On my recent trip to Seoul, I had the chance to dine at Jungsik. Located in a quiet alleyway in the trendy Gangnam district, this Michelin star restaurant serves up some very creative, contemporary Korean food. Chef and owner Jungsik Yen has given a new twist to this familiar cuisine earning him the 25th spot on the ‘Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants’ list in 2017. With all these accolades, my expectations were high and I was not disappointed!
We were served a traditional summer drink sikhye – made with sweet pumpkin right after we selected our menu options. This drink is originally a sweet Korean rice beverage and is usually served after a meal. But hey! We aren’t going by the book here.
Next came the amuse bouche – traditional Korean ban-chan (side dishes) with a modern twist! Everything had such a great pop of flavor be it the sliced raw sea bream wrapped in wild vegetables (1), the bulgogi croquette (2), the smoked salmon mousse cone (3), the mini mouthful of ssam – literally meaning ‘wrap’ (4) or the sweet rice-puff and burdock skewers sprinkled with almonds (5). Talk about whipping up an appetite for more!
Next in line was the tuna gujeolpan served with crispy seaweed. Gujeolpan means a “Dish of Nine Delicacies” and it truly lived up to its name. Everything was so fresh and all the flavors blended so perfectly.
This was, in my opinion, one of the most flavorsome dishes on the menu. Smoked duck barley risotto with diced king oyster mushrooms and pinches of green chili. Faultless!
Next was the charcoal cooked Red Big Eye fish served with dried white kimchi powder and a flavorful perilla oil. I didn’t even need the knife to cut through this. Simple ingredients yet such bold tastes!
The last main course was their take on ssam with crispy pork belly and fermented vegetables. Fresh leafy vegetables are used to wrap a piece of meat and it is often accompanied by a number of condiments. This reminded me of eating Korean BBQ, but in fine dining style!
Corn is a popular street snack in Korea and this dessert is inspired by that. Corn cremeux is moulded to the desired shape, sprinkled with a spicy powder and placed over crispy vermicelli and candied pecan! Totally impressive and even unexpected!
Another beautifully plated dessert! The Rose of Versailles with a blueberry cremeux. What a romantic name and looked too pretty to eat. But eat we did.
You are offered up a feast for the senses when you dine here! I was more than impressed with the food and it did not cost an arm and a leg either! So if Seoul is your next holiday destination, I would definitely recommend you make a reservation! You won’t be disappointed.
Location : 11 SEOLLEUNGRO 158GIL, GANGNAMGU SEOUL
Contact : +82 2 517 4654 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Timing: Everyday – Lunch: 12pm – 3pm (Last order 2pm) & Dinner: 17.30 – 10pm (Last order 9pm)
Disclaimer: All photos and opinions are my own.