Choonsamwol takes its name from the Chinese character for “spring,” referencing their philosophy of serving seasonal food. The basis of the menu, which changes weekly, is hanjeong-shik, the traditional Korean table with a variety of dishes served all at once. One standby is the soy sauce-soaked raw shrimp, an unctuous, heady dish best consumed in small bites throughout the meal. Though they source locally, a few dishes have an international flair (salad with chicken breast, for example).
Owner Gihwan Kwak eschews the term “fusion” in favor of “modern.” “Many Koreans incorporate different cuisines at home these days,” he points out. The décor is also modern, with clean lines, white pendant lamps, and giant windows overlooking the street. Before you leave, buy a bag of nurungji, crispy rice toasted at the bottom of their large, cast-iron cauldron, a rare sight in Seoul these days.