I recently had the pleasure of dining at Mecha Uma, at the RCBC building in The Fort.
I had been hearing so much buzz about Mecha Uma from my extreme foodie and wine customers but I hadn’t had time to go until lately.
It was the endorsement of members of the IFWS that got me curious. I don’t normally take recommendations of restaurants from people unless I know they’re as obsessive as me. Members of IFWS are usually more obsessive than I am.
I called ahead and asked about corkage policies. No corkage being charged but you have to order a bottle from their list (whether wine or sake) and then you can order a bottle.
I brought my Weingut Von Prinz Hessen Dachsfilet Riesling just as a safe wine pairing bet.
I took my brother and we both sat at the bar so we could see the action in the kitchen.
I ordered a Junmai Daiginjo sake but they ran out so they gave me the next best available.
The night I went, they didn’t have the omakase option. They only had a la carte. The Chef Patron Bruce Ricketts was there and he explained that he offered a la carte that week because he missed cooking.
I did all the ordering (of course) and ordered a bunch of dishes to try.
All of the dishes were served in small portions, kind of tapas style, so it’s best to order a bunch and eat everything as the food comes.
I won’t be able to put the full descriptions because I didn’t take any. There was no space on the bar for me to write and I was too amused by the food to type into my phone.
I hope you can see the deliciousness through my photos.
Halibut – this was a ceviche type of dish. I normally don’t eat dishes with vinegar but the vinegar wasn’t overpowering. It was also quite refreshing and a good palate cleanser in between rich dishes.
Oyster – This was probably my favorite as it was the richest, with foie and mushroom. If you’re an umami fanatic, this is your dish. I liked it so muc, I ordered it twice.
Black Cod – This was my second favorite dish. Very rich flavors, perfectly cooked fish, great accompaniments, complimentary in flavor.
I also ordered Wagyu Rice because the server suggested it. I guess Filipinos look for rice when they go to that restaurant to eat but personally, you don’t need rice anymore. I didn’t bother to take a photo and my brother ate most of it anyway. The dishes are packed in flavor so you will be full without that gross “I’ve overeaten” feeling that a cup of rice will give you.My brother and I shared a dessert but we were so full already so he also ate most of it.
I highly recommend this restaurant if you want a different experience in food (in Manila).
I will definitely be back for the Omakase option.
All I need is…TIME.
I realize I haven’t raved about a local restaurant in year (or more) so it’s about time.
I’ve had a hankering for Thai food lately, and while Benjarong can fit the bill, a) it’s too far from my house, b) weighs quite hefty on the wallet.
I’ve been driving by Basil for quite a long time now as it’s near my house. I’ve noticed that it’s always packed so I started being curious about it and started asking the food circuit about it. Unfortunately, I only found the time to try it today, because the parking situation there is horrendous and I had to wait until I could drag someone who could park for me (and eat with me) as well. In this case, I successfully dragged my brother (who already ate there and confirmed it was good).
Outside it looks like a greenhouse, as the area surrounding it is known for selling plants for houses. Inside, the restaurant was gorgeous.
It felt like I was in Thailand, and not in Quezon City. Benjarong still feels like I’m in Manila, and it definitely feels like a hotel, so sorry, Basil wins in ambience.
They have a quite a selection on their menu. I was salivating just reading it. They didn’t have Khao Soi though. I really want Khao Soi.
I was extremely hungover today so my brother ordered a Tom Yum to start. The rest, I ordered with my eyes, knowing full well I wouldn’t be able to finish it. The server warned me that portions were for 2-3 people, but I figured my brother eats for 3 people and I eat for 2 people so it would be just right for both of us. I could always take the leftovers to work the next day.
Tom Yum kicked my pounding head to the curb. Especially with the spice!
I ordered my usual fish cakes and pad thai. Pad thai was amazing! It tasted like the pad thai I had in Bangkok which my tour guide said was “the best in Bangkok. I would have finished it except I had 4 other dishes to eat and I mixed in too much of the chile so it got too spicy for me to finish. If I brought my Schloss Lieser Kabinett, then I prob would have finished it.
I was going to get the Crispy Fish but I figured I had that already so I wanted to try something else. My eye caught the Squid in Salted Egg. I’m a sucker for anything with salted egg. So I was sold on it.
So glad I got it! It was so tasty. Would have been better if I ordered rice, but I already ordered too much to start. I ordered my brother not to eat it so I could take it to work tomorrow for my lunch. HAH!
