Review: Gorilla in the Kitchen

King Crab Avocado Plate at Gorilla in the Kitchen

Bae Yong-joon, the famously bespectacled, handsome actor known for his role in countless dramas and movies opened up a restaurant that focuses on naturally healthy food that a wise, powerful gorilla would find appetizing. The modern, wide-open restaurant is filled with natural light from their many windows and its vicinity of the Dosan Park. The park is a popular place for locals to go walking in the evenings and something I would recommend you do after the dinner. It’s not the largest park, but it is nice to find forested space in the busy city.

Now, the food… The westernized cuisine is creative, healthy, and whimsical. You’ll find combinations such as citron and romaine, brown rice and eel,and steamed sea bass and saffron mashed potatoes. Plus you can get your meals in human (normal) or gorilla (large) portions. The food is pretty. Very pretty and on paper it seems very healthy. It’s not the cheapest place to eat at in. Dinner sets start at 45, 55, and 65,000. The ala cart menus start at 12 – 25,000 so I recommend their dinner sets for you get to taste a gamut of different dishes.

The coursed dinner I had started with a king crab and avocado salad with crunchy banana chips. This was a wonderful meal. The crunchiness of the banana chips and the pop of the eggs worked well together- especially in the creamy sauce. The creamy broccoli soup I had was nice and tasted very natural and not chalky from too much starch. The spinach and fruit salad I have to admit was a bit…disappointing. The greens were nice, but the mangos were obviously canned. The mangos with sun-dried tomatoes worked, but the canned mangos were a bit sweet and it seemed to go against the healthy motif the restaurant aims for.

My main was grilled salmon that was over mashed potatoes and in a melted butter sauce. I was picked this dish because I wanted to see what their “Soul Food” menu was. Well, this is a bit of a departure from their “healthy, gorilla-diet.”Their Soul Food menu was to offer some food that was more comfort food. This was a comforting, rich, and high-calorie dish. After eating all the healthy dishes, this was a nice surprise. The potatoes were smooth, the butter was…real butter and I got a hearty slice of salmon (which was a bit too done for me). Dessert was their sophisticated, homemade tiramisu. This was one of the better tiramisu’s I have had in Korea.

Gorilla in the Kitchen is not a perfect place. The restaurant has a Soho feel, but the food is like Wolfgang Puck’s Bistro food. Service is quaint and the setting is beautiful. It’s the perfect place for a romantic date.

Gorilla in the Kitchen
2-stars (out of 4. Great atmosphere and service. Some dishes are amazing, others subpar. A tad expensive.)
 650 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu Seoul 135-896
02-3442-1688
www.gorillakitchen.co.kr 

Directions: Take a taxi to Dosan Gongwon.

Gorilla in the Kitchen
Spinach Mango Salad at Gorilla in the Kitchen
Salmon with Mashed Potatoes at Gorilla in the Kitchen
Tiramisu at Gorilla in the Kitchen


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  • Sake

    This is a healthy restaurant. “A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch.” James Beard. Tried one too many times for my liking, a.k.a. twice, but with groups of 4-5 each time. Stick to their dessert menu and coffees and turn your nose up to the rest of the menu.

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