The one place in Itaewon that always excites me is the OKitchen2. As months pass the menu changes and the board outside the restaurant teases me each time I pass it. This week I could hold back no longer and headed into the quirky little Hanok for a taste of their Spring selection.
As always their set lunch runs at either 20,000 won or 30,000 won (if you fancy a little steak), I went for the cheaper option and spent the next hour or so in my own little culinary heaven.
First, the bread; the chefs have added a new sesame crisp to the basket, delicious, but the cornbread still wins out for its crumbly buttery goodness.
Next the “Seafood Plate”, simple yet beautifully presented islands of fishy goodness. Grilled mackerel with miso sauce, a piece of croaker sashimi and a yellowtail tartar - to be eaten in that order, or so the waitress advised. This combination of culinary techniques makes for an adventurous appetizer, each fish brings different flavours and textures, managing to complement each other without one island overpowering another.
Onto the “Vegetable Soup With Basil Pesto”, an unassuming broth with plenty of fresh vegetables and a powerful zing of basil and cheese. Nothing fancy, just tasty.
The third course was “Pork Belly Confit With Dandelion Salad”, succulent belly pork, slices of raw mushroom, bitter dandelion leaves, the odd crouton and a deep fried quails egg (the runny yolk is meant to be used to dress the leaves and soften the bitterness). I left the egg to one side, but I was enchanted by the beautifully bitter leaves contrasting with the salty soft pork. Certainly the best salad I’ve ever had at OKitchen2.
The main course came next and I settled for “Chili Con Carne With Tortilla”, the chili had rich cinnamon undertones and the fresh salsa was gorgeous. I’m always happy when restaurants go heavy on the fresh coriander and while the portion is small it is satisfying.
To finish chocolate cake with cherry compote and a beautiful tuile. The cakes and pies at OKitchen2 are heavenly and this dessert was no exception. A wonderful way to finish the meal.
If you’ve not tried their latest menu then it is worth heading down to Itaewon and taking advantage of their reasonable lunch time prices. OKitchen2 is just down the road from Itaewon station, head towards Noksapyeong and turn right at the first set of traffic lights. The restaurant is just a few metres down the alley on the left hand side. Call them on 02 797 6420 or visit their website here.