I also got the beef curry, but I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the other dishes. I make a pretty mean curry so that’s probably why. HARDY HAR HAR. Next time I’ll order the green curry for future reference.
By this time, I was stuffed and felt like hurling so I decided to walk around the restaurant and take more photos.
I went to their outdoor seating and it was really nice. Would be awesome to eat there if only Katipunan Ave wasn’t so noisy with all the cars beeping and pollution.
My only complaint is the wine list…or lack thereof. They listed it just as house wine and premium wine. How is that supposed to tell me anything? But I guess I understand because the Quezon City neighborhood are not really wine drinkers, except for yours truly. Since it’s so near my house, I can just lug my stash from my house to the restaurant, and it would still be at proper temperature by the time my food arrives.
Guess I’m taking my Prinz Von Hessen Riesling Dachsfilet 2011 for my next visit!!!! AYEEE!!I Can’t wait!
I’m so glad I came and that this restaurant is so near me. I used to live by Fenway and this restaurant called Brown Sugar Cafe was so near me and I would go there to have some Khao Soi and Pad Thai.
This is definitely a refreshing breath of fresh air amidst all the restaurants opening which have shitty food.
Now if only they can have better parking.
Or maybe I should take my bike?
The other day, I had the privilege of attending the industry and press launch here in the Philippines of Mollydooker wines, held at Massetto.
The owners and winemakers, Spanky and Sarah Marquis themselves, came to the Philippines to introduce Mollydooker to the Philippine market. I was really glad to meet them and have the chance to sit down and talk about their wines in depth.
They were both really animated and excited to talk about their wines and got to ask a lot of questions about their winemaking philosophies and views.
Mollydooker means “left handed” in Australian slang terms, as both of them were left handed. All the labels have characters on them that were left handed or had stories about being left handed. The labels are so cute. They hired some artists to to do their labels for them.
We started off the meal with The Violinist Verdelho paired with chorizo puffs and calamari with onion marmalade.
The Verdelho was really different from the Portuguese Verdelhos I’ve had, as this one was high in alcohol and more weighty than the Verdelhos I’ve had. It also had some oak though the high acidity and minerality was there.
This is a modern interpretation of the Verdelho, and though one might not be able to pick this out at a blind tasting as Verdelho, was still quite good in itself.
Sarah and Sparky spoke about the Mollydooker shake and its purpose of releasing nitrogen and minimizing sulfites, making it ready-to-drink, especially for those allergic to sulfites. This is good information for me as a lot of my clients are allergic to the sulfites in wine. It’s quite difficult for me to track down sulfite-free wine in the tropical islands. After all, I doubt it’s going to make it this far from wine making regions without sulfites.
I then found out that Sparky Marquis was a professional photographer before he became a winemaker. I got a little insecure sitting beside him with my too awesome camera (Olympus OMD-EM5) which I’m sure he could tell I could barely use. He didn’t say a word though so I just kept using it.
I then asked him about fruit weight so both he and Sarah explained to us that fruit weight was the measure of quality in wines of the velvety, silky sensation of fruit in wines. In layman’s terms, I’m guessing this was equivalent to fruit concentration. This is a measure from the tip of your tongue for the velvet glove to the prickly structure (acid, tannin).
To further elaborate on fruit weight, we went on to the next wine, the Two Left Feet 2011 which is a shiraz/merlot/cabernet sauvignon blend. This wine was at 70% fruit weight and had ripe cherries, plums, oak and cedar as well as some wet basement aromas. The tannins were soft, and not too acidic but high in alcohol and had both a fruity and earthy finish. It was quite syrupy already and had quite a decent finish with mild oak on the palate.
This was paired with Butternut Squash Soup with Goat Cheese Tortellini.
I didn’t get to take a photo of the soup but it was a decent pairing with the pumpkin’s earthy but mildly sweet flavors.
We moved on to the Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz 2009, which I quite enjoyed, despite the high alcohol content. I could feel it running through my veins and this was lunch time, and I had to get back to work.
The wine was quite fragrant and had a lot of candy, licorice aromas combined with ripe red and black fruit and spices (all-spice, clove and cinnamon. I kept smelling it and smelling it in my glass. The tannins were soft and rounded.
This was paired with my most favorite thing in the world, a cheese souffle.
The Blue Eyed Boy combined with the cheese souffle actually gave off raspberry flavors. I actually thought I could taste a raspberry pie. I even texted my friend who sat across from me about it to double check if she got the same impression and she did.
On a sidenote, I probably like this wine because I have an affinity for blue eyed boys. HAHA!
