Off to Seoul for work? These dining options will delight you.
For a breakfast meeting
One of the newer outposts in Bill Granger’s global empire, this is set in a huge mall complex. But don’t let that put you off – it’s on an easily accessible outside part, overlooking a garden. Its leather banquettes, big tables, large space and 8am opening time all make it the perfect choice for a business meeting over scrambled organic eggs or ricotta hotcakes.
1F Lotte World Mall, 300 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul
For a business dinner
Chef Jung Sik Yim trained at The Culinary Institute of America and worked at top New York restaurants but set up in a smart part of Seoul to showcase his version of modern Korean cuisine. Very creative and tasty it is, too. His kimchi is especially good and may include several types of mushroom. Dinner options range from four to eight courses. Book well ahead, as it’s a small space.
11 Seolleung-ro, 158-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
If you’re dining alone
Written on its front window is “Korean mother’s recipes and more”. You’d be thrilled if this was your mother’s cooking. A simple seasonal menu consists of three or four main courses, each including soup, rice and three side dishes. Painted brick walls, pale timber and exposed lighting give Parc a relaxed feel, which is further enhanced when you sit at the bench by the herb boxes.
2F, 743-1 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
For drinks with clients
Glam it certainly is, with its diamanté-studded drinks menu but this rambling gothic spot takes its drinks seriously. There are a couple of dozen whiskies and clever cocktails (with wildflower, for instance) – even the gin and tonic comes with a cinnamon-bark swizzle stick. Open from 7pm until at least 3am nightly, it’s nice and quiet in the early evening.
2F, 116-1 Hamilton Hotel Annex, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
For a coffee pit stop
Coffee is invariably expensive in Seoul (about $6 a cup) and most of it isn’t great. If you’re spending that much, it should be worth it. Like Terarosa’s own line of coffee – medium-bodied, smooth and available as espresso or drip. The kitchen also pumps out delicious pastries and savoury options. Locals love the place, including – word has it – monks from the nearby Buddhist temple.
50 Jong-ro, 1-gil Jongno-gu, Seoul