HOME > Chowhound > China & Southeast Asia >
Are you making a specialty food? Share your adventure

Where in Seoul for HIGH END for anything help !

spryyz Oct 16, 2011 07:49 AM

Come on i am there tuesday is there really no romantic high end places to EAT!

  1. Smilinglion Mar 17, 2012 12:06 AM

    Has anyone been to Pierre Gagnaire in Seoul? I am planning to try it later this month but can't find any reviews of it on this board.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Smilinglion
      globalgourmand May 6, 2012 04:44 AM

      Smilinglion-- did you make it to Pierre Gagnaire? I hope to make it later this month (now May) as well!

      1. re: globalgourmand
        Smilinglion May 6, 2012 05:19 PM

        We thought it was very good. Strangely we could not find many write-ups or reviews about it and were quite worried that it would be a disappointment, but the dinner there turned out to be of a very high standard. Wine markups were very high, but otherwise the food and service were excellent. Try to get a table by the window if you can, the restaurant overlooks the city from the 35th floor.

    2. globalgourmand Dec 5, 2011 03:54 AM

      Don't be silly! I've only scratched the surface of Seoul fine dining but I know enough already to know that your exaggerated emotions are far from the truth. A little too late, but for the record and future reference:





      A small handful of very, very many.

      15 Replies
      1. re: globalgourmand
        akated Dec 6, 2011 10:46 PM

        globalgourmand: these places look like they lean more towards western styles of cooking. is this the case?

        1. re: globalgourmand
          TomEatsHK Dec 6, 2011 11:34 PM

          Haven eaten at a few of these now I would say that Elbon is very very average (even bad) for someone who is familar with European food. I love JSD but the dining room is very dated. The food is exceptional.

          As for the others, they are largely Western imports. I haven't yet been to Congdu but heard great things about it.

          1. re: TomEatsHK
            RipCurl Dec 8, 2011 10:22 PM

            Hi Tom, how's the stay in Seoul so far? I see that you've discovered 'booking' clubs (!) & makgeolli. :) Besides Jung Sik Dang, any chow-worthy recommendations, especially for more casual food?

            Btw what did you have at Elbon that was so dire? Thought there were some hits and misses but bad is a pretty strong term!

            1. re: RipCurl
              TomEatsHK Jan 10, 2012 09:28 PM

              RipuCurl - sorry for the slow reply. I am currently doing Korean work hours which are rather intense so this is the first time I have visited CH in a while.

              I love Seoul but definiitely miss Chinese cuisine and the subtle and precise nature of the cooking. As for finds in Seoul I would absolutely give up on Western food here. Just not worth trying.

              The Korean food is rather special as you would guess and opened up a whole new type of cuisine which we don't get back in Europe - the stews, guks or jiggaes. I am in love with them.

              Elbon - I just didn't care about a single dish. It is meant to be the best fancy Euro style restaurant in Seoul (well maybe Pierre G) but it was really average. If the equivalents in HK are Caprice, Robuchon etc... it is pathetic by comparison.

              The Western influenced dinning scene here is at ground level. The Korean dining scene is obviously v high!

              And booking clubs. Don't tell Jen :/

              1. re: TomEatsHK
                RipCurl Mar 12, 2012 09:29 AM

                No worries, I'm slow in replying too. :) Hope the work hours have normalized somewhat!

                Yep, on Elbon I can see how if you had great expectations before going it may have disappointed - not to say that it was bad, but that San Pellegrino list is a bit suspect.

                As to Chinese, if you get a dire craving I think there's a couple of Crystal Jades in Apkujeong and Samseong-dong? Though I've not tried them since we get that easily here but good Korean food is a hard find in Singapore.

                Look forward to more posts on Korean food in due course!

                1. re: RipCurl
                  klyeoh Mar 12, 2012 09:58 PM

                  Re: Korean food in Singapore, try Hyang-to-gol (향 토 골) at Amara Hotel. Not 100% authentic, but it's one of the spots where my Korean expat friends go on weekends for family lunches (they didn't like Singaporean or Chinese food) - I joined them once with my family.

