5. Chef James Park (Moohyun Park)
Favourite Restaurant: Restaurant Mingles
“Chef Mingoo of Mingles restaurant is always cooking amazing dishes. His modern Korean style is unique and special, and of course very delicious. It is amazing how he constantly tries to reinvent himself and this season, it is all about concentrating on Temple Cuisine and cooking with vegetables.”
Lunch pick: Toctoc (main photo). It is primed as the restaurant to watch. With Chef Kim Dae-Chun leading the way, there are no rules. European, Japanese and of course, Korean ingredients come into play. Despite a lot of effort going into sourcing and creating his dishes, the restaurant is surprisingly simple – TocToc raw fish, winter dream salad, and a butter poached cod with saffron beurre blanc are easily the best on the menu.
“I have visited Toctoc about 10 times already. Always happy to go there with anyone.”
Food shopping: Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market (674, Nodeul-ro, Dongjak-gu) and Garak Market (932, Yangjae-daero, Songpa-gu).
“These two markets are the biggest ones in Seoul for seafood and vegetables respectively.”
6. Chef Han Man Seang (Daniel Han)
From: Le port 13
Favourite restaurant: Hadongkwan (12, Myeongdong 9-gil, Jung-gu)
“Rice soup in Korea is very popular and the one from Hadongkwan is my favourite. Nothing beats a nice warm bowl of rice in clear Korean beef soup. Here, food is always served fast – in five minutes.”
Lunch pick: Cuisson 82 (453-16 Dogok 2(i)-dong, Gangnam-gu)
“I love spicy food so this is a place I visit a lot. It’s a very small restaurant, however, the food quality and level are not low at all – the food is made with a lot of sincerity and it feels like you are eating at home. Here’s what you should order: lamb stew and French fries.”
Cool place to drink and go food shopping: Le port 13 and Noryangin Fisheries Wholesale Market
“A good place to have a chilled drink is in my seafood pub Le Port 13 – you can find me there a lot, particularly on my way to Noryangin Fisheries Wholesale Market at 3am – this is the life of a chef! It is lively and fresh here.”
7. Chef Edward Kwon
Favourite restaurant: Bong Pi Yang (20, Jahamun-ro, Jongno-gu)
“Known for their famous dwaeji galbi (pork shortribs), the prices are not cheap but the taste and quality are one of the best in the city. The lunch set is worth getting at a much cheaper price – galbi with naengmyeon (cold noodles) or doenjang jjigae (soybean paste stew). I recommend the spicy intestine stew and galbi.”
Lunch pick: Galleria Department Store (343, Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu)
“Asia is known for their wonderful gourmet food courts and Galleria Department Store’s food court has lots of cheap-and-cheerful eats. At the top of my list is the cold noodles with dumpling, and spicy beef soup found in any of the gourmet food courts in any of the high-end department stores in Seoul.”
Food shopping: Kyoung-dong Market, Shinsaegye Department Store Gangnam (176, Sinbanpo-ro, Seocho-gu).
“For imported goods, visit Shinsaegye Department Store in Gangnam, and for high-quality local products, head to Gwangjang in Kyoung-dong Market.”
– TEXT BY MICHELLE TCHEA
PHOTOS: MINGLES (CHEF MINGOO KANG), SSAK COMMUNICATIONS (CHEF EDWARD KWON), KOREA TOURISM BOARD, TOCTOC SEOUL FACEBOOK (MAIN PHOTO)
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.