Their Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes are worth going the distanceFriday, November 02, 2012
Recently on assignment I was asked to head to Bundang. The Bundang is what I whimsically refer to as the countryside. I know that it is not really. It is very modern and full of new apartments, shopping centers and parks. It's still a bit of a trek to get there so a restaurant better be dang good for me to make the trek there (sorry but cafe street in Jeonja is not worth my time.) So...I took the red bus down to the country and then I had to find Baekhyun Village in Pangyo (the name of the area always makes me laugh because it sounds like the Korean word for fart). It is not an easy place to get to- especially in the rain and taxi drivers don't even know where it is. It took me about 1.5 hours to finally get there from Insadong. It is even harder to find when apple maps (damn you apple!) can't find it. Luckily I had Olleh Navi and it pointed me in the right direction.
Baekhyun Village is quaint and hip and there are cool cafes all over and a few eateries. The place seems to be in development. Then in the middle of this place is JFK Bistro. The place has a cool Gastropub feel to it with glass windows all around, seasonal specials announced on chalkboards and a microbrew on tap.
The menu is creative and it seems like something that would be featured on the show, "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives." There is pizza topped with chicken Parmesan, angel hair pasta with steak and mushrooms, and sausage sandwiches made with house-made sausage.
The names of the dishes are whimsical as well such as Sophia loves Caligula, Broken C-Zar (for their Caesar salad), I-roc Z Turbo (for their chicken parm and sausage pizza).
The food is hearty, flavorful, and inventive. The dishes have an Italian/American flair to it. They had milkshakes on the menu and I just had to have one. The first was a Black Russian cheesecake milkshake which was amazing and had bits of cheese cake and graham cracker crumbles in the light vodka, Kahula ice cream mix. Wow. It was so good, I had to get their pumpkin pie milkshake. Again it had bits of cake and light nutmeg undertones. Next Christmas I am going to add pumpkin pie to my egg nog.
Then came the food. I had a Caesar salad which had big leaves of romaine with a piquant lemon anchovy dressing. It was good-very big but good.
Then I had the pork belly pizza which had a green chili sauce and cheddar cheese. The crust is a bit thick, crisp on the bottom but not I guess something too thin wouldn't have been able to hold all the toppings. The pizza was quite flavorful as well but a tad heavy. I wish the pork belly was cut a tad thinner. I ended up taking most of this home and ate it the next day.
As a special treat, I was served a tasting of their pork belly served with white beans and a green chili sauce. The pork was tender and crispy all around. I was told it took 3 hours to prepare it. Quite good, but again a tad heavy.
The chef also let me try their staff meal which was an angel hair pasta dish which had a puttenesca-esque sauce. This was quite light and very good. Next time I will have to get the pasta.
The owner/chef Jamie F. Krembrey and the staff are all very nice, quite generous and they are all definitely foodies. We talked about food all day and it is nice to know that someone so passionate about food is running a kitchen.
Overall, a great dining experience and I would go back for the food and the company.
Baekhyun-dong 591-9 Bundang-gu Seongnam City, Kyunggi-do