels to Korea regularly and he said it was very good.

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Thank dk011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2013

Was very disappointed with this place. Just the fact that you have to pay for extra kimchi (!) is telling enough not to go there. But my friends wanted to check it out, so I went. This place is obviously not targeted at Korean people, because they would never accept the following (below), it is obviously targeted at people who have no clue what an authentic Korean BBQ experience should be like.

- Totally overpriced. Most Korean BBQ places in the Netherlands are an all-you-can-eat concept, including a variety of meats and side dishes to choose from each round, for 25 euros p.p. on average. This one, however, charges 20 euros for just one (1!) meat dish with not even one side dish included! If you pay 24 euros per person, you get 1 meat dish per person with only 3 side dishes to share with 6 people! Is this a joke? Korean BBQ should be about variety to share, not having to share a tiny side-dish with 6 people.

- Greedy servings. I have never seen such small "banchan" (small pickled side dishes that come with meat) servings before. The tiniest saucepans ever. And that for 6 people. We all could only take one! small slice of kimchi. What a shame. And if you want extra you have to pay, and I've never had to pay for kimchi in a Korean restaurant before.

- Small meat servings. The meat plates themselves were small. Simply not enough for 6 people to properly taste, each person only gets one slice.

- The quality of meat. The worst I've had in a Korean restaurant before. First of all it was too thickly sliced. You shouldn't slice bulgogi or pork belly that thick! But the worst part was the quality itself - some meat was so hard I couldn't chew it. I had to go to the bathroom to spit it out. I didn't say anything to the waitress because we were with a group of friends and I didn't want to spoil the mood at the table. I've later heard from my friend she had the same situation - oops.

Some side-dishes tasted OK (as they should, unlike the rest of the stuff), and the waitresses were friendly, but it's not enough to make up for the major shortcomings in quality of meat.

If you want a proper Korean BBQ experience google for "all you can eat korean bbq" in Amsterdam of the Hague, OR even better - check out the 2 "unglamorous" yet authentic family-run restaurants in the south of Amsterdam, and avoid this place.

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4  Thank Julia_van_Bommel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2013

We came in on a whim, and left amazed by the experience. We tried the 6-course dinner menu and each dish was pleasing to the eyes and to the palate. And dessert selection was composed of traditional sweets with a contemporary twist. If there is anything to be faulted, perhaps it is the limited selection of wines (they could offer a wine tasting?) but this did not take away from the overall enjoyment. Best of all was to sit not too close by the window and get the view of the canal reflecting the lights, the old church, and the treetops swaying with the wind - you could forget that you were in the middle of the red light. Service was also faultless.

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Thank Sonjee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2013

Walked into Yokiyo by accident on our way home and decided to stay for lunch. Got a window seat in the salon, opposite the oldest building in Amsterdam (800 years old church the 'Oude Kerk'), the red lights district and a canal. Apart from all of the entertainment going on outside, Yokiyo is quite entertaining itself. The old building has a very tasteful decoration. On the first floor you'll find beergarten style long wooden tables where you can just sit grab a seat and have a Korean meal. On the second floor, tehre are about 5 private BBQ tables (two shifts a night Thursday-Sunday) and a couple of tables you can reserve in the salon where you'll be served a chef's menu at dinner time.

Our lunch was a mix of great Korean food (some sort of pancakes with shrimp and a hot pot rice bowl with vegies, beef and egg) and hospitality. The korean waiter was a very nice guy who took the time to explain the korean kitchen and even offered us some of their national 19% spirit, a surprisingly nice drink with a soft ring to it.

We'll be back for dinner for sure someday soon to discover more of the korean cuisine at this very friendly place.

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Thank Adamgraffiti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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