Please, Mom, Can I Go?

SQUIRRELANDGMAN, who runs Wine Korea, recently had the good fortune to try out the new Pierre Gagnaire at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul.  This may the biggest appearance of Michelin-star cuisine in Korea.  Yeah, yeah, the Michelin Guide doesn’t even come close to touching Korea, so maybe it’s like a touring production of “Cats.”

Nah, bad analogy.

These are the types of restaurants and chefs I only get to read about.  Hearing of Pierre Gagnaire opening a place in Seoul, his third restaurant in east Asia after Tokyo and Hong Kong (and one of four special enough to bear his name), is like–I don’t know–Beyonce coming to Seoul (that’s a point of reference for Expat Jane).

I’m repeating the mantra, “I can’t believe it’s this close.”

Yet so far away.

Wine Korea got to taste the lunch menu (what, no pics) and paid well for it.  And he said it was worth it and more.

You gotta check out the menu! (And here’s the menu in Korean)

I’m happy that on top of French, Indian, southeast Asian and Japanese cameos, a little bit of Korean is showing up in the menu.

Squid, Kimchi Francais and foie gras

KiJogae 키조개 (called “Key Jo Gae” here, those giant ass clams) with grapefruit and red pepper preserves and soju sorbet

Scallop and John Dory Fillet with chili butter and Kimchi-style cabbage marmalade

Jeju Langoustines a la plancha

I hope the menu plays more with the, really, untouched playground of Korean ingredients and staples.  Until then–*cough* we are taking donations for a field trip to bring you the pictures that our friends at Wine Korea were too caught up in the throes of rapture to take.

Pierre Gagnaire a Seoul web site


“Pork, Kimchi, Oysters. It’s the F@$%ing Magic Combination!”

Grilled Fish at Eo Gumteo 어굼터 PLUS Fish Translations


7 thoughts on “Please, Mom, Can I Go?”

  1. Great!

    I think the KiJogae is “pen shell” in English. But really, I like “KiJogae” better.

    Reading menus like that inspire me to go into the kitchen and screw around.

    BTW–tried the Argento wine that you suggested a while back. I am famous for having a plowman’s palate, but we both enjoyed it well. I’m always looking for good cheapies since Eun Jeong blows a lid if I spend more than 15k on alochol.

  2. heh, cheers! I wondered what the key jo gae was. I was eating it, enjoying it, wondering what the hell I was putting in my mouth.
    No pictures I am afraid. I read somewhere before that they didn’t want pictures and I am something of a coward when it comes to photo taking anyway.

    Agree entirely that the use of Korean ingredients has to be a good thing. The chef has come from Sketch in London and it looks like they are going to be doing a good job keeping the menu seasonal as well.


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