Known for its Peking duck, JS Garden is a popular dining spot where you can have quality Chinese course meals in an upscale setting, at very reasonable prices. Popular dishes here include the seaweed and abalone soup, Sichuan eggplant and shrimp and glutinous fried pork, all of which come with a rice bowl or noodle dish and dessert, all at the price of 30,000 won during lunchtime. Gangnam alone has three branches, and most recently the Cheongdam location has opened an even more sophisticated line, JS Garden Black. Walk through the large, heavy doors of JS Garden Black and you will step into a lounge made up of seven separate rooms. Only the bar, where you can sip on alcoholic beverages before or after your meal, is visible from the entrance whilst the dining rooms and secret garden are hidden from plain sight. The course menu here is similar to that ofJS Garden, but better, with more special dishes like shark fin soup, golden xiao long bao, Peking duck and king crab. This highly sought-after Chinese restaurant is made even more exclusive with its private rooms, perfect for important meetings or gatherings. For a meal for two in a 4-person room, the minimum order is the 80,000 won per person course menu, but if there are more than four people, the 60,000 won course meal is available. The sophisticated name of "black" suits this place well.
There are plenty of delicious jjampong and jjajeongmyeon places to go to in yeonnam-dong or yeonhui-dong but the lines are long, the tables are full, and the diners are often drunk and loud, no place to go on a special occasion or with family. Larger and nicer restaurants are fully booked with long waitlists, no thanks to popular cooking shows that have raised chefs to celebrity status. But to jump to a hotel restaurant will put your wallet in danger. Considering all these factors, the Chinese place to go to on a special night is Baljae Restaurant. Recently relocated from near Dosan Park to The K Twin Tower across Gyeongbok Palace, Baljae offers fist-rate traditional Chinese cuisine. The atmosphere is also unlike normal Chinese restaurants in Seoul, classy and modern. Rather than the course menu, try the unique dishes such as XO fried rice and doenjang jjajang that you won’t find anywhere else.
To dine at Jinjin, reservations must be made at least a week in advance. Recently, rumor has it that even making a reservation is difficult. At first glance, the restaurant looks quite simple, but it serves an exquisite Chinese cuisine that appeals to everyone. The owner of the restaurant is Head Chef Yook Sung Wang who is the oldest chef of Korean style Chinese cuisine. He is such a prominent figure in the industry that he ended up removing mainstream Korean-Chinese dishes like jajangmyeon and tangsuyuk to keep himself from driving nearby Chinese-Korean restaurants into the group. Most of the full-course meals begin lightly with ohyang-naengchae, a Chinese five spice cold soup. Next, you might enjoy king crab doused in chili oil, followed by fried menbosha sandwiched between chewy shrimp bread. Mapo tofu with intense hot flavosr is also a popular dish here.The dishes at Jinjin are prepared with high quality ingredients, which are comparable to those used in Chinese restaurants in hotels, with one key difference: most of the dishes at Jinjin do not cost more than 20,000 KRW. Opening hours are restricted to the evening and most customers order alcoholic beverages such as beer or yeontae-goryangju with their meals. Dishes off the menu can be served if requested at the time of reservation.
The criteria for being the best Chinese food chef in Seoul is simple. Take the meal that customers order most and be the best at making it. We think dish is one of the simplest and yet hardest to perfect: tangsuyuk, or sweet and sour pork. Mokran's owner and head-chef Yeon Bok Lee is one of the top Chinese food chefs in Seoul. His tangsuyuk at Mokran is close to perfection. What makes a perfect tangsuyuk? First, the state of the batter needs to be top quality, crispy but not hard. You have to achieve that exquisite balance of intense-sweetness and soft-sweetness. And basic ingredients, like the quality of pork, must always top grade. Mokran checks off all three, serving up an exquisite tangsuyuk. Other dishes at Mokran are delicious as well. The full-course dinner is a fantastic deal for the price. Almost all of the menu features that are rich, and the seasoning at times can seem a bit on the strong side, though never overwhelming. The chef’s mastery in finding an impeccable balance is the key to his skills. Tip: If you want to indulge in the deep flavors of dongpayuk (fried pork belly in soy sauce), you'll need to order it a day in advance.