18 April 2017

Jungsik, South Korea — Seoul

Jungsik, South Korea — Seoul

 Serving inventive Korean cuisine, Jungsik aims to use familiar Korean ingredients to create modern Korean dishes. The restaurant is neat, clean with ample natural light falling into its space when we were there for lunch. If you are in a party of 2, you can ask for the table by the window which was lovely!

We had the lunch tasting menu priced at KRW150,000. The exact same menu is served during dinner but at KRW180,000 hence having it for lunch makes more sense if your schedule allows!

Here’s what we had for lunch:


The amuse bouche to start our meal was very delicately made and presented. There were 5 small bites and my favorite was definitely those fried potatoes! It was so creamy and smooth on the inside while the skin is fried to a thin crisp.


The Gujeolpan was like a deconstructed Korean style tacos as we broke the crispy seaweed into bite sized portions before loading it with the assorted ingredients such as tuna, squash jelly, wasabi, seaweed, wasabi sprouts, cream cheese, salsa and pickles. The freshness of the ingredients shone through and was especially elevated with the fruit based soy sauce that was sweet tasting!


A whole abalone is served atop a bed of pickled cabbage and mushrooms I thought the sourness of the cabbages overpowered the natural flavors of the abalone though the texture was great. It came with a bottle of aromatic wild sesame oil to be drizzled over the abalone.


One of my favorite dish of the tasting menu was the octopus that is served with a gochujang aioli. I absolutely love the sauce and it was a fantastic idea to incorporate gochujang into a dish on a more muted note rather than a strong tasting gochujang on its own. The smooth and creamy sauce complemented the seafood without taking away the sweetness of the octopus. As the octopus is first lightly boiled then coated with corn starch before pan frying, it retained its softness while achieving a more crispy outer layer.


Two different kinds of sea urchin are served over a fragrant seaweed rice and fried millets. I liked those little kimchi pieces inside that introduces a sour and refreshing crunch to it. Eventually, I mixed in all the sea urchin with the rice and I like the subtle sweetness from the sea urchin in every mouthful.


The scales of the fish are splattered with oil to make them extremely crispy. The contrast of textures between the scales and meat was great. This was served with a tangy vegetables which brought some variations in taste to the overall dish.


The galbi was extremely tender as it was first sous vide then grilled to finish. I enjoyed how Jungsik uses fruit in their sauces and this onion sauce over the galbi was made with pear sauce. On the side, the banchans include lotus roots, roasted cabbage and pumpkin, and kimchi.


The first dessert is a Korean traditional dessert — a cinnamon punch drink that had a refreshing aroma from the spices. The pear sorbet and vanilla mousse paired well as they were light tasting.


I was expecting a grilled corn but it turned out to be a corn ice cream instead! I loved the crunchy candied pecans and those charred corn bits scattered around the ice cream. A very unique dessert that strays away from the common chocolate or strawberry flavors, but worked in every single way for me!


Overall, I found the dishes at Jungsik to be well executed with the octopus as the most outstanding dish for myself. Being awarded 1 Michelin star and ranking 25th on Asia’s Best Restaurant 2017, I was happy that the dishes were yummy!

Jungsik is located at:
11 Seollungro 158-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 
Daily | 1200 - 1500 (LO 1400), 1730 - 2200 (LO 2100)
Reservations via email reservation@jungsik.kr 1 month in advanced (for eg reserve on March 5 to dine on April 5)
Date of visit: April 2017