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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.

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