Originally reviewed on June 10, 2020
|Terrace Wine Bar
|Korean Won 🇰🇷
|United States Dollar 🇺🇸
Price is a rough average per head, excluding drinks.
Seoul Seek Recommendations
- 👑 Signature
- ✅ Counting Calories
- 🌶️ Spicy
|Sirloin (Steak) 👑
|Pizza (daily flavor)
|Tomato Pasta (traditional)
The steak includes an assortment of vegetables, which are unlisted. You may also request wine samples (respectfully), which are listed in a separate wine menu.
This establishment's owner tries (and succeeds) at mixing Korean food with Italian food that you'd find locally in a cucina type joint.
This is a great go-to spot for a quick date night dinner, or just a casual meeting with friends. I wouldn't suggest this for business meetings or the like, unless time isn't of the essence. Start to finish, it takes about an hour and a half if you take your time, so it certainly isn't an in-and-out type of place.
Overall a very pleasant experience which was improved by the wait staff's kindness and care.
Arrival & Interior
To get here, you're going to want to go to Yangjae station and take a bus (buses vary routes and are listed inside the station) to near the river shown in the map. Depending on which you take, it's a 2-10 minute walk. Nothing too bad.
The place is lowkey and nestled on the front face of a lakeside side street. As we arrived we were greeted by a door handler, something that's rare to see here, and we were kindly seated. From the minute we walked in, we could feel the hospitality. This was common service for every customer, not some buttering-up practice for critics.
We sat right by the window for some good lighting, but they do have full leather couches; no pictures were possible since the seats were occupied and we didn't want to disturb the other customers.
Course-based spots like this don't have traditional Korean side dishes. You may also choose to order dishes and not have a course.
The owner's goal here is to mesh Korean flavors into Italian food, and when doing this, removes the usual side dishes from the meal. Instead, you're presented with a wine menu.
A waiter appears and gives you some background on each section of wine for those that aren't in the know about grapes (like us) and then after selecting your meal, they'll throw out a few suggestions.
Lets move onto the main dishes.
For this review, we were presented with a course which consists of two appetizers (bruschetta, strawberry garden salad), then a main of sirloin steak (with vegetables). Alongside that we're presented with a bowl of pasta each.
This specific course is not listed on the menu; it is a slight modification of the traditional Course A which is offered for around ₩40,000/person. I don't drink, so I just had water; normally, you'd get two glasses of wine.
You may also choose to have your own steak, but we weren't super hungry and elected to have just one and split it. The cost may vary. There is dessert offered here, but we chose no to have any.
A common tendency in Korea which you’ll find obvious is that most chefs/cooks tend to cook the meat one tier under what you request; this might be why I’ve never seen rare being offered in an establishment other than top-level steakhouses.
You’ll notice above that I ordered the steak to be medium rare, but what we see as the result is more akin to almost a blue rare or traditional rare. Why this is, I’m not quite sure. I’ve asked a few owners on why the meat seemed to be a tad undercooked, and they seemed to think it was right on the money.
It may either be a cultural tendency to grade the meat’s cooking time differently. Another possibility is the inherent influence KBBQ has on every style of food in Korea; an expert will know that when you cook meat at a certain high temperature, you may take the thinly-sliced meat off very prematurely, and let it rest while it continues to cook.
Many newbies to the practice or people who are not accustomed to eating KBBQ regularly will almost always overcook the meat, checking to see if it is brown or “cooked” all the way through, only to find a less-than-ideal bite a few seconds later when they go for the final dip.
The steak shown above was cut into approximately 2 minutes after it was served. I’m not complaining though, as I like my meat very rare. If you don’t, though, perhaps consider the insight when ordering (in general) around Korea.
This was a pretty good steak, though. A bit of sinew can be spotted if you have a keen eye, and that went straight to the trash, but aside from that it was very enjoyable. Very rare to get a “perfect” steak, so nothing to whine about.
There’s not that many spots out there where you can get a nicer experience overall for this price point. The one thing I would say going into this is that if you don’t like garlic or balsamic, maybe tell the waiter accordingly.
This was one of the more interesting places I’ve visited due to the owner’s philosophy of blending elements of Korean (and Japanese) cuisine into what would be normal cucina-style Italian dishes. Although fusion is a commonplace in Korea, it is more uncommon to find it done this well, seemingly effortlessly.
After you’re done eating, you can head outside and not even 30 seconds away is a small lake which you can walk alongside, which feeds into a river. There are many ice cream shops and other dessert shops nearby, so if you don’t want to sit and stay, you need not worry.
As mentioned, we sat by the window for the lighting, but if you’re not worried about pictures I would suggest requesting one of the comfy leather seats more inside (they looked great).
Overall, better than a lot of similar style “date night” spots around Gangnam, especially those that are within the tourist areas that price gouge.
I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys Korea’s take on Italian food, or someone wanting a good steak and some cheap(ish) wine.