Shitty Family Dinner Restaurant (Bean Table)
I have been out of commission for a few months, but that is what a wedding will do to a fella. So back from a break and here is the first review. I am going to start with a Korean restaurant that is outside of Seoul. Known for its healthy food and obviously the uses of beans. Unfortunately I took my family there for a party of 10 people and rented a small bus to get there due to their good reviews. First off I had a problem with staff. We entered a half empty restaurant to be seated and they had at that time two different course menues. Due to the number in our party we asked if we could mix the two different courses so we could try all the food at the restaurant.
Family flying in from the States and our driver was invited to eat with us. The waiter did not allow us to order the different courses, but after a quick talk to the kitchen they allowed us to have all two which was a 10 minute time suck. We started with a jeon and jook and mussel soup. The jeon was a little oily for my taste so that was a 7 or 8 out of 10. I give them a good rating for their use of soy beans, but the execution was lacking. Given that this restaurant is not in Seoul and we rented a bus we all wanted to be blown away, but there are better restaurants in Seoul that executes superbly. Pumpkin jook was standard fare, slightly sweet and rich, but unimaginative.
They did make some interesting choices of aioli, which was a western twist and use of atypical greens for Korean cuisine in their dishes were appreciated. Mussel soup was solid, but could get that soup minus the tofu at a number of restaurants elsewhere. Probably the best dish was bul-go-gi dish with tofu, unfortunately the beef was thickly sliced which made the meat tough. Then came a massive chicken salad dish, given the number of people we had we over ordered. The patrons we brought were split 50/50 on enjoyment for the chicken. We had so much leftovers and were wasting so much food, I asked the waiter to wrap the leftovers. Unfortunately that is where our meal ended. Asking the waiter to wrap this chicken came with a resounding "no", so again to the kitchen to talk a manager. Actually ended up talking to a chef, a young man who speaks good English, who also declined our request. We had a six year old and a three year old with us and that was the only food they were eating minus the pungent sauce.
Our driver then proceeded to get angry and went to talk to the chef, Sungmo Lee, and surprisingly Mr. Lee and our driver had a conversation that the whole restaurant could hear despite repeated requests by our driver to discuss outside. As that incident occurred being concerned for my family who flew on average 7,000 miles and were picked up for a total driving commute of two hours to come eat at this restaurant I went to calm both parties down. Things progressed from worse to horrible. I identified myself as a food critic, and Mr. Lee proceeded to take that as a threat and stated, "You don't know who I am." I am speechless to this day to what the underpinnings of that comment even means. My father, a man in his 70's, tried to speak reason to him only to be found that we were asked to leave.
At the end of the day, police were called, we weren't allowed to pay the bill till police arrived even after we stated we wished to leave and skip the remaining courses. Police came and scolded Mr. Lee, telling him that if a customer pays for food then containers should be allowed for the customers to take food home. Keep in mind we are talking about cooked chicken, not fish, or tartar, etc. (Mr. Lee's argument was that there were no take out containers in the restaurant and remained adamant about the no take out policy when we asked the driver to buy some containers). After the police came they asked us to leave while they dealt with Mr. Lee only to find an employee chasing out bus to pay the bill. No discounts, full price and another time suck of 20-30 minutes and the rest of the meal was safely kept in their fridge due to their "no takeout" policy. Apologies for the rant, but Joel Robuchon, Gordon Ramsay, Tom Keller and many chefs that are more renowned allow leftover take out.
Food wise before all of this nonsense came down my whole Korean family all thought that the restaurant was over rated and there was no single outstanding dish. There were bright parts to different dishes which mainly revolved around tofu and the aioli sauces they paired. Too bad we never got to finish out meal.
Address 수정구 금토동 87-2