Ah, dear readers, it has been too long. These past three weeks I've been up to my neck in rehearsals and have had little time to think of anything but our new show. However, I had the chance today to get away from the theatre and head down to a new restaurant in the Itaewon/Hannam-dong area.
Edward Kwon's The Spice is a classy addition to the Yongsan dining scene and I was lucky enough to share my lunch with Joe from ZenKimchi and Stephen Revere, founder and managing editor of 10 Magazine.
The three of us picked different menus which ranged from the very reasonable (27,500 won for three courses) to the pricey, yet still quite reasonable (47,500 won for five courses and coffee). Some of you may sneer at the cost, but I promise that you will get your money's worth if you make the trip to The Spice.
I decided on the "Lunch Exclusive" for 38,500 won and was presented with an exquisite four course meal. Unfortunately, due to the lovely ever-changing lighting states of the restaurant, some of my photos came out red-tinged, so I apologize for an slightly odd photographic account of the event.
The giant crab and yabbi ravioli was dumpling-like in appearance and heavenly in taste. The soft seafood filling wasn't overpowered by the lime infused midori dressing and the addition of fresh grapefruit gave the dish a powerful kick. A simply stunning start.
I chose the peaches and prociutto to follow. Despite it's sweetness the combination of raw ham, figs, mascarpone mousse and peach seemed almost like the perfect porcine dessert. A more than acceptable second course.
And then came a spectacular combination of short ribs and gnocchi. The ribs were tender and the gnocchi were perhaps the best I've had. Slightly crispy on the outside and gorgeously gloopy in the middle, they were the highlight of the dish and Kwon deserves high praise for his mastery of these little potato marvels.
Rounding off the meal was perhaps the most beautiful dish of all. The lemon olive oil cake was perfectly presented and the ginger tinged meringues gave this dessert an extra special kick.
Special mention must go to the foie gras starter that Joe and Stephen received. Dehydrated strawberries and duck liver are perhaps the most surprisingly delicious combination I've had.
The service was fantastic, the food was incredible and compared to some of the fancier restaurants in Seoul, the meals were ridiculously cheap. There are far too few restaurants offering this kind of fare at a price ordinary people can afford and I suspect that once word gets out that there will be long queues outside The Spice's door.
Book your table now before the rush starts and get a taste of fairly priced michelin star quality food.
To get to The Spice take exit 3 from Hangangjin station, walk past Passion 5 bakery and the restaurant is on the left hand side. You can call them on 02 749 2596.