[Food court] Seoul chefs get creative with a plate of pasta
If you want a good meal in Korea, you better be ready for a big dose of carbs. While rice or noodles are the traditional way to fill you up at the end of dinner, pasta is an increasingly popular choice.
Most Korean pasta restaurants tend to stick with a basic pasta plus tomato sauce approach, but this is slowly starting to change as restaurants seek to stand out from the crowd with more traditional or creative offerings. The more diners get used to more traditional pastas, the more chefs work to develop new recipes to hold diners’ attention.
Chef Lim Eung-gyu blended Italian and Japanese culinary traditions to create Campo. In this small pasta bar located in a residential area of the Gangdong district, east of Seoul, chef Lee makes this all himself. In the open kitchen, he serves scallops with passion fruit sauce as starters to refresh his menu, and combines cooked fish and zucchini in his pasta to bring out the umami of the seafood.
Lim sometimes uses the combination of cooked mushrooms and yuja (or yuzu) to help his food stay lighter. Moving away from the use of cream or tomato sauce, it features ingredients often used in Japanese cuisine mixed with what is common in an oil-based Italian sauce.
At Campo, you don’t have to fight over who gets a bigger portion. When two people visit the restaurant and order pasta, the restaurant divides an order into two plates to ensure that each guest has their own portion. Of course, when three people dine together, a dish comes in three small plates.
The restaurant plans to move to a more central part of Seoul in Hannam, Yongsan District, in November. The operation will continue at the current location until the end of October.
41 Yangjaedae-ro 128-gil. Gangdong District
At Perigee, there is a hint of American mixed with Italian. Chef Lim Hong-keun, who worked at the starred Italian restaurant Marea in New York, was inspired by the cuisine he tasted while in New York with his wife and Shin Ga-young about 10 years ago. year.
One of Perigee’s signature dishes is an éclair made with chicken liver mousse topped with a pistachio crumble to start, and a large ravioli with hazelnut butter and Gruyere cheese with a hint of lemon. Many also opt for lasagna served with tomato sauce. It has all the classic components of a typical lasagna with bechamel sauce, but each layer of pasta is crispier to add more texture.
Among the flood of Italian restaurants in Seoul, Perigee is one of the most difficult to find a place. Reservations open one day a month for the following month, and usually all places are sold out within minutes. If you want to see what it’s all about, opt for November reservations, which open October 15 at 11 a.m.
6-5 Bongeunsa-ro 68-gil, Gangnam District
Italian chef Santino Sortino leads the kitchen to deliver something strictly Italian at Borgo. After more than a decade running various Italian restaurants in Seoul, he now unveils his Italian-inspired classics at Borgo.
Besides a selection of tasty and hearty dishes, the restaurant is well known for a variety of Italian desserts. You can make your own plate of pies by choosing what is available from a cart at the entrance of the restaurant. The restaurant also offers a wide selection of digestives, such as grappa and the sweeter homemade citroncello, so diners can find a reason to stay a little longer.
31 Itaewon-ro 54-gil, Yongsan District
Evidence offers different pasta choices in one set. Although tables are available, most diners prefer to sit near the bar to see the chefs in action right in front of them and watch how dishes are prepared from scratch. The kitchen is decorated with white cabinets and tiles, giving it the feel of a broadcast studio with diners seated for a live cooking show.
Most of the noodles are made from scratch to enhance the flavor of ingredients chosen by chef Lee Tae-woo. If truffles are added, they are actually added to the noodle batter. The dishes are all inspired by classic pasta recipes, but Chef Lee adds a twist to trick diners into thinking what they’re getting is more international.
6 Dosandae-ro 57-gil, Gangnam District
By Lee Sun-min