Incredible Meal at Jungsik
I truly went off the recs on here for this birthday meal so I thought I would give a little review back because everyone was right- this place is amazing.
I take my SO out to a birthday meal of his choice every year. Past meals have included Nobu, Sushi Yasuda, En Japanese, Bohemian...notice a pattern? This year I wanted to break the mold and do something different, something he would truly love but not necessarily safe. Jungsik just so happened to be that perfect place.
We were seated in a corner banquette (by request- thanks guys!) of the gorgeous dining room and started out with a crisp bottle of Pinot Gris. Then the parade of food began.
Our first plate of amuse bouche- Sesame Rice Noodle, Compressed Watermelon with Balsamic, Vegetable Noodle, Crispy Chicken with Kimchi.
Second amuse bouche- Burgers and Fries
Mini Bulgogi Burgers, Potato Puree French Fries with Carrot Ketchup
Bread Service- Olive Roll, Earl Gary and Raisin Brioche, Sourdough Rye
Third Amuse- Cilantro Soup
First Course- YELLOWTAIL HWE Raw Yellowtail Chojang
Second Course- JUNGSIK SALAD Crunchy Salad, Seaweed, Quail Egg
Third Course- SEA SCALLOP Mussel, Thai Curry Broth
Fourth Course- SEA URCHIN Korean Seaweed Rice, Crispy Quinoa
(Special Birthday Dish) KOREAN BIRTHDAY BOWL Kimchi, Seaweed and Rice
Fifth Course- OCTOPUS Ssamjang Aioli
Sixth Course- HERB SOOJEBI Hand-Picked Noodle, Spicy Shellfish Broth, Baby Squid
Seventh Course CLASSIC FISH Black Cod, Soy Pepper Marinade
Eighth Course SMOKED PORK JOWL Pickled Ramp
Ninth Course- OMIJA GRANITE
Tenth Course DESSERT TASTING Strawberry Cremeux, (Not sure of the middle one but it was delicious) Green Tea Cremeux
Digestif- CHOCOLATE MOUSSE Sesame Cocoa Nib, Creme Brulee
Sweet Treats to End- Financier, Mango Balsamic Chocolate, Macaron
This meal was absolutely unbelievable. Each and every course was inventive, exciting and completely unlike anything I have ever experienced in Korean cuisine. We were blown away.
Two things to note- our service was impeccable. I know their were concerns about that in early reviews and any kinks they might have had are gone. The waiters were informative about the ingredients and truly seemed excited about each dish as they were presented.
However there is no longer a 5 or 8 course option. Only the Ten Course tasting menu or a la carte. This may be a bit of a shock if you're not expecting to pay the $155 tasting price tag. But I thought it was worth the price for the food, ambiance and service. I cannot wait until I have another special occasion to return.
Full Review with Pictures here:
I enjoyed reading that report.
I didn't know what omija was, so I did a web search. It looks like it's most commonly made from little red berries that look like red currents (frutti di bosco in Italian) and have the Latin name Schisandra chinensis and a Chinese name that translates to "five flavor berry." I'm now trying to figure out whether I've had omija under some English name somewhere like Koryodang.
I'm looking at the Jungsik website - http://www.jungsik.kr/ - now and don't have a clear idea of what I'd be likely to pay a la carte. How many courses would be equivalent to a normal dinner or a large dinner? For example, would one appetizer, one main (seafood or meat) and one dessert be plenty? By way of comparison, if I were eating at Ai Fiori - which looks like a comparably expensive restaurant - I'd probably get a cocktail, 4 courses ("Per Cominciare," small order of pasta, main, dessert) and wine with the meal. And why does everything on the Jungsik "Choice Menu" but dessert come in two prices - a suggested wine pairing, or a possible larger portion for everything?
I hope the place is still as good in February, because I doubt I'll get there before my birthday. :-)
This might help:
"The a la carte menu has 2 sizes for the dishes, full size and half size. IMO 5 half size or 3 full size is more than enough. I don't think I could do the 10 course. Maybe could share it with someone. I was pretty stuffed after 4 half size dishes but continued to have several more."
Thanks, Kathryn. That does help. How do they feel about a couple sharing large-sized portions? Their half-sized portions are aggressively overpriced, compared to 1/2 the price of the full-sized portions.
Also, do you think that's 3 full sized portions or 5 half-sized portions plus dessert?
As I stated in the post Kathryn listed. 5 half size is more than enough. If you analyze the menu by price of each dish, then the 10 course is the way to go. Personally, I think the 10 course is too much food for one person.If you are sharing, I woulld still do the half courses. Perhaps they would let 2 people split a 10 course, but I/m not sure of that.
5 half size, you get to taste more dishes to try, than 3 full size. I like lots of different tastes.
Plus you get the great amuses bouches,,and some complimentary desserts.
Dessert is one size, that's why one price. The wines by the glass were excellent and the sommelier seemed knowledgeable.
Thanks for your write-up and pics! I also took DH there recently for his birthday and had the same tasting menu (except that I substituted one of the pork jowls for the kalbi and didn't get the special birthday bowl -- but I didn't let them know we were celebrating anything). I also was seated in one of the corner banquettes (without me asking). I really enjoyed everything (well, maybe with the exception of the Dang Gui in the chocolate digestive) and hope that this restaurant will stay around for a while, especially as it was a bit quiet on a Saturday. The servers were also so nice and gracious -- probably the best service I've received in a long time.
I went tonite, and posted on another post, i didn't see this one. Andrea is no longer there, she was great. The new staff is excellent,, The food was so delicious,, i did the a la carte, and ate too much. I'm so stuffed as i'm typing, i posted photos on the other post. Every dish was memorable, the cripsy pork belly dish was fantastic. Roze's descriptions are better than mine, i dint take notes,, just pics and ate ,, This place deserves some Michelin stars.