                  Address details
                  Hyang-to-gol ((향 토 골)
                  165 Tanjong Pagar Road,
                  Level 2, Amara Hotel,
                  Singapore 088539
                  Tel: +65 6220 7160

                  1. re: klyeoh
                    RipCurl Mar 14, 2012 09:26 AM

                    Thanks klyeoh! I go to Hyang To Gol for the meats once in a while but so far haven't hit on a good stew or soup there. Also can't seem to find a good soondubu place anywhere in town. This also brings to mind - I don't know if you've noticed this too, but it seems like Korean restaurants when they first start out in Sg offer pretty decent banchan (in terms of variety and quantity)... and then you go back again a year later and everything's been economized. I noticed this happening with a number of places over time. It's still better than in London where I think you have to pay for & order your banchan separately but I wonder why this deterioration happens. Are Singaporeans free-loading too much(!)?

                    1. re: RipCurl
                      klyeoh Mar 14, 2012 04:13 PM

                      Eating places in Singapore try to cut corners wherever they can - many restaurateurs go all out to attract diners and hopefully recoup their initial investment costs within the first year of operation, in fact. After that, most would lapse into mediocrity as fickle S'porean diners turn their attentions to newer eating spots.

                  2. re: RipCurl
                    klyeoh Mar 12, 2012 10:28 PM

                    As for Crystal Jade in Seoul - I'd only been to the one in the Grand Intercontinental Hotel (near COEX), it's very nice but, just as you can't get authentic Korean food in Singapore, neither can you get authentic Cantonese food in Seoul. Everything's been tweaked to suit Korean tastes, which are sweeter than Chinese-Singaporean ones.

                    In place of Crystal Jade's famous wintermelon seafood soup - large enough to serve 6-8 persons (http://www.chow.com/photos/693563), you get seafood soup steamed in little individual pumpkins (see pic)

              2. re: TomEatsHK
                agaaga Dec 10, 2011 03:19 PM

                As a native Korean who has been living most of my life in western countries AND in Hong Kong, I strongly disagree that Congdu is anything to be called good. And I think Elbon is on par with, or even better than Bo Innovation in Hong Kong. I would never call it bad.

                1. re: agaaga
                  agaaga Dec 10, 2011 06:44 PM

                  For your reference about ELBON:

                  1. re: agaaga
                    TomEatsHK Jan 10, 2012 09:31 PM

                    Agaaga - I understand ELBON is very reckoned here in Seoul which is why I was excited to try it when I first moved here. All I can say after two meals here is that it is an embarassment if that is one of the best Western style restaurants here in Seoul.

                    By reference to HK, let alone Europe it is plain average to bad. Desserts were inedible, starters were boring, mains were solid but nothing interesting. It did nothing remarkable with Korean ingredients. I can't remember a single dish unless I look at pictures. I remember the head chef was there when I went and I wanted him to ask me how the meal was. Unfortunately he didn't.

                    In relation to Congdu I wasn't criticising. I've heard good things. Still Jung Sik Dang is the only standout high level meal I've had.

                    And Bo Innovation is again an embarassment for HK. Entry level stuff.

                    1. re: TomEatsHK
                      agaaga Apr 9, 2012 09:57 PM

                      If you don't like Bo Innovation, you shouldn't have tried ELBON. I love Bo Innovation, just like most of my international friends. And we adore ELBON.

                    2. re: agaaga
                      Asomaniac Jan 17, 2012 10:38 PM

                      "on a par with, or even better, than Bo Innovation"? That means Elbon must be very bad as Bo Innovation is terrible. The worst high end (or wannabe high end) restaurant I have ever been to, anywhere in the world.

                      1. re: Asomaniac
                        agaaga Apr 9, 2012 09:59 PM

                        I don't think Bo Innovation necessarily tries to be high end per se. It is a casual arrangement. That's the current global trend.

                        Again, if you don't like Bo Innovation, don't even think about visiting ELBON. It is a waste of your time. You are entitled to your own opinion but you are not necessarily 'right', neither are others. Eating out is like shopping. Know what you want and select the right place and right menu.

                Show Hidden Posts