Friday, November 27, 2009

Photoblog: Contemporary Korean Cuisine at the W-Hotel

Seoul's W-Hotel is one of the most luxurious hotels in Seoul. The great thing about the restaurant is how modern and contemporary it is. It doesn't have a stodgy, "old money" feel- instead it feels hip and cool.
The open kitchen in the restaurant, "Kitchen" let's you see the chefs at work.
Here are my friends Jia and Anna. They are two foodies that know good food. On this night, Chef Ciarian Hickey prepared his contemporary Korean menu.
Here is his Yukhwae (Korean beef tartare topped with a quail egg and pear). The meat was so tender it simply evaporated on the tongue.
Here is his truffle mandu stuffed with foie gras. I love the taste of truffles. The scent of truffles burrows deep into my subconscious and meanders around. Truffles have a taste that is deep and earthy. I know that it's supposed to be luxurious, but I think the taste is primordial.
Here is the chef. He explained all the dishes and told us why the W wanted to do a contemporary Korean menu. "By combining western ingredients and taking it to the high-end market, Korean food can get the respect it deserves."
Here is the fish course with risotto. The risotto was one of the best that I've had in the city. For me, risotto is just creamy rice in Korea. (Often because Koreans use their short grain rice), however, the W uses arborio rice and they take the time to slowly coax each grain to drink in the broth.
Here you have Hanwoo beef done two ways. One is a filet cooked very rare and to the right you have Galbi Jjim. Hanwoo isn't as aged as western meats so it is very tender and has a very fresh taste.
To finish the meal, here is poached Korean pear in white wine topped with black peppercorns and black sesame ice cream topped with a scorched rice cookie.

The W-hotel also has a great sunday champagne brunch. I recommend you check it out.