The perfect place for those looking for fine dining at a reasonable price, this restaurant offers a unique three-course dinner that comes with an amuse-bouche. The owner-chef Choi Jong-mun calls it a "fairy tale course," as the meal was inspired by children's stories. The course includes an amuse-bouche made with beets and balsamic vinegar, an appetizer made with carrots and orange puree and steak with sauce served in a glass slipper. Since the courses are seasonal, those who enjoy Gothic fiction can try the "Dracula Course" to be released later this summer.
I remember my first visits to Yeonnam-dong, only a 15-minute walk from Hongik University, as drunkenly going to small after parties at 5am. To this day, Yeonnam-dong locals lament how difficult it is to get a cab driver to drive you from the playground to the small alleyways surrounding Dongjin Market. My first sober memories of the neighborhood start similarly and date back to 2010, when it was nearly impossible to find decent coffee for hungover Sunday mornings (a problem remedied first by Café Libre and then by Tailor Coffee). The Yeonnam-dong friends I had were the half-extroverted types—bragging about being the only foreigners in the more local part of town and being closer to the Hongdae action but also enjoying time alone. Though there was already a share of well-known Chinese restaurants around, the real boom started in 2014 when various newspapers began reporting on the hidden troves of foreign foods, cafés and guesthouses slowly emerging. Happening in conjunction with the revitalization of the neighborhood is the construction of Gyeongui Line Forest Park—a 1.3-km park with a small stream in the center that runs along the tracks of the former railways; lined with yellow gingko trees in the autumn and cheery dog walkers in the spring. A feeling of hope fills the air as this area welcomes some fresh faces and we, too, at Time Out Seoul would like to greet these new kids on the block.