Si Wha Dam — Seoul (1/2014)

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I found a Top Ten list for restaurants in Seoul a couple of months before my trip to Seoul.  Si Wha Dam caught my attention from the photos they showed and the experience of modern Korean fine dining with the arts in a museum-like setting.  They had a section of their website in English where they described 4 menus of different lengths with very beautiful pictures of the courses.  There was a form to fill out for the reservation, for which I chose a lunch-time slot. At the time, it seemed like I was all set, although I did not receive a confirmation email as a response after submitting the form and getting the message that space was available.

As my lunch-time slot approached, I walked up to the restaurant in Itaewon and was surprised to see that the restaurant was closed.  I hung around for a little while just to see if anyone was going to show up.  All I saw were a couple of people inside and outside cleaning the windows.  I gave up and headed back to my hotel, where I decided I was going to try for a last-minute dinner spot with the assistance of my hotel’s Executive Lounge Concierge.

What the concierge found out was that if they don’t have enough reservations, they do not open the main restaurant in Itaewon.  They did have room at the Insadong location for dinner that night, although they normally don’t do the menus for one person.  But they would take me, so I was booked for that evening.

This branch of the restaurant is much smaller and did not have the museum ambience. It was slightly more convenient, located right on the main pedestrian shopping street in Insadong.  The interior resembled a standard Korean restaurant set-up. The antiques and paintings from the other location were not part of the décor here.

For the full write-up, click here.

Elbon The Table — Seoul (10/2013)

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A search for a molecular cuisine on the Internet yielded this restaurant.  It also was featured on some recent travel articles on Seoul.  There was no on-line way to make a reservation, so I had a credit card company concierge set it up for me.  It was on the other side of the river from where my hotel was located, so I had to figure out a public-transit way to get there (just my preferred method of transport).  While not exactly next to a subway stop, it was an easy walk from the Apgujeong station.                 

I decided to go with a glass of the Riesling from Germany.  It was a very dry one.

For the full write-up, click here.