Young Gu’s American style restaurant, Jeju, South Korea
Decent western food at decent prices
Story and photo by David Holmes
Folks, in Jeju it’s is no secret that American style family restaurants are few and far between. There is unquestionably a culinary void that is often pseudo-serviced by the occasional Western-style Korean restaurants (also known as “fusion cuisine”). You know the scenario: a restaurant looks deceptively good from the outside, but the menu tells a different tale: It speaks of candied yam pizzas, cream cheese stuffed crust, a garnish of sweet pickles and the inexorable side plate of kimchi. Or perhaps you are more familiar with the seafood pastas, complimented by the time-honored California “looks too good to be true” rolls unexpectedly stuffed with sweet mayonnaise, kiwi sauce, pickled garlic and fish and who knows what else. That being said, however, there is a plethora of delicious Western-style restaurants on the island, and Young Gu’s, located in Shin Jeju, is one of them.
A self-proclaimed “American style” restaurant, the menu is both diverse and affordable, combining a mix of traditional Western classics with some fusion-influenced foods. Their forte is pizzas, pastas, salads and steaks, and what you see on the menu is what you actually get to eat. Despite limited English, the staff is always friendly and accommodating, even going so far as to find an isolated place to seat my dog. Service is good, although food is not always served simultaneously. The atmosphere is relaxed, and the music is upbeat. It is a great place for a date or even a night out with friends, and, if you are not up for dining out, they do provide a full delivery service (minimum order around around 25,000 won.) Furthermore, if you are feeling homesick, this could be your culinary and alcoholic catharsis. The restaurant offers a sound compliment of imported beers and cocktails. If you are looking for something exotic, then the curry pizza is the way to go (it sounds wrong, but it tastes so right).
Young Gu’s is located close to the Grand Hotel in Nohyeong Dong in Shin Jeju. (If your back is to the main entrance of the Grand Hotel, cross the street and turn left, it is about a three minute walk.) They can be contacted by telephone at (064)748-0980 or 1577-0982 (for delivery service.) For more information about the restaurant see www.09pizza.com.