Yukatsu & Uburger carries on traditions in a new way

Yukatsu & Uburger carries on traditions in a new way

Walking into Yukatsu & Uburger, you’re greeted immediately by the staff and its bright atmosphere while K-pop music subtly plays on the speakers.

The Japanese-Korean-fusion restaurant opened in late November, taking over the Pink Bicycle. It’s kept the bright pink interior and the cozy 60-person table service that Pink Bicycle was known for.

While that might be the initial draw for anyone who loved the Blanshard Street burger place, owner Dylan Lee and head chef Ilhan Yu said bringing “Donkkaseu” (a Japanese and Korean breaded chicken) to Victoria was the main reason for the endeavour. 

Yu told Tasting Victoria he was a sushi chef for seven years before this—and he was excited to create and curate a menu of his own with a Japanese-Korean flair. “I’d never seen a Donkkaseu menu in Victoria,” Yu said. “So, that was really exciting to bring.” 

On its walls are panels displaying the menu, educating customers on Donkkaseu—the Korean iteration of the Japanese pork cutlet, “Tonkatsu.” According to Yukatsu & Uburger, the word Tonkatsu is a combination of the Japanese word “ton” meaning pig, and “katsu” in Japanese, which is a shortened form of “katsuretsu” for cutlet.

I was served chicken katsu with cabbage salad, rice, udon soup, and housemade katsu sauce—a tangy soy sauce made with applesauce, onion, tomato, and carrots. It was a hearty and light meal great for these denser winter months. 

(Photo: Ryan Hook)

This is the second restaurant for the management team, which earlier this year opened Yua Japanese Bistro on Fisgard Street. Where Yua exceeds in fine dining, Yukatsu & Uburger excels in comfort food with a twist, such as its two burgers: the bulgogi burger and chicken katsu burger.

I had the bulgogi burger—a juicy Korean barbecue beef burger served with crispy fries. Bulgogi—I learned—was a royal dish most popular during the Korean Joseon dynasty in the 15th century and was considered an upper-class food due to its high price at the time.

In true fusion fashion, the chicken katsu burger is a reinterpreted burger with Korean chicken cooked in potato starch batter and double fried and served with crispy fries so good it feels like you’re eating them on a late Monday afternoon after school.

A welcoming atmosphere from the moment you walk in the door, Yukatsu & Uburger is a great spot for a bite before a show at the Royal Theatre, and a celebration of what makes Victoria so great: the fusion of many worlds in one place.

(Photo: Ryan Hook)

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Written by

Ryan Hook

Ryan Hook