Central Seoul, Restaurant Reviews

Don’t waste your time at Mother’s fish in Insadong

Sure it is heard to open up a restaurant these days. And yes, I know it is a business. However when your approach focuses more on margins and not on the food, I tend to get a bit upset.


Mother’s Fish 어머니 생선 in Insadong just opened in a prime location in Insadong. You would think that if they just opened, they would try to wow you with the food. The banchan are subpar and obviously the cheapest they could think of. Limp kimchi, soggy potatoes, stale seaweed laver, and japchae. Meh. It seemed like they decided to make banchan that they think are “foreigner friendly.”

Then the fish came. It was dry and cool. It was if they had reheated it and forgot to do it fully.

The kicker was the rice. Mushy rice that didn’t have the right pop it should.

Overall, the restaurant doesn’t seem to respect it’s guests. I think they need to reevaluate why they opened up a restaurant in the first place.

Mother’s Fish
Jongno-gu Insadong 36-1 2nd Fl
종로구 인사동 36-1번지 2층



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Central Seoul, Korean Eats

Korean Barbecue at Cham Sut 참숯




Sometimes you just get lucky and find a restaurant down an alley that is pretty good. In the alley behind McDonalds in Jongno 3-ga I found Chamsut barbecue place. It looks like your average everyday Korean barbecue place and that is what it is. Here you can get good cuts of pork jowl (hwanjeonsal) and pork belly (samgyeopsal). Their marinated pork rib (wang galbi) is not very good though.

Service is friendly. Beers are cold and kimchi is sharp. What else could you ask for?

Seoul, Jongno-gu Donguidong 168
서울 종로구 돈의동 168

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Central Seoul, Non-Korean Eats, Restaurant Reviews

The Best Hotel Breakfast in Seoul


20121005-103516.jpg Since our company has started doing Incentive tours and events, I have been lucky to eat breakfast at many of the 5-star hotels in Seoul. We usually have morning meetings or lectures over breakfast. Now breakfast is one of my favorite meals, so I am very happy to organize these types of events.

Over the last few months, I have eaten breakfast at the InterContinental Coex and Parlas, Ambassador Hotel, Grand Hilton, Somerset Palace, Fraser Suites, and in the past I have been to W-Hotel and a few others. Anyway, my guests are always asking about breakfast in Seoul and I generally suggest they stick to a nice hotel breakfast or have an early and a late lunch.

Now out of the hotels in Seoul, I think that the Grand Hyatt has the best spread. Their eggs are cooked right, cheeses are rich, coffee strong, and the bread is really bread. The Grand Hyatt also has excellent cappuccinos. The other thing for me that makes this place stand out are their smoked fish. It has that sticky sheen of smoke and the right texture so you know it was truly smoked.

They seem to really care that their guests get off to a good start.

Central Seoul, Restaurant Reviews

Gastrotong: Fine European Cuisine





20120907-091644.jpg This is one of the best fine dining restaurants I have been to in Korea because it is a perfect combination of all elements: location, atmosphere, cuisine and service. Located in Gahoedong this area is off the busy road in a quaint house that looks like an Asian chateau. Inside the tables are arranged in an orderly fashion and covered in white table cloth. You can see the chefs working diligently behind the glass covered open kitchen. The kitchen is orderly and clean which gives you confidence about the food. Service is polite and the menu is simple and seasonal. My meal started with a salad with a oxtail terrine that added a surprising note without taking over the salad. Then I had a frothy eggplant soup followed by crispy sea bream with a grapefruit butter sauce. The fish was crisp outside and hot in the center so I could tell the chefs had timed this correctly. For dessert was a small piece of cake with some ice cream topped with a wedge of fresh fig.

The chef, Roland Hinni, is a legend in the restaurant industry in Korea and he now has a place to call his own.

This is a fine place to take a loved one.