Cove family opens Korean restaurant, market
By LYNETTE SOWELL
A longtime Copperas Cove resident and her family have recently opened a Korean restaurant and Oriental market at 310 Cove Terrace Shopping Center. Today and tomorrow, they will celebrate their grand opening with menu specials and samples.
Class of 1997 alum Cindy Dennis has been busy raising her family of four kids, but after discussions with the family, decided to go forward with making the dream come alive of bringing an Oriental market and Korean restaurant to her hometown.
“People have asked me, ‘Why’d you open a store in Cove?’ Well, it’s my home? Why not?” Dennis said. She relies on her husband, Michael, for guiding her with his business expertise.
“My husband already owns a business, a security company and does home and commercial security. He’s done that for years and knows how a business runs.”
Dennis said she named the business after her mother, Yong Floyd. Yong does the majority of the cooking for the dine-in/carry-out restaurant and market combination. Adding to the family efforts, the Dennis’ daughter, Asia, set up and helps Cindy maintain the business’ Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/YongsOMG/.
Where the food is concerned, Dennis said they offer many of the staples of Korean cooking. Customer favorites are yakimandu, bulgogi, and fish cakes.
“And kimchi—everybody wants kimchi,” said Dennis. “It takes a long time to make and its’s hard to do it right. Even me, I grew up on it. But if I tried to make it, it wouldn’t taste like my mom makes it.”
Dennis said a lot of people also order the authentic dishes, like the spicy squid, which surprises her.
One classic menu item, the bulgogi, is specially made with Yongs own flair.
“What people don’t understand about bulgogi is, you can make bulgogi, I can make it. But she starts the marinade in the morning with soy sauce, pears, kiwi, mango, that’s where you get your sweetness from,” Dennis said. “Some people just throw sugar and everything else together, put the meat in it and cook it.”
She said her mother simmers the beef in the marinade all day long. “That’s real bulgogi; that’s what I grew up on. She spoiled me.”
Dennis said when creating the menu, she sat down with her mother to come up with the list. They just received their printed menus and are still adding to the menu as time goes on.
“There are some things that take longer to prepare and haven’t been on our menu. But it will continue to grow,” she said.
Yongs is located in the original site of Giovanni’s and Dennis said it took months for her and her family to transform the space of the former restaurant.
“We gutted the whole thing, we did the flooring, pulled up the carpet, painted, stained it…we renovated the kitchen, renovated the bathrooms,” she said. “We did it all ourselves, hiring for the electrical and plumbing of course.”
Yongs serves lunch and dinner daily, and has a selection of Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and some Chinese market items that Dennis obtains from distributors in Houston, Dallas and Minnesota.
Yongs Oriental Market and Korean Grill is open 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and accepts orders at 254-238-8442.