Update: Yona Yona has turned into some type of pizza joint. Will review soon.
Has it really been a month since my last post? My deepest apologies as I played doctor for my son and wife who both came down with a terrible case of bronchitis. However, I did get time to visit a few places between hospital visits including this trip to Yona Yona Burger with ST. In a nutshell, this was one of the best burgers I’ve had in Seoul!
How to get there: The easiest way to get to Yona Yona Burger is to take the subway to Itaewon Station (Line 6) and depart from Exit 1. You will walk for about 500 meters passing various stores and stalls on your right. As you pass What the Book you will notice a small hill on your right. There will be a trophy shop and a cowboy boot store (Yeehaw!) Walk up the hill and Yona Yona Burger will be on your right across from Coreanos and Thirsty Monk attached to Modest Pub.
Atmosphere and Service: Yona Yona Burger has a quirky but comfortable atmosphere. You can’t help but notice the owner’s obsession with penguins as you seat yourself at a table. The sizzle of your burger is audible as the kitchen is open to the dining room. The windows slide open to watch the colourful people of Itaewon walk about on a sunny day.
Service was great. ST and I had a fairly large order and everything came out quickly and accurately. The server’s English was good and she has a cute sense of humour. Overall, just a quirky and friendly vibe, like visiting Kristen Schaal’s house (Bonus points if you have any idea what I’m talking about)
Food and Drink: Today we ordered Crispy Buttermilk Onion Rings, Chili Cheese Fries, a Smoky Moon Burger, a Double Devil Burger, a Strawberry Milkshake, a Caramel and Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake and two Cokes.
Crispy Buttermilk Onion Rings (8,500KRW): The Buttermilk Onion Rings were some of the best onion rings I’ve had in Korea. They were fried to a perfect golden brown and had a nice balance of batter and onions. One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to onion rings is when a restaurant either over batters the onion or under batters the onion. It creates either a greasy mess or an overwhelming flavour imbalance. Not here though. Just simply money.
Chill Cheese Fries (7,500KRW): ST ordered the chili cheese fries and he was generous enough to let me steal a couple. First, they were very nicely flavoured. A couple of times when I’ve had chili cheese fries in Korea, I’ve found the chili to be a little overwhelming for my weak Western tongue. But Yona Yona’s fries had the perfect level of spice to it. The chili was generous and the sour cream was fresh. The fries, like the onion rings, were cooked perfectly. Not a huge fan of processed cheese, I would have preferred fresh grated cheese. But with that said, it was a great side and could easily fill two people.
Smoky Moon Burger (10,500KRW): ST ordered the Smoky Moon Burger and was very impressed. The Smoky Moon Burger consist of smoked cheese, grilled onions, smoky bacon, lettuce and tomato seasoned with black pepper. ST was generous enough to let me have a few bites. It was amazing. The smoky cheese and the bacon had that smoky flavour which complemented the seasoned beef perfectly. I actually preferred it over my burger, and would get it the next time I visit.
Double Devil Burger (11,500KRW): The Double Devil Burger is a beast. The Double Devil Burger consists of two beef patties topped with American cheese, bacon, tomato and lettuce. A simple, but delicious burger. Personally, there was a little too much lettuce on the burger for my liking. I had to pick some of it off so it didn’t offset the other flavours. That said, the meat was seasoned and cooked perfectly, and the bun was soft and fresh. Also, the little sear they put at the top of the bun is cool. This is for big appetites, so get your big boy (or girl) pants on.
Strawberry Milkshake (6,000KRW): There may be nothing better than a cold milkshake on a spring afternoon. ST ordered the strawberry milkshake, and since it’s very common for two straws to be placed in the glass, he allowed to to grab a sip. Not too thick and not too thin, it was a perfect thickness.
Caramel and Burnt Marshmallow Milkshake (6,500KRW): If you read my review on Brooklyn Burger, I can tell you that their Burnt Marshmallow Milkshake was amazing. This is a slight variant. Instead of Nutella, they used caramel. Personally, the caramel and the burnt marshmallow did work well together. I didn’t like the sweetness of the caramel and the charred taste of the marshmallow. The Nutella mixed worked well because the chocolate and the burnt marshmallow complimented each other well. It almost tasted like like a very bitter dark chocolate which I love. That said, the milkshake was still good, but I don’t know if I would order it again.
Value: The whole bill came to approximately 50,000KRW. We ordered a lot of food and to be honest, you could keep this meal under 20,000KRW if you avoid the appetizers and still get a very filling meal. I didn’t eat for the rest of the day, and in fact, had to be carried to work. Good food and great portions = great value.
Who Should Visit Yona Yona Burger: Looking for a good burger in Itaewon with some tasty sides and some great value? Give Yona Yona Burger a try! Also, it will help if you are a fan of Happy Feet.
Who Should Avoid Yona Yona Burger: Vegetarians will not have much fun here..