Saturday, March 19, 2011
NOT MY BEST KOREAN LUNCH EVER
I inquired with Rachel at the W Seoul as to what would be the best possible lunch restaurant in Seoul. She recommended Zen Hideaway and made a reservation for me. Getting there was a challenge:
1. I took the Starwood (there is also a Sheraton Grande next to the W) shuttle to the Gwangnam Line 5 station. Unfortunately, there is some construction blocking the entry, so I finally found the entrance right next to that statue on the left after a few questions and had to walk 200 yards. Then I had to transfer twice to get me to the Apgujeong Station on Line #3. I instantly got a cab (unlike Beijing trying to get back from Da Dong), expect that the information I gave the taxi man confused him. He had a GPS system, made three calls, and finally found Zen Hideaway. It was all of two block away from the station.
2. I was given three menus, and waited 15 minutes. I was not in a good mood. This was kind of a healthy restaurant, with little ambience. An Asian fusion theme. The clientele was half my age. Finally, I figured out that in Korea you need to wave that you're ready, so I decided not to order their special pumpkin soup and indigenous composites, deciding this won't be my best Korean lunch anyway, so ordered a Caesar salad and grilled steak. There was no Korean wine, so I had a small bottle of sake and Cass Korean beer.
The meal was okay, and the service is as swift as you want it to be. The total bill was around $70. When I walked in at 1 PM the restaurant was half full. When I walked out at 2:15 PM it was more than three-fourths filled. I was disappointed only because this was not a life-changing experience.
I easily got back to the W by subway, and indicated to Rachel that her selection was only so so. So, she set me up to go to Jung sikdang on Monday, a modern Korean fusion restaurant to cost a lot more. Tomorrow morning is my long anticipated W Sunday brunch, a true extravagance, if the quality has been maintained. I'm meeting with the founder of Green Enertopia, Professor Kiryun Choi.