Location: 4/5 – you cannot park a car, but hey! Metro is cooler
Food Quality: 5/5
Meal Vouchers: no
Cards accepted: yes
Overall Rating: 19/20
Yuniku is nice refreshment among restaurants in Prague. On contrary of other ones you prepare food here yourself, to some extent, and you do so with the best quality ingredients. You will be rewarded also by the odor of charcoal and grilled meat that will hold on you a long time after you return home. First things first.
Yuniku Korean BBQ is located not far from Náměstí Míru, circa 50 metres from the cathedral. The interior is nicely made in modest elegance of Asian style and the lights are very dim here. Each table has a special apparatus above the serving place which serves both as a light and a cooker hood for the built-in grill. The red-lit panels on walls are thickening the atmosphere and are resembling paper walls known from Asian interiors.
First, I must point out that Korean cuisine is about meat. Mostly beef and pork. Yuniku is no exception. Their meat is of excellent quality and the selection is amazing. It is upon you which part you would like to taste. The preparation is on you. You grill the meat together with pals at your table on a built-in grill with burning charcoal. Indeed, there are also kitchen-made meals. To illustrate the meat selection I do add a picture of their meat fridge with aged beef. What a view! ?
Drink selection consists of home-made lemonades, tap beer Pilsner Urquell, a couple of Asian bottled beers, four kinds of Sake and a huge wine list. You may also choose a few not-so-traditional long drinks with sake. I do recommend one with sake and juice from yuzu and lychee. Very delicious! However, I chose tap beer as a side for the food. Tea lovers will also be in heaven here. They serve tea in wonderful teapots and cups. For example this one below.
As a starter we chose cooked and salted soy beans Edamame. A simple and delicious food for cheap. Nice with beer. We also tried tiger prawns in tempura with a sweet dip. The tempura was crispy and the prawn inside deliciously cooked and juicy. My favorite starter was however Kimchi rolls. As the name suggests, they were rolls made of kimchi, which is a staple ingredient in Korean cuisine. Salted cabbage is mixed with chili, ginger and garlic and is fermented for a while. Simple and amazing food which can be both eaten alone or as an ingredient in a more complex dish. These rolls somewhat resembled sushi. The cabbage is the base of the roll and the inside is cold cut of pork neck in sweet teriyaki sauce. This is drizzled with wasabi sauce and herb sprouts are added as a condiment. This is amazing – a must taste!
As is usual in Asian restaurants, they offer you sticks to eat with. Here in more luxurious metal version. They look elegant, but eating with them needs adjustments. Of course they can give you a knife and fork if you ask for it. No eyebrows raised. The personnel is fast and professional and you can have comments and instructions on how to prepare the food in (at least) three different languages!
And now let us talk a bit about the Korean BBQ. The grill is built inside the table. You choose which part of meat, for how long, etc…as per your taste to prepare. They offer 4 kinds of grill sets with different kinds and parts of meat. Raw weight of one set is from 500 to 700 grams and it is enough for 3 persons (or 2 really hungry :)) I do add a picture of so-called Set Seoul.
From left to right, from top to bottom: beef cheeks, rib eye steak, short ribs, flank steak, pork shoulder and belly. Marinated pork belly, natural neck, marinated neck, king prawns and fishes (resembled Sardines, but I am not sure) and eel in honey marinade
And now for the hardest part – how did I like it. It is a very subjective matter. You prepare the food yourself and every cut of meat is different and should be prepared differently. You may dry-up a prawn after a minute on high fire, whereas short ribs can take at least three minutes to really become tender. From fish I must say I liked the eel. It was tender and delicious. But do not let it grill for long! From beef I most liked the flank steak. It needed just a few minutes and was tender and juicy. The biggest surprise was pork. I must admit I do not like it so much, and mostly I do not like the fatty parts. At Yuniku it was excellent. The marinated pork belly, or neck were both amazingly delicious and quickly caramelized on the grill. They almost felt like butter on my tongue. Meat is traditionally packed into lettuce leaves together with kimchi, onion marinated in sake (gorgeous) and you con top it up with three different kinds of sauces, which I would describe as complex tasting – sweet and hot ?
From desserts I tried créme brulée with lemongrass. My fellows were complaining about faint lemongrass flavor. I would say it was caused by strong tastes from the meat and sauces we had just a while ago or partly they did not expect food so delicate. It was a very delicate and balanced dessert which did not need a lot of lemongrass. It was to my liking and I would recommend it.
A final verdict? Go, figure it out for yourself! I definitely recommend this restaurant for all meat lovers out there. You can find here quality cuts of Wagyu beef from Australia or excellent pork from local sources. Most probably you haven’t been in a restaurant like this before! What would I do differently next time? I would give a chance to the chefs. I would not grill the meat myself and I would choose traditional Korean food from the kitchen. You can choose from a lot of such dishes. Many Europeans say Korean cuisine is too hot for them. I think in Yuniku they know about this and with the chili they stepped down a bit. Just a word though and you can have inferno on your plate as is common in Korean cuisine ?