OPEN: Daily, 24 Hours
PAYMENT: Cash Only
DELIVERY: Local Friendship HWY Area Only
LOCAL PHONE #: (045) 323-4400
MENU: See Attached PDF, prices and menu as of October 12, 2013
LOCATION: See Map Below
View Yu Ganne Cal Guksoo Korean Restaurant in a larger map
Korea Town in the Philippines
The Friendship HWY area of Angeles City is known as Korea Town. This area is located West of the entertainment area off of Perimeter RD. Along this stretch there are literally dozens of Korean Restaurants and by many accounts some of the best Korean food outside of Seoul can be found here.
While many tourists and visitors never make it this far down Perimeter RD, those that do find themselves in a culturally diverse, food lovers paradise area of Angeles City that has many delicious restaurants from several ethnic backgrounds including:
While Korean restaurants do dominate this part of town, those who tell you Korea Town is for Koreans only are sadly misinformed and missing out on some truly tasty culinary delights that locals and expats living in the surrounding area certainly know about.
The Best Samgyupsal in Korea Town
Yu Ganne Cal Guksoo Korean Restaurant, also known as “Samgyupsal Galbi,” “Yu, Gane Cal Guksoo,” and “Yuganne Calguksoo” is THE place to go if you want to enjoy the very popular fried pork belly dish samgyupsal.
Skip all the other places who offer you “all you can eat samgyupsal” for 250 pesos (approximately $5.81). All you’re going to get is thin slices of fatty cuts of pork belly that are similar to bacon. These other places pale in comparison to the samgyupsal feast for 2 that you get at Yu Ganne Cal Guksoo for 460 pesos (approximately $10.70). Yu Ganne Cal Guksoo serves up thick cut, meaty, slabs of pork belly with just the right amount of delicious pork fat.
First Course — Side Dishes
After placing your order for samgyupsal your server will start bringing numerous side dishes and various dipping sauces to the table. Usually there are 5 side dishes of which a few change daily, kimchi, a cold soup with a vinegar base, leafy greens, onions and chili peppers. Traditional accompaniments like lettuce leaves, raw garlic, green chili peppers, gochujang (red chilli paste), another salty fermented bean paste with a nutty flavor and sesame oil with salt are also included.
Each Korean restaurant typically makes their own kimchi and is a staple in just about every Korean meal. If you like garlic and kimchi, then the kimchi at Yu Ganne Cal Guksoo will be enough to bring you back time and time again. This is by far my favorite kimchi I’ve ever had anywhere. It’s salty, spicy, garlicy with hints of onion and a touch of sweetness. Just when you are enjoying all of the delicious side dishes and kimchi your server will be bring you out more.
Second Course — Soups
First, your order of thick, meaty and fatty samgyupsal cuts will then be brought to the table for inspection and table side cooking by the server as you continue to enjoy the side dishes and kimchi.
Next, two steaming bowls of soup will be brought to the table. The first soup is called Egg Chim and is more like a scrambled egg with green onions poached in a light, salty broth that evaporates quickly in the hot clay bowl. It’s strangely simple and delicious.
The second bowl is Doenjang Jjigae and it is a hearty and spicy fish based, seafood, vegetable and tofu soup. In this steaming bowl are dried fish pieces, squid, tahong (local green lipped mussels), spring onions, garlic, zucchini slices, fermented beans, potato slices, red and green chilies and tofu.
Usually one of the side dishes in the first course is raw squid or oysters in a spicy red pepper sauce. While I don’t have an issue with raw seafood, I always toss it into the bubbling mixture instead of wasting it and find that it adds a spicy complex flavor. I highly recommend this method.
Shortly after you’ve filled yourself up on soups, kimchi and side dishes the cooked samgyupsal will be served as your main course. It’s typically served with fried onion and garlic, but I like to keep half the garlic raw for the samgyupsal lettuce wraps I make.
The samgyupsal should be cooked, but not overly crispy. Feel free to advise your server on the level doneness you prefer as some people refuse to eat pork unless it’s well done. I personally find this absurd.
I’m not an expert on the proper Korean way of eating samgyupsal. Some people suggest that dipping it in the sesame seed oil with salt and wrapping it in a lettuce leaf with some rice is the correct way. This sounds boring to me. I like to experience all the flavors in one bite-sized lettuce wrapped ball of goodness.
Here’s how I eat mine:
- Put a small amount of rice on a lettuce leaf
- Add a touch of sesame oil and salt
- Add a touch of the fermented, nutty flavored bean paste
- 1 piece sliced, raw garlic
- A few pieces of samgyupsal
- Small piece of fried onion and garlic
- Top with small amount of kimchi
I wrap it all up in the lettuce leaf and try and keep it to one bite-sized piece (if possible) and pop it into my mouth. Finally, I take a green chili and dip it into the gochujang and take a big bite.
The flavors of all of the ingredients together in my mouth is overwhelming and like no other. It is a fantastic combination of saltiness, pork and pork fat, spiciness and garlicy bliss with several different textures and temperatures from the mixture of hot and cold toppings. Each time you chew a new flavor expresses itself in a unique way mixing with the other flavors and it’s truly a taste sensation unlike any other.
On occasion there is also a shredded green onion salad served with garlic and chili pepper flakes in a light sesame dressing that I like to throw in as well, but it hasn’t been served every time. Also two glasses of iced tea are usually served, but I find this can be hit or miss as well. An individual side order of rice will set you back an additional 50 pesos (approximately $1.16).
I knew from the minute I first walked in and saw only Koreans chain smoking and eating that I was in for a special meal. The value for the money cannot be beat considering everything you get with 1 order of samgyupsal for 460 pesos (approximately $10.70). This is a full meal for 2 people and almost impossible to eat by yourself. My total bill with a side order of rice and tip is 530 pesos (approximately $12.33). I’m totally happy when I can get out of any restaurant here for under 600 pesos for 2 people and be completely full and satisfied each and every time.
Yu Ganne Cal Guksoo Korean Restaurant is easily my favorite Korean restaurant in Angeles City and it has been for a while. Considering how many options there are for Korean food that is saying a lot. I find myself visiting this place at least once a week for the past 2 years.
If you’re new to Korean food or have only tried the Korean restaurants in the Entertainment District then you should make your way to Friendship HWY and Korea Town to try some of the best tasting Korean food outside of Seoul, South Korea right here in the Philippines.