The wine for the main course was the Carnival of Love Shiraz 2010 which obtained 99+ from Robert Parker. This wine had a heavy concentration and amazing depth and compared to the BLue Eyed Boy would appear to be a “more serious” wine versus the playful Blue Eyed Boy. This was much earthier and had less ripe fruit aromas and more secondary aromas. This was more black fruit like blackberry and black currant versus a combination of black and red fruit as in the Blue Eyed Boy. This wine, according to them, was at 90% fruit weight.
Together with the Enchanted Path Shiraz Cab blend, the labels combined formed a complete picture/told a story.
The wine was paired with Crispy Chicken, Jamon Serrano, Potato Puree and Mushroom Sauce. I loved this dish because the chicken was really crispy on the outside but really tender on the inside.
As you can see, I pretty much wiped out the contents of my glasses.
I actually wanted more (chicken) but I’m glad they didn’t give us a large portion or else I wouldn’t have walked out. The mushroom sauce completed the serious earthy flavors in the Carnival of Love. I think I asked for a refill, twice. Plus, refills of the Blue Eyed Boy. I’m glad I asked for refill for the Blue Eyed Boy because it went REALLY WELL with the dessert, a course I normally skip.
They served a chocolate hazelnut tart, which had the magic word hazelnut in it, so I ate it versus normally chucking it or giving it to my seatmate.
It went great with the Blue Eyed Boy shiraz so I told Sparky and he tried it and agreed with me.
I’m pretty sad I didn’t get to try the Velvet Glove as they didn’t serve it for that meal. They served it the night before at the wine dinner at Shangri-La but nobody wanted to go with me so I skipped it. It’s pretty sad attending a wine dinner by yourself.
Hopefully, I get to try it next time.
Thank you Erin and Premium Wine Exchange for the invite!
I woke up with a craving for pasta with a rich Gorgonzola sauce so I taught my cook yesterday how to make the sauce. I bought the ravioli cause I’m lazy.
Look how awesome it is!
The sauce was perfect!
It’s raining cats and dogs in Metro Manila so a lot of people are staying at home for safety reasons, instead of going to work, me included. Being stuck in a flood is NOT FUN.
So here I am, with enough idle time to post about another wine dinner I attended, this one sponsored by Banfi with Guillaumme, regional director for Asia for Banfi.
This wine dinner was held earlier in the year, and more casual than other wine dinners I’ve attended, which I liked.
I sat at the table with Guillamme and the rest of the industry people and brought along my friend Kate with me. Kate works for one of the biggest retail and land companies in the Philippines. She does marketing for them so I’ve been convincing her to learn wine so she can put together wine events for her upscale clients and the big honcho of the company.
Kate is a beer drinker so convincing her to turn over to the wine world is a slow but steady process. Right, Kate?! HAHA!
We had a salad which I ate so fast because I was starving followed by this fish course.
They served the salad and the soup with the Banfi Fumaio and Collepino.
I enjoyed this wine the most, and drank the most of it, and bought a bottle at the end of the dinner to keep at home.
They were joking at the table that I was a hard core wine drinker because that day was scorching and it was too hot to drink that kind of wine.
They said Filipina women fall into two extremes, one that doesn’t drink at all, and one that drinks too much. I fall in the 2nd category obviously.
The Castello Banfi Belnero Toscana 2010 is composed mostly of Sangiovese with some Cabernet and Merlot blended. The wine had a lot of earthy notes balanced with red fruit and vanilla.
They paired the wine with this course.
My friend Kate barely touched hers so I drank her share as well. HAH!
She did eat all of her dessert, and most of mine. The Filipinos’ weakness: sweets.
This one was a mousse cake I think.
I’m not a dessert eater, so I let her eat it, though it was really good.
The wine dinner ended early and we left together with most of the industry people.
Kate and I headed out to meet our other friends, so she can FINALLY have her beer.
When I went to the CIA, I kept hearing Le Bernardin and Eric Ripert. Coming from the Philippines, and not from the culinary/kitchen world, I didn’t know what it was or who Eric Ripert was. It was only when I progressed through my course that I realized what a big deal that restaurant was.
I mentioned to my dad about Le Bernardin and he told me that he and my brother ate there when it first opened in 1982 (?). I was just about to born, I think. He told me that my brother (who was only 8 then) asked for a hamburger after their meal. That made me laugh and even more curious about Le Bernardin.
Despite the number of times I’ve been shuttling back and forth to NYC, it was only this spring that I was able to eat there.
