A little background: Jungsik offers a modern and unique understanding of contemporary Korean cuisine – innovative chef Yim has christened it as New Korean. The name for the restaurant, Jungsik, was a play on words. In the Korean language Jung Sik is a formal dinner and it is also the name of the chef. Restaurant Jungsik offers bold flavors and a whimsical culinary experience.
My visit: Early last year when we were in Seoul, we wanted at least one fine dining experience and at that time there was no better choice than Jung Sik as it was the first restaurant in which molecular gastronomy was applied to Korean ingredients as well as the first Korean restaurant to earn a spot on San Pellergrino’s Asia’s 50 Best restaurants.
Our dinner began with an array of amuse bouche – a modern interpretation of banchan (small dishes of food served in the beginning of every Korean meal.) The plating technique was modern while the little bites were bursting with traditional flavors.
The slow cooked egg and mushroom in a dashi broth was light and earthy. The kimchi added a nice punch to the dish and the oozing egg yolk tied the whole dish together.
The octopus was cooked to perfection – crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and it matched perfectly with the tangy tomatoes and the spice of the ssamjang aioli. This was definitely one of the stand out dishes of the night.
Another highlight of the night was the elevated version of a classic bibambap using a generous slab of fresh creamy sea urchin as the protein and a seaweed puree as the gochujang (chili pepper paste). The dish was garnished with toasted millet that lent the rice a nutty flavor.
The lobster was juicy and plump and coated in a complex curry sauce that perfectly blanketed the sweet meat. The puffed rice added a crispy element to the dish.
The filet mignon was grilled to a perfect medium rare and it just melted in my mouth!. The salsa-mixed kimchi and miso sauce complemented the steak beautifully.
Our meal ended with a contemporary and impressive blueberry dessert called Rose of Versailles which is among the most beautiful dessert I have ever eaten. It was made with rich cheesecake, longan ice cream, fresh blueberry cream and blueberry sauce. The dessert was well balanced with many layers of textures and flavors. Till this day, this dessert still sticks in my mind.
Verdict: I feel very lucky to have experienced Jung Sik. It was a truly original revamp of traditional Korean dishes and flavors. Solid skills and stunning presentations from Chef Yim and his team. The service was great and the decor was modern and minimal. I would revisit in a heartbeat.
Happy eating 🙂
11 Seolleungro, 158 Gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
+82 2 517 4654