Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

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Brunei restaurant review: Yugo BBQ and Shabu Shabu restaurant

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Bruneians love shabu shabu and that has been evident by the mushrooming of various shabu shabu establishments lately, with more and more opening soon. For some reason, we simply love the idea of gathering with friends and cooking the food ourselves – a growing trend in Brunei. Now what makes Yugo stand out from the other Brunei shabu shabu restaurants ?

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First and foremost, I admit I have a love for BBQ and Yugo makes it even better by providing charcoal grill  for customers to enjoy that delicious charcoal BBQ. People who had tried to start a fire to light up their charcoal for a BBQ should know how time consuming this it so I’m very happy to know about this special service provided by Yugo.

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Charcoal fire is also superior to gas/stove flames. It imparts a certain taste that’s unique only to cooking using charcoal heat. For quality meats, I have to say, using charcoal fire to cook cooks the food faster and gives the surface area of meat a good sear to create the maillard reaction, the delicious browning of the meat to improve the flavour and texture.

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The best part is, Yugo staff will coat the hotplate with a layer of oil to make cooking easier for you. You can also request for them to change the hotplate if you’re done quite a lot of cooking and the food starts to stick.

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Another good reason to like Yugo is their sauces and condiments. They get my vote for having the best mix and blend of sauces amongst all the shabu shabu establishments. Their Home Made Kampung sauce and their home made chili sauces are good choices, along with Taiwanese style Satay sauce or other sambal sauces. Recenty they introduced the home made spicy shrimp sauce and sweet tomato sambal. The fun part is to create your own sauce using the available condiments to suit your taste. There are times when one of our friends created the ultimate sauce and passed it around to share – or the worse possible combinations – and be ridiculed by everyone!

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Yugo has quite a few types of soups to choose from for their Shabu Shabu but I’m a big fan of their Chinese Tonic soup – giving the goodness of medicinal herbs – plus I just love the taste of this soup.

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It makes more economical sense to order your favourite items as sets, so you get a range of goodies and veggies for you to cook in your soup instead of ordering them individually.

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Yugo’s fish paste is pretty popular and is perfect for Shabu Shabu. Simply use a spoon so scoop and shape them, then pop them into your hot soup to cook. They also have prawn paste if you prefer prawns. The paste are now currently only available during the weekend.

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Yummy cooked fish paste – you can dip them with your pastes ~~

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Or pan fry them to give a good char ~~ the way I like it ~~

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Would you look at that ~~ *drools*

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Yugo has recently installed these suction pumps as a service for customers, to reduce the smoke and smell from BBQ. Very thoughtful of the management indeed! Of course, do not play around with the suction pumps like us. Photo courtesy of Marul’s instagram. Now let’s start BBQing!

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For meat lovers, you can go for their BBQ Mix set, a good mix of marinated meats!

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The sizzling sound of the meat searing is priceless ~ ooooh yesss ~~  BBQ can be a fun and produce a lot of photo moments. Show off your superb skills! The charcoal fire can be pretty hot, so the food cooks pretty fast!

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My advice is to not overcook the meat, and do not crowd the hotplate. Take your time and enjoy your cooking. You will be rewarded with yummy juicy BBQ! Hubba hubba~~

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Yugo also has a pretty good seafood selection for your grilling or shabu needs ~~ Look at DAT Salmon slices, good grilled or poached in your soup!

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Yugo is very generous when it comes to their condiments and I for one love it that they include cheese as one of them! Mussels with cheese ~~~

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Or scallops ~~~ OOOOOOOOH YUMM!!!!! OMG BBQ goodness ~~ while the prawns are hiding behind~~

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Did I mention they have simply the most mouth watering Ribs, marinated and ready to be BBQ?

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You can almost hear the men chanting and cheering here ~~~ RIBS RIBS RIBS RIBS!!! *sizzles*

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Tidak boleh tahan ~~~ this is the stuff of legends ~~ noticed I melted some cheese on the ribs too ~~ cheesy ribs? Hmm…… seared ribs cooked over charcoal grill ~~~ ATTACK!! OM NOM NOM NOM !!!

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I also love to BBQ my delicious thin slices of chicken, lamb and beef ~~~ but you can also cook them with your shabu shabu ~~~ they have also premium grades of sliced meat ~~

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Such as this OMG Marbling sliced beef goodness! LOOK AT THE MARBLING PATTERNS! THIS IS ART! *drools* A must order dish (expensive but worth it)

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Now a word of advice, thinly sliced meats cook very fast! The last thing you wanna do is to toss a whole plate of them onto the hotplate! You cook the slice by slice, usually less than 6 seconds per side (for the marbling beef – I use 3 seconds per side!)

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Cook with patience and you shall be rewarded! I personally undercook my sliced meats than this picture but it’s my personal preference. I love the feeling of that marbling beef fat melting in my mouth ~~ heavenly!

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Recently, Yugo has also introduced a wide range of drinks and snacks to accompany the shabu shabu and BBQ experience. If you want a quick meal or don’t feel like cooking, Yugo has plenty of snacks and drinks too! Checkout their new drinks and desserts menu!

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Ice Blended Coconut drink! Refreshing!

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They also have icy desserts such as this coconut shake, in which you can customize and add your toppings. I added sea coconut and IQ balls. Yum yum~

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Recently, with the view to encourage more diners to come in for casual dining or quick meals, Yugo has increased the number of snacks!

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Breaded Onion rings

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Breaded cheese sticks – expect lots of yummy gooey cheese!

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Breaded prawns ~~hmm …

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Chicken fingers ~

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Chicken chop ~~

As you can see – there’s quite a choice of snacks to choose from if you aren’t in a mood to cook your own food.

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I’m a fan of their pop corn chicken – an ideal snack for dinner dates or to share with family and friends!

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Yugo also recently introduced their marinated TURKEY for BBQ (only available during weekends)

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Oh yes sizzling sizzling hot turkey!

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A yummy new BBQ to try! Packed with good proteins for your muscle! Have you tried BBQ turkey before? Pop over to Yugo to try this new dish!

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So have I given you enough reasons to dine at Yugo? Charcoal Grill, best sauces and condiments for Brunei Shabu Shabu, a wide range of snacks and drinks – the gorgeous ribs and marbled beef ~~ what are you waiting for? Hop over to Yugo BBQ and Shabu Shabu restaurant now!

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GOOD NEWS! Yugo is currently having a special promotion for Birthday boys and girls (men and women). If they dine in during their birthday week (3 days before or 3 days after their birthday) they will get 15percent off and also a 15% discount voucher for their next visit which is valid for one month! Just remember to bring your IC for verification!

Yugo Brunei is located at Gadong central, next to AP Ayam Penyet, the block opposite Sushi Tei and MrBaker’s Cafe.

It’s always a good idea to call the restaurant to reserve to avoid disappointment.

Contact no: 242 7790 to make your bookings.

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