I had been trying to get a reservation through Open Table even before I left my country for NYC to no avail. It was always fully booked, lunch or dinner. I was getting desperate because I really didn’t want to let this year go by without eating there.
I finally messaged a friend who was working in the kitchen. I used the regular route for reservations first because i didn’t want to hassle my friend who I’m sure was super busy.
She was busy, but she did get my message on Facebook, and even better, she got me a table for lunch.
I arrived from Albuquerque the night before and didn’t have anything to eat until my reservation just so I would have space for Le Bernardin food. I woke up that day and didn’t eat breakfast unless you consider coffee from Oren’s Daily Roast “breakfast” though that’s the only breakfast I can really wake up for.
My reservation was for 1:45pm so I had enough time to go to B&H Photo to panic buy for my camera gear. I did my recommended daily exercise in that store, zipping through the aisles, grabbing anything I thought I needed for my Olympus OM-D Em5 and Nikon D7000 without blowing through my Le Bernard food budget.
I came in my most decent smart casual outfit (a dress from Free People) with a coat over because I didn’t know how dressy the restaurant was going to be.
I got there a little earlier than my reservation so I checked my B&H loot at the coat check and had wine at the bar.
Cool dog tags by the way. I was almost tempted to take it home as souvenir. But then I remembered they had my B&H loot and that was much more important to me. HAHA!
I think that was the Gruner Veltliner. I hadn’t even finished my wine when they called me to my table right on time. I followed the lady, eased into my table and hid my giant camera. The ambiance was honestly intimidating for me because it was PACKED and I had never seen a fine dining restaurant that had NO SEAT unoccupied. Plus, everyone was obviously much older than me, and MUCH MORE WEALTHY. I felt like an alien. A Lucky Alien!
I Didn’t want to stick out so I stealthily (as I could) used my iPhone camera to take shots of my food. (I’m Asian, I will always take shots of my food, and I’m not going to apologize for it.)
I decided to get the tasting menu because who knows when I’ll be back to eat. The only thing I felt bad about was I couldn’t get the corresponding wine pairings since I caught a virus in Chicago about 2 weeks ago when the temperature dropped from 69F to 39F.
I had been coughing relentlessly and didn’t want to further irritate my throat so I had to sacrifice my wine.
They were so nice and sent me a very classy hot water, lemon and honey set for my cough.
First course was this salmon spread which was good but didn’t finish it because I wanted space for the other courses.
I did tell them to leave it on the table so I could pick at it between courses.
My next course was a carpaccio/sashimi preparation called Tairagai. I didn’t hear the full description (I’m a little deaf from years of listening to loud music in front of my dad’s speakers) and all I heard was Siracha (which I don’t even like). I then researched it online, like as in now as I’m writing this post, and this Tairagai dish is pen shell clam “sashimi” with a white grape-lime sauce vierge. Luckily, the wine that i ordered at the bar was the same wine they paired with this dish which blew my mind. The Gruner’s minerality and high acid really brought out that sea salt flavor in the dish plus complemented the lime in the dish. Great first impression. I knew my lunch would be phenomenal from that course alone. I loved it. I hope someone recreates this dish (Hello, friend in the kitchen, J!) and I would pay for it and eat it over and over again.
The next course, the octopus, was even more phenomenal.
I took a bite and said, “OMG” and literally had an orgasm. This was a Charred Octopus “a la plancha” with Green Olive and Black Garlic, Emulsion, Sundried Tomato Sauce Vierge.
The octopus was cooked perfectly, really tender, then melt in your mouth. Plus, I loved the charred flavors and that sauce vierge. Oh man. It reminded me of the sauce vierge my partner and i used to make at E-room Fish Station, only 100x better.
Later, I messaged my friend on Facebook that the octopus was my favorite dish, and it turned out that she made it!
Third course, I call it the climax, was the salmon which is a barely cooked salmon (poached) with sweet and sour hon shimeji, mushrooms and lotus root and maitake broth.
This salmon dish really took me back to Japan with all the delicate flavors of the mushroom and the maitake broth, very umami, combined with the PERFECT, SUPER PERFECT, PERFECTLY cooked salmon. I didn’t even have to chew it. It just melted in my mouth.
It was still very much like a sashimi to me with an udon broth of some sort.
The Halibut which was a poached halibut with opal basil and shaved fennel, with red-miso citrus emulsion was pretty interesting. I’m a big fan of fennel and love to eat it since not many restaurants cook with it at home. I think the jump in flavors from the very delicate salmon with the broth to the halibut with the bold flavor of the citrus-miso emulsion kind of jolted me. I wasn’t prepared for the transition of flavors but it was still awesome.
