Best ‘Euro’ Brunch: Brera
Most brunches in the city follow the standard playbook of Eggs Benedict, sandwiches and overpriced salads, but at Italian restaurant Brera, near Beotigogae station on Seoul subway line 6, they do things a little differently. Although their focus remains firmly on pasta and pizza, they also offer an everyday brunch menu to help you ease yourself gently into these warm summer days.
The Brera Breakfast, humorously subtitled the “Italian hotel experience”, is a showstopper – three thick slices of excellent country-style bread served with homemade strawberry jam and, unusual in Korea, fresh butter, gleaming white in its little dish. The centerpiece of the breakfast is a miraculously light, airy calzone stuffed with your choice of hot fillings; on the day Groove visited, a mix of apple, strawberry and mozzarella cheese spilled out onto the plate. Savory options are also available. Also included in the KRW 14,900 price is a coffee and a glass of freshly made lemonade, which comes unsweetened by default, so be sure to ask for some sugar if you prefer it a little sweeter.
Huevos rotos, literally “broken eggs,” is altogether more rustic. A Spanish-inspired bowl of sautéed potatoes and sunny-side up fried eggs, it’s made Italian by a generous topping of prosciutto. About as simple as a brunch dish can be, it’s deeply satisfying and very filling. You could easily make this at home, but the prosciutto alone would eat up a large chunk of the KRW 17,800 it costs to order it at Brera.
With appetizers like mixed bruschetta with cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and homemade Italian sausage, as well as the excellent coffee and homemade desserts on offer, Brera makes a great spot for brunch, especially if you feel like indulging in a cheeky glass (or bottle) of wine to go with it. Owner Giovanni Tamburrini explains that while the brunch concept is barely known in Italy, he put the items on his menu due to popular demand from local residents. We’re glad he did, because it gives us an excuse to go to Brera before lunchtime and get a good meal before retiring for a mediterranean midday rest.
Jung-gu Dason-ro 41
11am – last orders at 10pm, Tuesday – Sunday
Andy Hume blogs regularly on the Seoul restaurant scene at his blog, SojuSunrise.com