MADE alla Manhattan: New York Italian Style Eats in Seoul

by Diana Weber Photo by Diana Weber
Groove Korea (

New Yorkers know that there’s nothing better than going to a favorite Italian restaurant and delving into a classic chicken parmesan or some fresh- from- the- oven pasta. Korea owns my heart, but a piece of it is still wandering around America, my home of New York in particular, in search of its regional comfort foods. Lovers of Italian American and even classic Italian food will find what they’re looking for at MADE.

Made is a New York inspired, American cuisine restaurant. The food is all “made in house,” which is the motto behind the name. They bake their own bread, grind their own meat, and grow their own produce on a local Seoul rooftop. The attention to detail and care that goes into the food is evident in each bite.

When at MADE start with the arancini (Sicilian fried rice balls) coated in breadcrumbs, which were everything, cheesy and gooey and perfect. Made has a selection of different types of arancini- such as pesto, mushroom, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. A pumpkin rendering was the strongest. It was sweet, perfectly seasoned, and reminiscent of the autumn pumpkin obsession that rips through North America around this time of year.

Sliders are a great treat for your second plate. The most popular one is the beef slider made from Korean’s famous hanu beef. The  hype is well-deserved: you will struggle not to eat them by the dozen. The meat was tender and naturally flavorful. The other sliders- Chicken & Pesto and Pork & Marinara sliders- though good, were a tad dry.  Without question, opt for the hanu sliders.

As for entrees, select the chicken parmesan over a bed of spaghetti and eggplant parmesan over polenta. The fresh diced tomatoes and juicy chicken perfectly sates anyone with a nostalgic taste for chicken parm and newbies will be equally delighted.  Meanwhile the eggplant was fresh and cooked to a melt-in-your-mouth texture and the polenta was warm and rich.

Made’s menu offers several side dishes such as a Caesar Salad and mashed potatoes with a mushroom gravy. The salad was fresh enough to detect the local ingredients. The mashed potatoes were fine and tasty, rich and creamy as you could want.

MADE’s newest dessert is a salted caramel and apple bread pudding. There are no words to describe the perfection in that bowl. Paired with a hot Americano, it was the perfect way to end a meal that will linger for its excellence.

Besides having a plethora of choices, Made’s menu is also interactive, providing a unique experience. Each diner is given a dry erase marker and can custom design their entree. If you want meatballs, for example, you check off which type of meat you want, what sauce you prefer, and the format in which it will be served ( in a bowl, on bread, or on pasta). Made uses this tactic for all of its meals and it gives patrons a chance to create tailor made dishes.

So, if you want to savor a bit of the Big Apple in the heart of Seoul, MADE is the place to go for a night out or for the brunch they have been so praised for. The atmosphere (small but quaint), the food (delectable), and – lest we forget- the drinks (full bodied wine, multiple ales) were spectacular.

Groove Korea website

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