I think from there, my palate was ready for the heavier dishes.
It was here that I shifted from my Gruner Veltliner to a Barberesco to pair with the heavier courses. The sommelier asked me what I usually drink and I told her I liked Italian wines and wasn’t really a big fan of Bordeaux. I’m glad she brought a Barbaresco because I didn’t see that on the wine list (must have missed it).
The Warm Alaskan King Crab “Crabouillabaisse” came after the Halibut which prompted me to down one of my anti-histamines (i was really prepared for this meal) and braced myself for an allergic reaction. I didn’t sip my wine because usually my wine triggers my allergic reaction to the crustacean, even though I’m not allergic to wine. The wine would have drowned or clashed in this dish because the crustacean/crab broth was Mighty powerful (thank you, i love powerful bouillabaisses).
They paired this dish with a Domaine Huet Vouvray Sec haut Lieu which is one of my favorites so I just thought about eating bouillabaisse at work and drinking my own bottle of Domaine Huet Vouvray to look forward to.
I finally got to my last course before dessert. This course tipped me over the edge. The sauteed Dover Sole with almond-pistachio barberry golden basmati with brown butter tamarind vinaigrette sang to my soul. Well, anything with brown butter sings to my soul. But still!!! I promised myself I would make this dish at home. Of course, I would fail miserably, I’m not Eric Ripert after all, but I was that desperate to have all of those flavors in my mouth again.
I’m not a dessert person so I really didn’t pay much attention to my dessert. I barely ate it since i was stuffed but I tried it just to experience the flavors.
My first dessert was a mango black sesame with a sesame meringue, macerated mango and black sesame ice cream. I could have personally eaten the black sesame ice cream without the mango. I think the mango turned me off a little bit because it obviously wasn’t a Philippine mango but the black sesame ice cream made up for it.
My last course was called “Chocolate-Popcorn” and had a really interesting element of popcorn ice cream! It was a Madagascan chocolate ganache with candied peanuts.
They paired it with The Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky, 12 years.
I should have paid attention to the pairing for this course because had I known, I would have ordered a shot of this for myself. Now I can just imagine it.
I shut my eyes, signed my credit card, and hobbled off into the streets of New York, walking around aimlessly for the next 5 hours, just thinking about my meal.
I forgot to mention that Eric Ripert came out into the dining room for 10 minutes and I was STARSTRUCK, so yes, I was also still pretty glazed over from seeing Eric Ripert in the flesh.
Le Bernardin is at:
155 West 51st Street, NYC
If you want to change the way you see food, you might as well start with Le Bernardin.
So I finally found an alternative to Tivoli….and one that my father is willingly dragged to.
My father is not a very adventurous eater. He is what I call a minimalist and traditionalist. He doesn’t like fusion food. He doesn’t like foam, weird powder stuff on the plate or sous vide food. He also doesn’t like bad service. This limits the restaurants we can try in Manila. We usually go to tried and tested places but the problem is, I’ve been going to those places since I was a kid. I need a change of scenery.
When someone suggested to me to try La Girolle, I went…but I was nervous going in because I was bringing my dad and I don’t know how he’s going to react.
I finally secured a reservation and we ordered a la carte. Again, not much selection by the glass but their by the bottle list was pretty good. I can’t finish a bottle by sharing with my dad, otherwise I’d drink it all and he’d yell at me so I just order by the glass when I’m with him.
The good news is, they’ll let me bring wine without corkage although I probably won’t do that if there’s someone to share wine with me while dining there.
We started off with like a foie gras pate on toast. It was really creamy and tasty which we both liked. That set a good precedent.
They didn’t have the lamb shank anymore which my dad wanted to order so he got the sous vide salpicao as his main and I got the scallops. For starters, he got the soup (I forgot what kind) and I had the salmon assiette.
Here’s my salmon assiette. I chose a Chablis Brocard Aligote which was good on its own but too heavy for the salmon assiette. Really pretty colors on the plate.
For my main, I got the scallops. It was absolutely amazing. The scallops with buttery, velvety, tender with the accompaniment which was like a mushroom tart of some sort. Explosion of umami in the mouth. I didn’t leave a single drop on the plate.
Check out my dad’s sous vide salpicao. I didn’t yell when I saw the salpicao. I yelled at the perfectly poached egg. I hadn’t seen those in years. I myself can barely cook it that way. Guess who punched the egg yolk and bled it?! It was so perfect. It was solid but not too solid. Like it was held by gelatin or something. But when you poked it, it oozed slowly on the plate…but not like a mess.
For dessert, we shared a creme caramel. I’m not a big fan of custard desserts but I can’t really finish a pot de creme which was the other alternative. I always kind of test a chef’s capability with a custard based dessert and this one rocked. I didn’t eat most of it however, my dad got to it before I did. The sauce was made of caramel, rum and orange juice. For a while I thought it had Gran Marnier or Drambuie or something but it was too nutty to be an orange liquer so I had to ask.
Menus change every three months so we’ll definitely be back.
30 st cor 2nd Ave
2/F Blue Sapphire Building
Tel: (02) 478-4119
Don’t worry Tivoli! I’ll just alternate between you two for French food. HAHA. Chef Rene is too awesome to abandon.
I didn’t grow up eating Korean food. I grew up eating Cantonese food from Hong Kong and Western food (in the form of steaks from Peter Luger and Italian and French food).
I barely knew anything about Korea before living with my cousin and his Korean-American wife. I stayed with them one summer and she introduced me to the magic of Korean food, in the form of Gim (roasted seawed) and Rice (the magic instant snack), kimchi and beef kalbi.
From that moment on, I was hooked.
I finally made it to Korea this November after years and years of plotting my trip through the streets of Seoul, scarfing down everything in sight. November was perfect. The weather was fantastic as I love cold weather. I got to wear my leather jackets and wool coats that had been hiding in my closet since I left for home after living in the U.S. for three years.
The only drawback was, I couldn’t buy anything clothes-wise, but I was there primarily for the food.
One of my best friends from the C.I.A. JYK picked me up at the airport and introduced me to the very best that Seoul had to offer. I couldn’t have asked for a better tour guide and ambassador of Korea.
Two experiences stood out the most.
VATOS TACOS and JUNGSIK.
Vatos Urban Tacos is this modern Korean food joint in the neighborhood of Itaewon. I was surprised when I got there because the vibe was so different. I didn’t feel like I was in Seoul. I felt like somebody had transported me back to the Lower East Village.
The place was packed so thankfully, my friend made a reservation and we waited outside for a bit and checked out the menu. This place kind of reminded me of Belly Shack in Chicago.
It was when I got inside the restaurant that I was taken back to Seoul. The receptionist, though Caucasian, spoke to us in Korean. I was so shocked, I was floored. I’m used to Caucasians speaking Mandarin from living in Beijing, but I had never heard a Caucasian speaking Korean before. VERY IMPRESSIVE!
We got to our seats and immediately, I was drawn to their special margaritas. They had several margaritas with beer! What a novelty! Never had those before so I chose the Gold Digger which was an apple margarita with apple cider. It was so good, I wanted two! I wouldn’t have minded not eating and just getting trashed with three of those.
This is my friend’s Margarita which was the classic Margarita with a Corona. I finished mine before I remembered to take a photo of it.
Then we had kimchi fries and pork tacos. Honestly, I was truly enjoying my cocktail so the food took a backseat at this experience.
The next day, my friend took me to Jungsik for lunch. This was also a non-traditional Korean joint, but was in fact, a modernized version. One of her friends from CIA also worked there so we definitely got hooked up. The owner of this restaurant received a Michelin-star for his restaurant in Korea and is the first Korean born and raised chef to receive a Michelin star. Impressive right?
There were a lot of cancellations for lunch that day because it was quite cold so it was just my friend and I and another table for lunch.
The menu felt like Eleven Madison Park’s. I appreciated this because my friend chose items that I did not choose so we got to try a lot.
What follows is a bunch of amazing dishes I didn’t get to list down because I was too busy savoring the flavors.
What I remember is that these dishes, though modernized in flavor and presentation, still retained a lot of Korean flavors. I can still remember the spices, especially in the Beef Tartare. The pork belly was amazing, really crispy on the outside and tender and melt-in-your-mouth on the inside.
Highly recommend visiting these two restaurants next time you’re in Seoul.
Check them out!
A) VATOS URBAN TACOS
Yongsan-gu, Itaewon-dong 181-8 2nd Floor, Seoul Korea
서울시 용산구 이태원동 181-8 2층
+82 2 517 4654
On a final note, the one non-food thing I really enjoyed was:
A) THE MOST DELICIOUS GREEN TEA LATTE! A far cry from the Starbucks Green latte! HAHA!