Restaurant Buzz

by Joe McPherson
Groove Korea (

The Beastro has been running special dinners. One recent one was run in conjunction with premium soju distiller Hwayo, pairing some fine soju cocktails with Matthew Chung’s stellar dishes. One of the dishes combined the best food elements in human history, Southern biscuit, foie gras, sea urchin, house cured bacon, and black truffle. They are truly upping their game there.

Reasonably priced Middle Eastern influenced cuisine can be found at the recently opened Jil’Hal Bros in Cheongdam-dong. They sell chicken and lamb gyros and rice plates for 7,000 won and under. Supposedly they’re inspired by Halal Guys in New York, but they approve. This looks like it may be the new big thing — as in Manimal big.

The folks from Left Coast Burgers have a new concept, 1981. Described as “Asian comfort food,” the menu includes names such as “OG KFC” and “Wok-a-flocka-beef.” Finish that with the classic shake-em-up dosirak lunch box. They also imbibe guests with watermelon soju and aspartame-free makgeolli. Give me some greasy sesame chicken, and I’ll never leave.

Legendary Seoul chef Yim Jung Sik has opened Bar Jungsik. He continues his philosophy that class isn’t just about the price tag — a concept that is a phantom in Gangnam. Glass wines come in a wide range of prices. For pub grub, how about some caviar, an order of foie gras and a “Jeju Paella?” Those dishes hit all the high and low price ranges as well.

Jil’Hal Bros.
124-12 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu

21 Itaewon-ro 19-gil, Yongsan-gu

Bar Jungsik
83-24 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu

Groove Korea website

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