First of all, don’t I feel an ass titling this A Review considering this restaurant was chosen as one of the 50 best restaurants in the world by Diner’s Club Academy. But, I’m only giving it that title for continuity to all the other restaurants I’ve tried in Korea and on this blog.
I won’t pretend to know more about food than the experts of Diner’s Club so I’m really just going to share my experience with you! It was a haute cuisine themed blast and I couldn’t wait for each new course. That’s the sign of something special in a restaurant. It was like being on a food playground!
When we first arrived we were rushed to our table and rushed our first amuse bouche and I wasn’t too happy yet. I had wanted to read over the menu and go wash my hands at my pace. But, the staff was ready to go and they plopped down the first dish immediately when I came back from the bathroom. I actually saw the staff have to take our next dish to a counter because they were moving so much faster than me. Some of that had to do with me taking pictures but I really just felt like they were moving way too quickly without letting us enjoy each dish.
But, soon afterwards, our paces matched up and everything was perfect. And that is my only complaint because I loved our visit. At the end of the meal Chef Ryu came out and said goodbye to us and some other patrons. Such a nice exit! Cute and talented! 🙂
Details from the Chef’s Tasting Menu for dinner. They also have a lunch menu. You have several courses and there is an extensive wine collection. But, I don’t know anything about wine so I ordered a house red and white for Phil and me. Worked really well.
Soy marinated shrimp amuse bouche. This was marinated in soy sauce and served raw. Very interesting texture. I loved the sauce and the presentation.
You are to squirt out the accompanying sauce from a little tube onto the shrimp.
Ranunculus and eucalyptus…one of my favorite flowers! How did you know, Ryunique??
Fried Mustard Leaf and Fried Crosne in Gelatin. The crosne is a tuber (I looked it up) and put in a kooky little gel pack. The fried mustard leaf was wonderful and reminded me of kale chips. A perfect salty bite.
I loved that it looks like I picked it up off the ground and ate it…mmmm…nature.
Eucalyptus branch cheese “plate.”
The cheeses were smeared onto a bay leaf and you were to kind of suck it off the leaf getting flavors from both the bay leaf and the eucalyptus branch.
I think the presentation was unique and you could certainly smell the freshness of the branch. I would have liked a little more explanation of what was actually happening with this though. I’m not quite sure I understood the entire point of the eucalyptus.
Some fresh butter with seaweed (kim) and salt. So delicious~almost ate it with just a fork and my happiness.
Homemade organic bread
Raw Fish, Pickled Carrots, Tweezers
Phil takes a lot of pictures of me during meals. So I just end up making stupid faces and then that’s all I have to post.
This was so perfect. I loved the small bites of white fish and the sourness of the pickled carrots. The raw bass was a bit too strong for me but I could cover it with the foam or pomegranate seeds. Plus those tweezers! Come on, that’s brilliant.
The bass was a little strong tasting but it photographed beautifully.
Shrimp Spring Roll, Tomato Salad, Smoked Cheese Sauce
I am not sure if this was a “spring roll” like I would imagine from Southeast Asian cuisine or if they meant its a roll full of spring flavors? It tasted more of lasagna than a spring roll in my opinion but that smoked cheese sauce was scrumptious.
Too cute. I love eating cuteness.
Jerusalem Artichoke (or Sunchoke) Soup, Quail Egg and Fried Rice
Oh my word this was so delicious. The foamy sunchoke soup with the quail egg were a taste match made in heaven. There was a bit of crunch of fried rice at the bottom.
It was like opening the best kind of Easter egg. The kind with luxurious food inside!
Palate Cleanser: Grapefruit Sherbet
My test tube baby.
In science class today we made a frozen concoction that renders men and women’s hearts hopelessly in love with their dinner.
Smokin’ Quail! How clever is this?
Inside this beautiful dish is a smoked quail leg with bacon. It was literally still smoking when she popped the top off. The smell could stop traffic…just wow.
Seared Quail Breast, Quail Leg, and Beet Puree
The quail was so flavorful and a perfect mix on the plate. I believe this was my first quail. Experiences!
I had to control myself to not pick it up with my hands and suck it bone dry like I do chicken wings. I gotta be classy sometimes.
I was in love with the beet puree. Such a sweet kick on this plate!
Sous Vide White Fish, Pickled Cucumber and Shrimp Emulsion
This beautiful mess was my main dish. Sous Vide means it was cooked in a plastic bag and submerged in a low temperature water for up to 96 hours.
The cucumber was so tart that it was nice that the fish was so well seasoned. My favorite part was actually the little bits of fried fish skin in the salad.
Beef Strip Loin, Brisket with Black Vinegar Mushroom Jus
This elegant little number was Phil’s main dish. I had a few bites and it was soft and well cooked. The jus was a really nice salty and sour mix.
Dessert! I have to admit, when this was in front of me I loved the beauty of it (and that spoon, omg) but didn’t get the full effect. I just thought, “Oh…super cute plates!” But when I saw this picture I realized it was much more involved than cute plating. It truly does look like a piece of fine art. So clever.
Kusmi Spherical, Casin Maltodextrin and Carmelized Rice Ice Cream. I’ll be honest. I only knew what a handful of those words meant but my mouth understood that all together they meant, “delicious.” The strawberries with the rice ice cream in particular was perfectly spring-ful.
I found out by Googling that Kusmi is a brand of luxurious, Russian teas. Casin maltodextrin however is super confusing and would love someone to explain it in pre-school terms for me.
Coffee & Chocolate! Some of the best truffles I’ve had in a long time. I wanted them to fill the plate up so I could stuff my face. But, Phil already called me greedy because I noticed that the bit of cake on his dessert plate was bigger than mine. The coffee on the other hand was so strong I could only drink about a quarter of it even with milk.
Hours: Lunch from 12-3 pm. Dinner from 5:30-10:30 pm.
Prices: Lunch menu starts at 38,000 won and Dinner starts at 120,000 won.
Address: 40 Gangnam-daero 162-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea